Freezenet’s Official Podcast: June 2022: This is Not What Democracy Sounds Like

In the 44th episode of the Freezenet official podcast, “This is Not What Democracy Sounds Like”, we take a look at the news and reviews we covered in June 2022.

Welcome to the public version of the Freezenet official podcast for June, 2022. This month’s episode is entitled “This is Not What Democracy Sounds Like” thanks to the story about the secret lawmaking process where amendments to Bill C-11 in Committee were kept secret from the public.

While we cover the Bill C-11 more extensively, we also cover the story of Texas’ efforts to ban social media moderation as well as Canada’s Innovation Minister finally got off of his lazy butt and tabled privacy reform.

We also cover all the usual music and video game reviews as well as the story about how someone was dumb enough to perform burnouts in front of a police station. All this and more on this month’s podcast.

On a side note, I figured out how to incorporate other clips into a single podcast. So, this episode also showcases this newfound skill (it was done in Audacity, so no, it wasn’t perfectly straight forward to pull this off, but it is doable after some figuring out).

You can check out our official podcast on Soundcloud or Anchor. Alternatively, you can take a listen below:

What follows is a transcript of this month’s episode:


This is Not What Democracy Sounds Like

Hi, I’m your host, Drew Wilson.  Welcome to episode 44 of the Freezenet official podcast for June, 2022.  Here are your top 3 headlines:

The Top 3

Debate shuttered as Bill C-11 get’s rammed through government, but senate study could delay it past the summer

Texas moderation ban won’t be heard at the US Supreme Court for now

… and after significant further delay, Canada’s privacy reform is finally tabled, though it fell flat for critics due to lack of substantial adjustments

Top Stories

The usual chaos is continuing into this month and the top story is probably not a surprise.  Bill C-11 is once again the big story for this month and boy did a lot happen this month.

Things kicked off this month with Open Media making their statements at the Heritage Standing committee.  In a video posted to YouTube, Open Media explained the massive new reach the CRTC would have on the speech of every day users should Bill C-11 pass.  Here’s Matt Hatfield from Open Media:

(Clip of Open Media Testimony)

Shortly after, something happened that I never thought would ever happen: digital rights advocates and Music Canada being on the same page about a digital rights issue.  For well over a decade, both voices have always been seemingly at odds about government policy.  Whether it is copyright reform, copyright term extension, so-called three strikes law, site blocking, DRM, and many other topics, it always seemed like both sides were always at odds.  This month, Bill C-11 did something I don’t recall ever seeing happen before: Music Canada agreeing with digital rights advocates.  It was so novel, I basically described the moment as ‘hell freezing over’.

Music Canada testified that they are concerned that Bill C-11 does regulate user generated content.  You might ask, why should an organization like that be concerned?  Well, many artists on major record labels do, these days, have their music posted to large platforms like YouTube.  Sometimes, it’s a music video.  Other times, it’s what’s known as lyric video’s.  Regardless, platforms are used to promote these artists.  So, the major record labels do have motivation to make sure their advertising and reach to new audiences remains unimpeded.

Bill C-11’s broadcasting requirements threatens to upend that.  It is unlikely that when a lyric video is posted, it has all the CRTC points system for audiovisual works in mind.  If a whole pile of video’s are about to be demoted, that means less views.  Fewer views means less ad revenue.  Simply put, the organization is realizing they are about to see their whole industry become collateral damage in all of this.  You bet they are going to be motivated to speak out about this.  Here’s Music Canada:

(Music Canada testimony)

CRTC Chair, Ian Scott, also testified in front of committee.  In it, he, once again, re-iterated that user generated content is, in fact, captured in the bill.  He even seemed annoyed that this is still being asked in the first place.  Here’s Scott’s comment:

(Ian Scott Testimony)

Well, despite the growing consensus that Bill C-11 does regulate user generated content, Heritage Minister, Pablo Rodriguez continued to insist that user generated content is not touched in the bill.  When he was asked by a Conservative MP about this growing PR disaster, Rodriguez tried to paint these comments as some sort of Conservative made up story.  Here’s the Conservative MP’s question followed up by Rodriguez’s answer in question period:

(Question Period Exchange)

Still striking to hear that insistence from the Minister.

