Mark Goldberg is petitioning to allow Telus and other ISPs to block illegal hate content.
His first example is very extreme. Involving direct threats of murder and terrorism. A clear and obvious case.
Over the years, I have fought for the passage of various hate crimes laws in the US. I have been mildly, but measurably, victimized by hate groups in the past and know others who have spent time in the hospital after run-ins with such groups.
But telling an ISP to "block hate" might be starting down a slippery slope.
Mark Evans says:
I agree with Jon (Arnold) that ISPs (carriers, cablecos and re-sellers) and governments have a responsibility to block content that is clearly illegal.
Blocking hate is like blocking spam or winning a war against terrorism. Distributed systems are extremely difficult to fully stop and in doing so, you inevitably give up freedoms. In this case, you'd give up the freedom to go to non-hate sites that were mistakenly blocked. Similar to good emails that end up in your spambox or honest citizens detained in jail.
I have no problem with adding a hate filter to your Virus Scanner. Make it a service. But Telus or other ISPs are in for future legal battles when the loose concept of "Hate" is suddenly transferred to them to define. Plus, in this case, the Canadians require the ISP to approach the government and ask permission. The Canadian government is not known for its dexterity any more than the US Government is. So blocking hate will always lag way, way behind the hate itself.
In addition, there are many ways to thwart that ISP-based filtering.
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