The National Post had an interesting article today on the election and Elections Canada's increasingly futile attempt to try to keep a lid on election results across time zones.
It quotes Dan Zen, professor of interactive multimedia at Sheridan Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning who said "There must be lots of options but I know one option that isn’t going to work is trying to enforce secrecy over Twitter and Facebook. That’s just not going to work, so expectation needs to change."
As well Jen Evans, CEO of Sequentia Environics said "Laws are only as good as your ability to enforce them and I think this one is going to be a challenge. This doesn’t seem very enforceable"
Having laws which are in fact enforceable without going to the extraordinary measures that some authoritarian countries need to do, is certainly a good idea, and I think Elections Canada is eventually going to have to come to terms with this new reality and peoples new expectation. They will have to change their laws. That these laws have existed for 70 years is irrelevant in the face of new technology.
The other thing which occurred to me as I read this article, is that perhaps these are the obvious people whom the federal government should have been consulting when drafting the new copyright legislation as well.
With regard to trying to keep existing laws effective in the face of new technology I wonder which government department will be the first to realize that the horse they are beating is in fact well and truly dead. Elections Canada, or Industry/Heritage Canada. Given this mainstream article, my money is on Elections Canada.