This hasn’t stopped digital first content creators from appearing to plead their case.  J.J. McCullough appeared before committee to explain that Bill C-11 should exclude user generated content:

(JJ testimony)

Independent record label, Nettwerk, also joined in with a written statement.  Part of their statement reads as follows:

“The potential unintended negative consequences of Bill C11 are numerous.  We believe that the federal government should engage with our industry on a more meaningful basis to better understand the potential negative ramifications of this legislation before it is presented to Parliament and voted on in its final form.

We state unequivocally that, as drafted, Bill C11 represents legislation that is harmful to the Canadian music industry and that it will not achieve its stated or intended aims.  It will hurt Canadian artists and Canadian music companies, not help them.”

With the whole debate going sideways for the government, the media was seemingly desperate to try and turn the tide on the situation.  Some media outlets began trying to rewrite history and say that opposition to Bill C-11 is little more than “Big Tech” secretly manipulating the debate in an effort to avoid regulation.  In an article posted on BetaKit, one self-described journalist thought they found the smoking gun to support this conspiracy theory.  A TikTok slideshow was obtained and described as misleading.  The slideshow slide shared stated the following:

“Where do Creators Fit In?

Who We Are

– By far Canadians largest cultural export
– The majority of Canadian success stories in media
– Most diverse and representative cohort in Canada
– Self made
– Revenue/Tax generators
– Unregulated

How They See Us

– “Cat videos”
– Not “Canadian”
– Not Professionals
– Not Culturally Viable
– Unapproved users of copyright
– Stealing the attention from “real” artists”

So, the question then becomes, “where is the misleading part?”  It appears that, part way through the article, even the “journalist” wasn’t sure either and abandoned the idea altogether.  This in favour of trying to paint Digital First Canada as some shady organization that gets all of its funding and support from large platforms like TikTok.  Of course, this glosses over the fact that Digital First Canada is far from the only opposition to Bill C-11.  What’s more is that the article doesn’t really find anything untoward with Digital First Canada.  In all, the hit piece was a pretty significant flop in the end.

Big Bill C-11 supporter, Bell Media, issued statements saying what they like to see in Bill C-11.  They tried to keep up appearances by claiming that Bill C-11 is all about ‘telling Canadian stories’.  However, that argument began to fall apart.  Part way through their comments, they said, “However, as it stands Bill C-11 does not specifically require foreign content providers to work in partnership with Canadian broadcasters. This needs to change.”

After some chunks of word salad, Bell then stated this: “Bill C-11 is a step in the right direction. But unless the legislation specifically endorses access by Canadian broadcasters to U.S. content and provides incentives for foreign content owners to work as partners, it will fail to accomplish its desired outcome.”

So, in summary, apparently, Bell says that in order to tell Canadian stories, they need to be able to more cheaply rebroadcast American programming.  I guess basic logic is optional when it comes to supporting Bill C-11.  Why not considering every other attempt has been a complete disaster.  Bell, people are watching.

After that, we reported on YouTuber, J.J. McCullough’s reaction to what it was like to be part of the hearing.  He more or less described the process as “disillusioning“:

(JJ Reflection)

Indeed, a number of people do operate on a number of theoretical ideas.  Those ideas suggest how government is the height of intelligence and decision making.  Of course, having worked as a journalist since 2005, I can definitely confirm that, not only is that not the case in this country, but it hasn’t been the case for a very long time – if at all.

I’ve personally become accustomed to the government not knowing how this whole “Internet” thing works.  It’s more of a case of how the government is just listening to lobbyists to determine how they should regulate the Internet and related technology accordingly.  With successive copyright reforms, it often took a massive groundswell of grassroots opposition to pull Canada from the brink – or, at the very least, run the clock out so bad copyright and wiretapping bills die on the order paper.

Ultimately, Bill C-11 showed that the committee process is really just a system where the government goes through the motions to push through laws they want, good or bad.  Anyone who goes off script and starts asking questions is greeted with visceral hostility.  This was definitely reflected when Liberal MP, Anthony Housefather, attacked JJ by trying to suggest that he just hates French people and should be discredited.  While JJ did point out the irrelevance to the topic at hand, the moderator didn’t really seem to care about the inappropriate nature of the attack.  JJ did well to defend himself under the circumstances, but at the end of the day, everyone is realizing what a farce of a process it all was in the first place.

