Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Blocking Is the Next Big Canadian Internet Policy Battle

Speaking of Michael Geist and the stack of internet companies, here’s a great piece from Geist about overzealous proposed demands by the CRTC to require ISPs block botnets:

Yet the reality is that Canada’s telecom providers have been working on these issues for decades without the need for a regulator to mandate a blocking system. Further, any blocking system creates collateral damage including over-blocking of legitimate websites and increased costs for consumers. While there is room to increase information sharing and update codes of conduct, a CRTC-based blocking mandate will open the door to a steadily expansive approach to Internet blocking. In fact, the consultation has already attracted a submission from Allarco Entertainment that wants an expansive definition of botnets to include streaming devices so that blocking would extend to copyright with mandated blocking against unauthorized streams (in other words, Fairplay through the botnet back door).

If we are to have some sort of nationwide shared blocking initiative amongst ISPs — and it concerns me that this could be a reality — the bar must be extraordinarily high for something to be blocked, and it must fit into a narrow category of acceptable targets. But this seems like a poor idea on its face.