Masse demands consumer protection & Internet competiton

Government must withdraw C-27 amendment and overturn CRTC decision

OTTAWA – Today, NDP Industry Critic Brian Masse (Windsor West) demanded during Question Period in the House of Commons that the government protect internet consumers’ privacy from spam fraudsters by withdrawing an amendment to Bill C-27, the Electronic Commerce Protection Act (ECPA) that would allow private companies to search individuals’ computers without permission or consent. Masse also demanded that competition be restored in the broadband market by requesting the government overturn yesterday’s CRTC decision, which allows Bell and other giant Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to throttle the internet traffic of competitors or end users to the detriment of both.

‘Will the Minister withdraw the amendment to the Anti-Spam bill and stand up for Internet users’ privacy and security or will he sell them out to corporate spies, spammers and fraudsters?” Masse demanded.

Minister Clement responded by stating that “the amendment will be withdrawn” and thanked the NDP for standing up for consumers as opposed to the Liberals and the Bloc which he characterized as supporting corporate interests.

The National Task Force on Spam unanimously recommended that the government introduce anti-spam legislation since Canada is one of the only major developed countries without anti-spam legislation and the situation of turning into a spam haven was becoming a very real possibility. The ECPA addresses many of the shortcomings of the current Canadian legal framework, including the need for stiff penalties, broad definitions of unsolicited commercial electronic messages, targeted provisions against phishing and spyware, a private right of action to open the door to lawsuits against spammers, as well as greater government cooperation and a Spam Reporting Centre.

“Yesterday’s CRTC decision to protect monopolists rather than internet innovators is an outrage. Will the Minister standup for competition, consumers, and Net Neutrality and overturn the CRTC just like they did in the landline phone market,” Masse declared.

The government in 2007 overturned the CRTC decision 2006-15 concerning the landline phone market.

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