Shortly after, the debate really went off the rails when the government tabled a motion to brush aside an investigation into sexual assault.  The story was kept off broadcast airwaves during this additional scandal, but it was a major controversial issue bubbling beneath the surface.  One of the issues with that other story is a question over whether or not Hockey Canada used public money to pay to settle a lawsuit.  That lawsuit accused hockey players of gang raping a woman.  It really isn’t a debate which is more important because, of course, investigating the issues surrounding sexual assault should take priority over legislation seeking to censor the Internet.  Of course, for the Liberal government, it seems that basic morality isn’t necessarily an obstacle to ramming through Internet censorship.  So they pushed to set that investigation aside in an effort to push through Bill C-11.  It’s worth noting that when it became clear that Bill C-11 was going to get delayed up to the end of Summer, the major broadcasters punted and covered the sexual assault story after.

If you think that was shocking, the reaction by the Liberals wound up being even more stunning.  University law professor, Michael Geist, commented, “Government called out in Question Period for failing to prioritize study on Hockey Canada abuse scandal. @PascaleStOnge_ responds that will investigate but that using the issue to block Bill C-11 is unacceptable. Even hinting an equivalence is stunning.”

Rage tweeting Liberal MP, Chris Bittle, responded to this comment by saying that sexual assault is little more than Conservative filibuster: “I guess Michael supports the CPC use of sexual assault to filibuster legislation. Disgusting.”

The comments were so shocking, I had to personally respond.  There was no way I was going to stand by and let anyone, let alone an MP, trivialize and politicize sexual assault like this.  It would speak to my character if I did not respond to this outrageous thinking.  So, I responded with this:

“If you think that it is perfectly acceptable to prioritize censoring the Internet over investigating allegations of sexual assault, then you and your government have become completely morally bankrupt. You should be ashamed of yourself.”

No doubt realizing just how knee deep he was in all of this, not to mention how accountability was on the verge of raining down on him, Bittle took the cowardly step of blocking me on Twitter.  The actions ultimately spoke volumes about his character more than anything else.  Simply put, the guy is a vile disgrace.  There’s just no defending his reprehensible actions here.  I simply stood up for the victims of sexual assault and if that is worthy of being blocked, then be my guest and block me.  I will continue to stick up for basic human morality and will never change that.

Meanwhile, the media was attempting to find any way to salvage what they could with the conspiracy theory story about TikTok.  They were still pushing the messaging that TikTok is somehow sitting in the shadows and manipulating the debate.  The reality, however, is that TikTok is actually very open about their opposition to Bill C-11.  In a written statement, they said, among other things,

“Section 4.2, which creates the much debated “exception to the exception,” must either be removed or further narrowed in order to ensure digital creators are not captured by the Act. Many other groups and witnesses have already addressed this provision, and have raised concerning potential interpretations. Of particular concern to TikTok is that it does not differentiate between full-length and short clips of music and videos, or even amateur cover performances.”

“While on its face this may sound like a reasonable objective, when you consider what might qualify as either “Canadian” or “content,” and how such certification could be achieved, it raises concerns as to whether this would give an unfair advantage to well resourced and established media voices—and come at the expense of emerging digital creators, especially young people and those from equity-deserving groups.”

So, no Canadian media.  TikTok is, in fact, open about their opposition to Bill C-11.  It’s not some big secret conspiracy that is being perpetrated here.  It’s simply a reaction to a bad bill that will inconvenience the big players and completely screw over smaller content creators.  It’s not a secret as to why content creators are so vocal because their whole livelihoods are at stake here.  Threaten people’s ability to put food on the table and you are going to encounter resistance sooner or later.  It’s not a secret, it’s stating the obvious.

While the situation started looking completely hopeless, there was some signs of hope starting to emerge from all of this.  While there is no question that the legislation was going to emerge largely unchanged from the committee process, the Senate was proving to be a different story.  The Canadian Senate has expressed interest in conducting a thorough study of the legislation, something that failed to materialize in any serious form at the House of Commons stages.  Time was running out before the Summer break and the legislative process at the Canadian senate was only beginning.  Government officials started doubting that this bill was going to pass before the Summer break.

