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24 August 2006



I think in todays environment, and having learned our lessons from Katrina, every citizen should take responsibility of his own life. We can't just wait for someone to rescue us. We must be proactive and be prepared. Check out http://www.technonllc.com/pd1

Jim Benson

So, a breathon mask is going to protect me from hate web sites?

Thank you, Joe, for the blog spam.


Anyone else sense a heated debate unfolding between net-neutrality or hate?

I wrote a bit on my corporate blog regarding the matter:


Mark Goldberg

Thanks for the thoughts on this case. A few points:

We're talking about a clear violation of the criminal code in this particular file - a call to murder coupled with his address. Crytal clear facts for the CRTC to adjudicate.

We do not want ISPs to have the discretion or the role of determining what content should be blocked. That is why S.36 of the Telecom Act is there. The CRTC makes these kinds of determinations for other media - it is competent and it has that responsibility according to our Parliament. There are judicial processes for appeal.

Finally, as to whether there should be a 'hate filter' as part of your PC system tools: Our criminal code, like it or not, applies to the distribution of hate, not the reception of hate. The right place to filter is at the distribution point. But to be clear - this case is more about the call to murder - something that is illegal in most democracies.

It does nothing to protect the target if he has a 'hate filter' on his PC.

Jim Benson

Right, but stopping a point source of hate requires immediate action. Will the CRTC be able to act immediately? And what if these guys move from place to place?

What if they open a new blog every 5 minutes on different sources and constantly rebroadcast their new location through RSS or a p2p system?

It's not that I think we should reward hate speech, it's that I think doing it through either entities like Telus or the CRTC will make no fundamental differece to the providers of hate sites.


This is not as straight forward as people believe just from a technical standpoint. Telus had the chance to try this when they mistakenly tried to block a pro-TWU site during the strike last year. The justification was that pictures of staff were being posted along with threats.

In the process they blocked every virtual site hosted behind the same IP address. It's not hard to run a few hundred sites behind one IP, but these sites run a risk of being impacted by filtering at this level.

Filtering content above the IP level requires infrastructure that may not be in place. If this were to be federally mandated by the CRTC, there are significant costs involved to install and operate these filters. Costs that are not directly recovered because no one's *paying* to have this done.

Now ask yourself if this is money well spent. The filters will miss content. The filters will inappropriately block legitimate content. The mere presence of these filters invites abuse or re-use for services the big ISPs think people *will* pay for.

Or perhaps I should say that *businesses* will pay for. These things will have to sit on the big pipes to be effective. No individual will be able to afford whatever features they'll offer.

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