CIPPIC has submitted feedback to the Department of Canadian Heritage concerning the proposed legislation to address “harmful content” online. The public consultation was launched right before the federal election was called with a deadline to submit right after the end of the election, causing civil society and academic experts to request a delay  to the submission deadline. No deferral was ultimately granted.

In its submission, CIPPIC calls on the Department of Canadian Heritage to reconsider its approach to addressing activity that occurs online, given that the current approach jeopardizes claims that Canada is a global leader of human rights. The submission focuses on problems relating to the law’s scope of application, its demand that platforms block unlawful content within 24 hours of being flagged, as well as alarming requirements for online service providers to proactively monitor and filter content as well as report information on users to law enforcement.

The submission advocates for the Canadian government to overhaul its approach from the ground up. A more holistic approach that acknowledges how business models premised on surveillance capitalism contribute to online harms would be a good first step.

CIPPIC’s submission was principally drafted by articling candidate Yuan Stevens with input and assistance from Vivek Krishnamurthy, CIPPIC’s director. The submission can be downloaded by clicking here.