Even though the committee was assuredly going to pass Bill C-11 no matter what, they still engaged in a secret lawmaking process.  One by one, amendments were voted on by number and not questioned or debated.  In all, over 150 amendments were voted on in this manner.  In fact, here is some audio of the process:

(vote sounds)

For those who are not familiar, no, that is not normal.  Many critics have called this an affront to basic democratic norms.  The public is not granted access to what was voted on, let alone the reasons why these amendments were voted for or against.  All the public got was a number and vote results, effectively hiding the entire process from the public eye.  The sight was simply shocking to experts and long time observers.

While much of what was voted on was shrouded in secrecy, we did get one leak from it all.  This involves the Green Party.  A Green Party MP tabled an amendment to remove user generated content from the legislation.  Such an amendment would actually solve the single biggest problem the bill has.  Unfortunately, the Liberals, Bloc, and NDP all voted against it.  Much like what happened with Bill C-10, regulating user generated was no accident or oversight.  In fact, regulating user generated content is the intended outcome of this bill.  If it was not, then it would have been trivial to remove it when the opportunity presented itself.  However, those three parties voted this amendment down specifically, suggesting regulating user generated content is the intent of this bill.

It’s worth pointing out that the Green Party initially seemed supportive of this legislation.  So, the fact that this was proposed suggests that the Green Party is at least realizing that this bill does have some serious flaws in the first place.  At the very least, this is a welcome sight to see.

A while later, the secret law was finally made public.  As a result, we can confirm that it has emerged from the secret lawmaking process largely unchanged.  It still regulates user generated content, it still forces outcomes of algorithms, and it still has all the other problems from before.

After all of that, it seems that Liberals still think that the misleading statement that Bill C-11 doesn’t regulate users would still be a viable defence of the legislation.  This despite the piles of evidence showing that Bill C-11 still regulates user generated content.  What you are about to hear in this next clip is misleading.  I want you to note the subtle shift part way through between saying that user generated content is out of the bill to the users themselves being out of the bill.  It’s a very important distinction that the MP tries to blur.  Here’s Tim Louis:

(Tim in House of Commons)

This is the silver tongued misleading statements we’ve been talking about for months.  User’s content is being regulated, not the user’s themselves.  This effort to try and fool Canadian’s is very deliberate as you just heard.  This is far from the only instance of these misleading statements.  Still, it is a nice example of how the Liberals are trying to trick Canadian’s into thinking that Bill C-11 doesn’t regulate user generated content when, in fact, the legislation does.

Of course, none of this misdirection is really solving the problem of time ticking down before the Summer break.  Shortly after that, we noted that a Summer delay is all but certain at this stage.  No doubt such news is a huge relief to Canadian’s – both users and creators alike.  It means that it won’t be until, at least, September that they need to worry about this legislation ruining the lives of creators and destroying the free choice of consumers.

Of course, as I noted in my article, this is well and truly a case of the battle being won, but the war being all but lost.  Once the Summer break is over, there really is nothing stopping this bill from being passed.  The Liberals have now twice been embarrassed that their actions caused delay to this legislation.  They are wanting to exact their revenge on the Internet by ramming it through as soon as possible once the break is over.  The Liberals would have gotten away with passing it before the Summer too if it weren’t for those meddling Internet kids.

So, now that things might finally start to relax on this front, we decided to go back and describe some of what we thought about the bill.  In short, we feel that Bill C-11 is an unconstitutional censorship bill.  Many might attribute censorship as simply the removal of speech.  However, the courts have recognized that this is not the only way the Canadian government could theoretically violate freedom of expression.  Another way is through suppression of speech.

Bill C-11 does not block you from uploading content.  If the bill was made law tomorrow, you won’t be stopped from uploading content as there is no provision in the bill, as far as we know, to stop you from posting on platforms.  Another thing we heard is that Bill C-11 will silence you based on what topics you happen to cover.  To our knowledge, that is nowhere to be found in the bill as well.

So, why is this still a censorship bill?  Simply put, the legislation orders platforms to prioritize some content over others.  This includes prioritizing Canadian content over other content produced by Canadian’s who do not meet the test of “Canadianness”.

What is the net result of this?  The Canadian’s whose content is not promoted will then get downranked in the recommendations.  As a result, the Canadian government compelled the platform to suppress that speech.  The courts know that the government cannot ghettoize certain forms of speech, yet that is precisely the net result here.  Those Canadian’s content will unlikely see as many eyeballs as a result of these changes.  The government is mandating these platforms to change their algorithms to the governments satisfaction.

