A Quick Comparison of All Party Platforms on Digital Rights

With all of our analysis complete, we thought it would be a good idea to offer a quick rundown of all the platforms for convenience.

As the Canadian election winds down, some Canadian’s are still wondering who to vote for. For Canadians who care about digital rights, it can be difficult to push through all the other issues to get to that substance they care about. So, we’ve been doing out part to help you find out where parties stand on various issues. We’ve produced an in-depth analysis of the Green Party, People’s Party of Canada, Bloc, NDP, Liberal, and Conservative parties.

Some platforms wound up being more than 100 pages long, so distilling it down to a few thousand words each wound up being quite an accomplishment. Of course, we are now less than a week away from election day. So, the problem at this point could be that the analysis are long and too in-depth. Wouldn’t it be nice to distill these issues into simple points on where parties stand so one can quickly form a decision? We here at Freezenet have got your back on that too.

The parties below are listed in order of best platform to worst platform. The points are separated between good, mixed, and bad. We should warn you that not every issue ended up being covered in the platforms and that these points are generated solely on the platform, not on subsequent announcements or debate points being made. So, without further ado, here is the brief notes version of the party platforms:

Green Party

(Full platform analysis)

The Good:

  • Reform anti-trust laws to break up large media conglomerates (Page 44)
  • Increase funding for CBC and Radio Canada (Page 44)
  • Crack down on political interference in board appointments at the CBC (Page 44)
  • Strike a committee to examine security issues (Page 46)
  • Defend network neutrality (Page 46)
  • Enact Right to Repair legislation (Page 47)
  • Amend CRTC regulations to increase Internet and cell phone competition (Page 47)
  • Fight money laundering and fraud in the cryptocurrency spheres (Page 47)
  • Increase lobbying transparency (Page 74)
  • Require warrants before spy agencies to eavesdrop on Canadians (Page 75)
  • Increase the powers of the privacy commissioners to enforce privacy laws (Page 75)
  • Modernize privacy laws to include “Internet of Things” (Page 75)
  • Create mandatory breach notification of personal information for the government (Page 75)
  • Prohibit bulk surveillance (Page 75)
  • require warrants before ISPs release customer information (except in emergency situations) (Page 75)
  • Require political parties to follow privacy laws without exception (Page 75)

The mixed:

  • Increasing taxes on tech giants (page 44)
  • Enact “Right to be Forgotten” legislation (Page 75)

The bad:

  • End anonymous speech (Page 75)

Far more positive points than negative points. Ultimately shows they are slightly ahead of the NDP to come out on top on these issues.

NDP

(Full platform analysis)

The good:

  • Put a cap on Internet and Cell Phone bills to be more in line with other developed nations (Page 22 and multiple other locations)
  • Increase transparency for trade negotiations (Page 32)
  • Invest in the technology sector (Page 38)
  • Increase Internet connectivity across Canada (Page 78)
  • Invest in the arts and culture (Page 85)
  • Implement income tax averaging for artists (Page 86)
  • Have dedicated anti-hate crime units to combat online hate speech (Page 90)
  • Increase the powers of the privacy commissioner to enforce privacy laws (Page 102)

The mixed:

  • Implement cancon requirements for web giants (Page 85)
  • Enhance real-time surveillance to counter foreign interference and espionage while protecting the privacy of Canadians (Page 90)
  • Hold platforms liable for hate speech (Page 96)
  • Combat online fake news (Page 102)

The bad:

  • Nothing explicitly bad that we could find

Liberal Party

(Full platform analysis)

The good:

  • Lower cell phone and Internet bills (Page 10)
  • Universal high speed Interent by 2030 (Page 22)
  • Increase privacy regulations for large tech companies (Page 40)
  • Increase data portability (???) (Page 40)
  • Increase knowledge of how your personal information is being used (Page 40)
  • Increase data security requirements (Page 40)
  • Implement breach notification laws (Page 40)
  • Open up the CBC platform for journalism startups and local newspapers (Page 49)
  • Introduce a “cultural diplomacy” mandate (whatever that ultimately means) (Page 49)
  • Ban the weaponization of autonomous vehicles (Page 72)

The mixed:

  • Combat online hate, bias, and harassment (no specifics) (Page 40)
  • Require online platforms to remove hate speech, terrorism, and child exploitation material within 24 hours (Page 47-48)
  • Cancon requirements for major tech giants (Page 49)
  • Create a consumer advocate to handle consumer complaints (apparently, to handle pretty much everything) (Page 53)
  • Increase taxes on Internet giants (Page 79)

The bad:

  • Nothing explicitly bad, though there are arguments to be made for moving some of the “mixed” points here as well depending on who you ask.

People’s Party of Canada

(Full platform analysis)

The good:

  • Supports free speech (Under free speech and discrimination)

The mixed:

  • Nothing inherently mixed.

The bad:

  • Roll back discrimination laws (Under free speech and discrimination)

The Bloc

(Full platform analysis)

The good:

  • Nothing

The mixed:

  • Nothing

The bad:

  • Nothing

(We were practically given the day off when we analyzed that parties platform. There’s literally nothing we could find in there that was relevant).

The Conservatives

(Full platform analysis)

The good:

  • Enhance Internet connectivity (Page 70)
  • Invest in Internet backbone infrastructure (Page 70)
  • Require consent before companies collect personal information (isn’t that already the law?) (Page 76)

The mixed:

  • Look into intellectual property laws (could mean anything (Page 21)
  • Push for intellectual property laws in trade agreements (Page 24)
  • Dedicate money for advertising (Page 70)
  • Enact cyberbullying laws so that international perpetrators would run afoul of Canadian laws (enforceable?) (Page 76)
  • An education campaign for increased awareness of privacy rights (usefulness at this stage?) (Page 76)
  • Establish cyber-security laws by working with “partners” to protect Canadian’s privacy (really vague. Could mean anything) (Page 77)
  • Establish Cabinet committee to secure personal information of Canadians (already happens in practice) (Page 77)
  • Increase intelligence sharing with other countries (Could mean anything) (Page 82)
  • implementing a 3% tax on Internet giants (Page 101)

The bad:

  • Speed up the implementation of CETA and CPTPP (Page 86)
  • By extension, speeding up CETA implementation means:
    • Implementing the controversial WIPO Internet treaties
    • Legally allowing DRM to override all Fair Dealing provisions
    • Potentially implementing the failed three strikes law for file-sharing
    • Potentially implementing mass Internet censorship
    • Roll back fines to re-implement statutory damages for non-commercial infringement (Something Conservatives actually passed ironically enough)
    • Implementing laws that would compel border agents to seize your cell phone at the border for the purpose of enforcing copyright laws
  • By extension, speeding up CPTPP implementation means:
    • Implementing the controversial WIPO Internet treaties
    • Unmasking domain name holders to expose them to spammers and fraudsters
    • Increase the length of copyright terms
    • Criminal penalties for circumventing a DRM

That’s it. We hope we got every point in there on this front. It is a lot of information to distill down into these lists (with references of course). We hope you find these lists useful when deciding who to vote for. If we missed any critical points, feel free to let us know in the comments below.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Facebook.



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