The Internet

Bell moves to limit internet downloads of competitor ISPs

An article by Peter Nowak for CBC News documents Bell's latest anti-competitive tactics: applying bandwidth caps on the customers of competing ISP customers.

Privacy Commissioner should investigate ISP web surveillance: CIPPIC

The following press release is from CIPPIC. For people wanting to learn more about these harmful activities, they may wish to listen to recent Security Now podcasts: 149: ISP Privacy, 151: Frakking Phorm, 153: Bad Phorm.

OTTAWA – The Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC), based at the University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law, has asked the Office of the Privacy Commissioner to open an investigation into the internet service provider (ISP) industry’s controversial new practice of profiling users online to target them with advertising.

CIPPIC opens Bell/Rogers internet throttling investigation

Multiple sources (Save Out Net, Howard Knopf) have indicated that CIPPIC is interested in hearing from individuals who have been subject to 'throttling' of their high speed internet connection. If you are currently subscribed, or once were a subscriber of either Bell or Rogers' high speed services and would like to express your concerns, please contact Robert Hester at CIPPIC.

Copyright enforcers should learn lessons from the war on spam

Cory Doctorow's latest article for The Guardian documents why many of the technological fixes being attempted to reduce copyright infringement won't work, and have harmful unintended consequences.

Not mentioned is the elephant in the room of "Digital Rights Management" which locks down people's devices in an attempt to stop copyright infringement, and as an "unintended" consequence makes it harder/impossible for independent creators to create and distribute their works without the "permission" of a competing intermediary.

Rogers - We Won't Just Hand Customer Information Over to CRIA

An article on ZeroPaid by Drew Wilson is a followup on a story about how the Bloc wanted ISPs to be more liable for infringement by their customers. A spokesperson from Rogers Communications Inc., one of Canada's largest ISPs, spoke to them on the issue of ISP liability.

The Bloc targets ISPs, but what are ISPs?

A constituent received a letter from Bloc leader Gilles Duceppe on Bill C-61 that looks quite similar to what we saw from Bloc MP Thierry St-Cyr. The message: we somehow have to fulfill some obligation to ratify the WIPO treaties that the Liberal federal government signed, and the Bloc is worried that ISPs aren't being held more responsible for infringement.

Now here is my personal problem. Bill C-61 is an omnibus bill, with the majority of the bill being about "technological measures". A colleague did a work count of the English text and found that this component of the bill takes up over a third. If we were able to talk about ISP liability as an independent topic, I would have a more nuanced position that lies somewhere between no liability and the Bloc position of scapegoating communications providers.

New media broadcasting online consultation: What is new media broadcasting?

The following is my first submission to the New Media Broadcasting online consultation. I spent a few hours on the site this afternoon and made other contributions, but this was my main one.

What is new media broadcasting?

In order to discuss new media broadcasting, we need to first discuss what is actually new about this media. I believe there are a few key changes: ownership/control of tools, design criteria of communications networks, and new methods of production/distribution/funding.

Read the rest of this entry on IT World Canada »

Facebook vs the public record

The latest rumours are that the highly anticipated Copyright Bill, possibly a Canadian DMCA, will be tabled on Wednesday (tomorrow). Given the importance of this bill to defining what roll (if any) that Canada will play in the future knowledge economy (Hint: not the Industrial economy with a new product called "Intellectual Property"), there will be quite a bit of important public discussion about the bill.

One of the tools many people are using is Facebook (See: Fair Copyright for Canada). This is not ideal, however, as the Facebook groups are really only useful for those people who already know that they are interested, and not very useful for longer-term analysis.

Fake Facebook login phishing passwords

Yesterday, one of my facebook friends sent an email to all his friends with the subject of "Funniest video EVER - A monkey smoking a cigarette!". In the message was a link to a .info site. When I clicked there I was sent to a page that looked like I hadn't logged into facebook yet, asking me to login. Being the "trusting" person I am I looked at the URL and noticed it said and not This was clearly a site trying to confuse me into typing my real facebook username and password into the forms so that they could then log in as me and do nasty things.

Press release: Independent Internet Providers Take Bell to Task

An April 4 press release from CAIP includes:

April 4, 2008 - Ottawa, ON - On April 3 the Canadian Association of Internet Providers (CAIP) asked the CRTC to direct Bell Canada to cease and desist with the "traffic shaping" activity that has been causing Canadian Internet users to experience slow speeds and degraded service.

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