Because of this, Bill C-11, in our view, is a censorship bill that is a blatant violation of freedom of expression.

Now, we did note that it is technically possible to avoid this question about whether or not Bill C-11 is constitutional.  That involves the implementation process which the government opted to keep secret.  Upon implementation, the government has to keep all content produced by all those protected by the Canadian Charter in the list of content that must be promoted.  If every Canadian’s content is promoted, then the constitutional question becomes moot.  Of course, every sign points to the fact that this is definitely not the intent of the bill.  As a result, because at least one Canadian’s voice is being suppressed, the bill is unconstitutional in our view.  A court challenge is all but certain here should this bill become law.

Just when I thought this story was finally starting to wind down somewhat, another bombshell hit right at the end of it all.  For months, the Canadian government has long argued that Bill C-11 does not change the algorithms of platforms.  Similar to the answered question about user generated content, they subtly change the language part way through their arguments.  It goes from how the government does not change algorithms to the government doesn’t order platforms to implement a specific algorithm.

Again, this is a very important distinction.  It is true that the legislation does not force platforms to implement an algorithm made by the government.  What it does do is dictate the outcome of those algorithms.  The government doesn’t care how it happens, just as long as the outcomes they desire is satisfactory.

Well, the government talking point saying otherwise recently went down in flames.  CRTC Chair, Ian Scott, confirmed that Bill C-11 does, in fact, dictate algorithm outcomes.  Here’s testimony from Ian Scott:

(Scott on Algorithms)

Oops.  That part of the debate is now officially over.  As stated, by the CRTC Chair himself, Bill C-11 dictates outcomes of the platforms algorithms.  You can almost visualize Liberals burying their faces into their hands trying to figure out how best to salvage this worsening political situation.  It is getting to the point where the Liberals are running out of places to retreat to.

We know Bill C-11 regulates user generated content.  That debate is over.  We also now know that Bill C-11 orders platforms to manipulate outcomes of those algorithms.  That debate is now over as well.  We’re really running out of viable arguments for this legislation in all of this – assuming any still exist of course.

Now, where do we go to from here?  Oh yeah, the second biggest story of the month.  I know, its the usual ridiculousness that seems to be happening with the news these days.

Anyway, the Texas moderation ban law came dangerously close to becoming the law of the land.  As you might recall, Texas passed a state law banning moderation of content for so-called “political viewpoints”.  Ever since, the law has been working its way through the court system in the US.  Well, this month, it could have made it to the Supreme Court and the court could have outlawed content moderation.

To the relief of many digital rights advocates, that, mercifully, didn’t happen.  The US Supreme Court surprisingly decided to decline to hear the case, punting the court case back to a lower court.  Now, there is some confusion as to where things head to from here, but we do know that we were that close to banning moderation.  The legal fight, of course, isn’t over, so we’ll try our best to continue to monitor the situation in the US… assuming Bill C-11 doesn’t find a way to somehow soak up even more attention in the next few months.

In a related story, an 11th Circuit court of appeals in the US has blocked Florida’s version of the social media moderation ban law.  Circuit Judge Kevin Newsom issued comments in his ruling, saying, “Put simply, with minor exceptions, the government can’t tell a private person or entity what to say or how to say it […] We hold that it is substantially likely that social media companies — even the biggest ones — are private actors whose rights the First Amendment protects.”

Obviously, the court case on that angle is far from over and will inevitably lead to an appeal.  The Electronic Frontier Foundation has posted comments about the ruling, saying, “The 11th Circuit has drawn important lines in the sand. But it won’t be the last. With lawmakers in Georgia, Ohio, Tennessee, and Michigan considering similar bills, it’s likely more courts will be called on to decide whether platforms have a First Amendment right to moderate content on their sites. We hope they follow the 11th Circuit’s lead.”

So, the battle is far from over, but a victory was won here.

Finally, we do have some developments of the largely missing in action privacy reform legislation in Canada.  The Liberals did table privacy reform in the last government.  Coincidentally, it was known as Bill C-11.  However, that bill died without the slightest effort to move it forward when the election was called.  Privacy reform was not really part of the Liberal party’s platform outside of a little bit of lip service.  What’s more, François-Philippe Champagne said clear back in December that privacy reform was a “top priority”.  We were, of course, skeptical about the sincerity.

