The Electronic Commerce Protection Act (Bill C-27) is the Canadian anti-spam bill that comes out of committee on Wednesday October 21st. The opposition Liberals have proposed amendments which appear to have been drafted by copyright and telecom lobbyists. They would allow for surreptitious installation of computer programs and – even more outrageously – would allow copyright owners to secretly access information on users’ computers.
Canadian supporters of net freedom and privacy rights are being urged to contact Parliamentarians to protest the twisting of the purpose of this bill from defending Canadians against spam into a Trojan horse to invade your privacy and your control over your own computer.
Boing Boing – one of the most popular websites on the net – has published an urgent appeal from Michael Geist, your unwavering and loyal advocate when it comes to your rights as a Canadian internet, technology and copyright user.
Michael Geist’s blog:
The Copyright Lobby’s Secret Pressure on the Anti-Spam Bill
UPDATE Oct. 27 2009
From Michael Geist Oct. 26 2009
Government Commits to Withdrawing Lobby Spyware Changes
Bill C-27, the anti-spam bill, is nearly through the Industry Committee with a limited number of changes. The Liberals have already stated that they would not be bringing forward the amendments promoted by the copyright lobby that would have permitted unauthorized access to personal computers in some situations. The same issue arose during Question Period in the House of Commons on Thursday. When asked about it by NDP MP Brian Masse, Industry Minister Tony Clement confirmed that the Conservatives would not bring forward a similar motion.
At Wednesday’s hearing, there were a couple of changes instigated by Bloc. First, a specific exception for political parties was inserted into the bill. This is arguably unnecessary since the bill only covers commercial activity. Second, the Bloc succeeded in extending the period of a business relationship from 18 months to two years. The clause-by-clause review should conclude on Monday.