Election Debate Questions for the Technically Inclined

Many Canadians realize their country is at a critical point in its political history. Between gas taxes, the political bickering and everything else going on, one would tend to think that the Internet debate has been shelved in a dusty corner as so many other issues have grabbed the spotlight.

Note: This is an article I wrote that was published elsewhere first. It has been republished here for archival purposes

This is where the CIPPIC hopes to fill the political debate gap.

In late November the government in power was toppled, effectively killing the controversial and obscure Bill C-60 and Bill C-74 in the process. This came as a huge relief for many civil rights activists and technologically inclined individuals. For the CRIA, it meant a large setback as they saw their bills go down in flames. Unfortunately, it is a hollow victory as there is little doubt that these bills will be tabled once again when the 39th session of government commences in spring of 2006.

At this point in time, no one knows where this will go as this next Parliament seems to be a toss up for the major political players. One thing is for sure, there is a lot on the line. In fact, rumors are circulating that even the party leaders jobs are at stake this time around. So this year, especially after Boxing Day, it will be a bare fistfight between the parties, desperate to get Canada’s vote.

In fact, they are more desperate then ever and willing to go at any length to get it. The CIPPIC (Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic) have started to send out questions to each of the candidates as of the 6th of this month

On the CIPPIC homepage, it says, “In the run-up to the Jan.23rd 2006 federal election, CIPPIC has asked each federal party a number of questions on pressing and controversial legal and policy issues involving the internet. We will post party responses as they are received.” With parties itching for Canadian votes, it seems likely that they will be willing to answer the questions, but only time will tell at this point.

The questions range from issues surrounding TPM’s (Technical Protection Measures – much like DRM), copyright law, spyware, lawful access, spam, privacy, telecom policy and identity theft. At this point in time, the CIPPIC have yet to receive a response. Each party is probably already busy in their little respective war rooms trying to strategize ways of winning this next drawn out campaign. For now, one can only sit and wait for the party’s response.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Google+.

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