In the months since, that skepticism was rewarded with confirmation. We still hadn’t seen privacy reform tabled.

So, a big question some might have is, why is there so much indifference to privacy reform by the Canadian government?  Indeed, such reforms do have broad party support and there are piles of evidence to suggest that this legislation is urgently needed.

Well, we did get a bit of a hint when we stumbled across a study looking into children’s apps and programming.  That study looked at apps all over the world to determine whether or not they respected the privacy of children.  As it turns out, a number of them didn’t do so.  Instead, the personal information of those children was often harvested and later sold to advertisers and data brokers.

A few apps were actually singled out as being particularly bad.  The app CBCKids was labelled as “particularly egregious” when it came to how it sold children’s data.  The report says that the app used 29 trackers.  The information was subsequently sold to 20 different advertising companies.  Further, 15 data tracking cookies were also sent to an additional 9 advertising companies.

The takeaway is that companies have been harvesting and selling personal information for quite some time.  As a result, there is little wonder why those companies are not too keen on privacy reform.  After all, all this selling of personal information is so profitable in the first place.

Now, CBC responded, saying that they follow all applicable privacy laws.  Observers reacted by basically calling this defence a joke.  This is because Canadian privacy laws are horrendously weak with the only repercussion from the government being a strongly worded letter from privacy commissioners.  It’s, seriously, that bad.  Little wonder why there is so little appetite for such a reform.  There’s too much money involved here.

Well, as you know from the stories about Bill C-11, this month, we are getting extremely close to the Summer break.  So, anything tabled now is certain to stall because of the government breaking for the Summer.  Wouldn’t you know it, the Innovation Minister decided to pick now as the time to finally table privacy reform.  The legislation is now known as Bill C-27.  Observers note that very little has changed in the bill outside of some minor tweaks.  This, for them, means that the minister pretty much sat on this legislation all this time with only the most minor of tweaks being made.  Because of this, experts expect that many of the same debates will repeat from the last government.  Michael Geist has likened this to Groundhog Day.

Either way, the break will certainly delay it.  History has shown that even after the tabling of the bill, the Minister is known to drag his feet, putting in minimal effort to move it forward.  There was hardly any time allocated for questions or debate and it ultimately died on the orderpaper last time.  Will the same thing happen this time?  Who knows?  Still, if things repeat this time around, it’s not looking good for the legislation.

Like I suggested earlier.  Another ridiculous month this month.  If you have the stomach for it, here’s some of the other stories making news this month.

Other Stories Making News

Social media giant, Twitter, was fined $150 million this month.  Long time listeners of this podcast will remember a story we brought you clear back in 2019.  At the time, both Facebook and Twitter were accused by journalists of taking information gathered through their two factor authentication systems and using it for marketing purposes.  Obviously, this goes way beyond the authorized use of that information being used for security purposes.  The Department of Justice accused Twitter of misleading consumers by failing to disclose that the information they provided would be used for anything other than security purposes.  This includes a cell phone being used here.  As a result, Twitter was hit with a $150 million fine.

European digital rights organization, None of Your Business, recently reflected on European privacy law, the GDPR.  This is because the GDPR, if you can believe it, is now four years old.  The organization says that implementing strong privacy laws is only one step to better protecting consumers.  They further said that organizations empowered to enforce the law is the other piece of the puzzle.  Currently, they contend, that latter piece of the puzzle has been sorely lacking.  One known example that we are aware of is the Irish DPC.  That organization has caught flack for not only taking a light handed approach, but also lobbying the system to weaken privacy laws on behalf of Facebook – a charge that the Irish DPC has denied.

In a follow up to one of our top stories last month, the Elon Musk Twitter deal is moving forward.  While numerous hurdles still exist for the deal, the deal has cleared one such hurdle.  The waiting period for which the FTC can object has elapsed, meaning that the Twitter deal has cleared that hurdle.  Still, there are other steps for the Musk deal to be final, not to mention lawsuits to resolve.  So, a step forward, but many more steps to go.  Some market observers speculate that the deal is doomed to fail somewhere along the line.

