Justice of the Peace Brett Kelly ruled in Welland, Ont. (Central West Region) on Wednesday June 6 that the provincial law requiring large trucks be limited to 105 kilometres an hour is unconstitutional. This is expected to be appealed, and this process will be very informative to those of us concerned about government revoking owner control over other technology such as computers.
As when comparing computer control to gun control, we have to recognize that there are some legitimate physical safety concerns with guns and transportation technology that don't apply to communications technology. All the arguments we will hear alleging that revoking control of these multi-purpose technologies from their owners, rather than only having abuses be illegal, simply don't apply to computer control.
There is also less confusion with gun and truck controls, given those who propose the laws at least realize they are talking about controls on guns and trucks. Watching the C-11 committee hearings I saw little evidence that they recognized they were discussing computer control, and somehow thought that it was copyrighted works that were able to "come alive" (like in Harry Potter and Merlin, as I discussed in my slides earlier this week) and make decisions. Getting politicians to get past the science fiction to understanding the science will be half the battle, with comparative analysis between the actual harm of revoking computer control from owners from the theoretical benefits being the other half.
We have a long road ahead of us, but is it useful to look at legal debates outside of the computer control debate to see how they will proceed.
Note: I don't see the case on CanLII yet, and will want to research the exact 2009 law that is being put in question. It may be politically interesting to see how MPP's voted on that law, and how controversial this law was at the time. I note federally that it was the Bloc and Conservatives that were strong proponents of computer control, with the Liberals, NDP and Green being opposed to varying degrees.