While many had suspected that censorship in Canada would come courtesy of Bill C-11, it appears something else has beaten that legislation to the punch.  This revolves around the Canadian court case involving web service GoldTV.  Big broadcasters, who also own the big ISPs, have gone to court to demand a court order be put on themselves to block the service.  I know, it’s weird, but that’s basically what happened.  Independent ISP, Teksavvy, challenged the ruling, noting that such blocks are not only overly broad, but ineffective at stopping piracy.  Unfortunately, that court case has ended in defeat and ISPs are now ordered to abide by new site blocking orders.  A lawyer commented that the case can be further appealed, but the mantle would have to be taken up by someone else first.  As a result, Internet censorship has, in fact, arrived in Canada now.

So-called “free speech” social media platform, Truth Social, caught controversy this month.  The platform that Trump now calls home reacted to the January 6th hearing.  The moderation team began mass banning anyone even mentioning the committee hearings.  Observers pointed out the hypocrisy of the network that has long branded itself as a free speech alternative to Twitter.  It’s been pointed out that this is further proof that far right supporters only care about speech that they agree with rather than actual free speech.

These days, good news is so often in short supply.  Still, we did find a source of good news.  You might remember us mentioning the digital frisking law in Canada.  This involves legislation known as Bill S-7.  In it, the legislation allows border security to confiscate your cell phone, laptop, or any other digital storage device, and take a copy of the contents of said device.  This hinged on the brand new legal term of “reasonable general concern”.  During hearings, no one outside of the Minister and his supporting lawmakers supported the language.  As a result, the language was replaced with “reasonable grounds to suspect”.  While that is still a low threshold, this does effectively eliminate the problematic language that caused so much controversy in the first place.  Digital rights advocates applauded the move and seemed satisfied with the outcome.

Finally, there is an update to the still forthcoming online harms bill.  Canada’s chief electoral officer this month called on lawmakers to ban misinformation.  I know, I kind of burst out laughing too when I saw that.  Still, that story morphed in to panellists pushing the government to include “misinformation” and “disinformation” into the online harms proposal.  As we noted, such a call could contribute to making this bill an even more dangerous threat to free speech.  Specifically, who decides what is accurate and what is “misinformation”?  As we saw in the Bill C-11 debate, criticisms of Bill C-11 have already been portrayed by the government as “misinformation”.  This makes this push all the more worrying.  Hopefully, the bill doesn’t go down this path, but we can’t really say for certain that it won’t at this stage.  Kind of unnerving stuff if you ask me.

Video Game Reviews

Well, what do you know, we made it to the entertainment section!  Whew!

So, before we get into the video game reviews, I wanted to point out the first impression video’s we’ve posted this month.

First up, we played the Steam game, Doom 3: BFG Edition.  That video can be seen directly on our site or on Youtube.

After that, we tried Blur for the Playstaion 3.  That video can be found directly on our site or on YouTube.

We then played the XBox 360 game, Halo 3.  You can check that video out on our site and on YouTube.

We then wrapped things up with the Steam game, Puzzle Dimension.  That can be watched on our site or on YouTube.

As always, you can subscribe to our YouTube channel and turn on notifications to get realtime updates on what video’s we’ve posted.

Now, here are video games we’ve reviewed this month:

First up is the incredibly short game title of Desert Demolition Starring Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote for the Sega Genesis.  Some issues with controls, but an otherwise solid effort of a game.  This game got a 70%.

Next is Stargate for the Sega Genesis.  Interesting level features does help things, but repetitive missions and clunky controls hold this one back.  This one got a somewhat decent 68%.

After that, we tried Sub-Terrania for the Sega Genesis.  A game with a different take on what you can expect from a game, though quick fuel burning does hold this game back.  This one got an average 66%.

Finally, we played Snow Bros for the Sega Genesis.  Much of what made the NES game great is here, though some mini games appear to be stripped out.  Still, this one got a very solid 76%.

Music Reviews

As for music we’ve listened to this month, we’ve got…

Blur – Stereotypes

B.B.E. – Seven Days And One Week

Goldie – Timeless: Inner City Life

Amber – This Is Your Night

Odina – Into the Night (Extended Mix)

Imperio – Atlantis

Linkin Park – One Step Closer

Mr. President – I Give You My Heart

… and finally Chicane – Offshore (Original Version)

Picks of the Month

So, that leads us to our pick of the month.  This month, our pick of the month belongs to Linkin Park – One Step Closer.


And in other news

In Michigan, a newly hired chief of police couldn’t believe what he heard.  Just months after vowing to crack down on reckless driving, he heard tire screeching right outside of his office window.  When he looked out, what he saw confirmed what he thought he heard.  Three vehicles were performing burnouts right outside of his own police station.  Some of the passengers were seen hanging out of the windows in the process.  He, along with several other officers raced outside and managed to obtain the plates of all three vehicles.  Eventually, officers tracked the vehicles down and arrested everyone involved.  The level of idiocy one would have to reach to do burnouts in front of a police station…  Wow.

There’s no shortage of online scams claiming to cut down on paying for gas, but a pair of men in Virginia actually figured this one out for real.  Police, however, were less than amused with the duo’s one weird trick.  Apparently, the two men hacked the gas pumps so they would charge less for gas.  After that, an app was used to access the compromised pumps and the app was being advertised on social media.  It’s unclear how much fuel was stolen, but estimates range into the ‘thousands of dollars’.  Naturally, the two men were arrested for trying to pull this stunt in the first place.  I guess I can believe what happened next.

Drinking and driving is always a bad idea.  You’d think high profile people would know this.  Now, if you listened to our last podcast, this is probably starting to sound all too familiar to you.  Some of you might be thinking, “oh, come on Drew, does it have to be another police officer doing something stupid?  Why can’t it be a politician or something?”  Our response to that is: hey, that sounds like a great idea!  Tennessee Secretary of State, Tre Hargett, was arrested and charged with a DUI.  Hargett said in a statement that he regrets his actions.  This after posting the $2,000 bail.  No word if former BC Premier, Gordon Campbell, nodded knowingly about the situation.


Before we close out this month’s episode, we actually have a number of announcements to make.

This month, we released the May Wiki content patch.  For this month’s patch, we made substantial progress for the back archive of the Future Sound of Egypt.  We managed to complete the episode 550 special.  From there, we continued the archive and even completed the episode 600 special as well.  Amazingly, we carried on and got the back archive completed all the way up to episode 615.  So, a heck of a lot of stuff completed this month. Over top of that, we added the latest episodes for the Future Sound of Egypt, Fables, Resonation, the V Recordings Podcast, and the Random Movement Podcast.

Well, after that announcement, we weren’t done with our archiving project.  We actually hammered through even more episodes after.  In the first mini update we posted in a very long time, we announced that we had actually managed to complete the entire back archive of the Future Sound of Egypt.  The last stretch, which includes the episode 650 special, was completed.  We got all the way up to our goal of archiving up to episode 689.  Because of this, the whole archive for this show is now finally completed.  I know, it was started back on March 1st of 2021, so this was an unexpectedly large project, but hey, more than a year later and the project is finally completed.  I’d say we hope you enjoy the archive, but judging by the analytics data, you are doing that already.  So, glad you are enjoying it and look forward to the next archive project.

Also this month, we managed to get our 500th YouTube view.  This was in conjunction with getting our 10th subscriber on YouTube.  I know, some out there consider that laughably small numbers, but in all honesty, I am grateful for the interest everyone gave the channel so far.  I am also happy you are enjoying the channel and look forward to adding even more cool video’s to it in the future.

Finally, I am happy to announce another website improvement project is now complete.  Our podcast is now available on Stitcher.  This adds another source for people to pick up our podcast.  We hope you like the addition of this.  For those of you who are just joining us via Stitcher, yeah, things are not always this ridiculous.  Usually, this podcast covers a more evenly international set of news, but you deal with the cards you are given.  What can I say?  Otherwise, happy listening and glad you are joining us now!  For those who are following along with the transcript, we’ll leave a link to our new Stitcher page for you to check out.

If you’d like to get your hands on some behind the scenes stuff, exclusive content, and early access material, you can check out our Patreon page at  Through this, you can help make Freezenet just that much better all the while getting some pretty cool stuff in the process.  That’s!

Alternatively, you can simply buy us a coffee via!

…and that’s this months episode for June, 2022.  I’m Drew Wilson for Freezenet.  Be sure to check out our website at for all the latest in news and reviews.  You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr.  Thank you for listening and see you next month.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Facebook.

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