Freezenet’s Podcast: February 2023: 404 – Section 230 Not Found

In the 52nd episode of the Freezenet official podcast, “404 – Section 230 Not Found”, we take a look at the news and reviews we covered in February 2023.

Welcome to the public version of the Freezenet official podcast for February, 2023. This month’s episode is entitled “404 – Section 230 Not Found” because of the US Supreme Court Challenge to Section 230 in the US.

This month’s episode also covers the developments surrounding Bill C-11, Bill C-18, and the Rogers Shaw merger.

This month’s episode also covers all the usual music, video games, and video’s. All this and more on this months episode!

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

What follows is a transcript for this months podcast:


404 – Section 230 Not Found

Hi, I’m your host, Drew Wilson.  Welcome to episode 52 of the Freezenet official podcast for February, 2023.  Here are your top 3 headlines:

The Top 3

Bill C-11 Clears Senate Third Reading, but Stalls As Quebec Complains About It

Section 230 on the Line As Gonzalez v Google proceeds at the US Supreme Court

… and Resistance Increases as Bill C-18 Works its Way Through the Canadian Senate

Top Stories

Bill C-11 is inching closer to becoming law, but that momentum appears to be slowing down a great deal as of late.  This month kicked off with a more direct warning from the United States.  As you know from last months episode, the US, through their ambassador to Canada, issued three warnings about Bill C-11, Bill C-18, and the Digital Services Tax.  The rising trade tensions about the legislation has only escalated as the Canadian government continued to ignore those warnings and push the legislation forward anyway.

With the gentle touches not seemingly going anywhere, the US has started utilizing a more direct approach.  In a bi-partisan letter signed by Democrat, Ron Wyden, and Republican, Michael D. Crapo, senators on the powerful Finance Committee asked the United States Trade Representative, or USTR, to “ensure that the United States gets what it bargained for, including by fully pursuing enforcement actions as necessary”.

The letter contained a list of grievances.  The letter explains, “Canada has pursued a discriminatory digital services tax (DST) that is targeted at U.S. employers. Canada’s DST raises concerns regarding its commitments under USMCA, as well as the OECD inclusive framework agreement”.

The letter also states, “Canada has been moving ahead on other troubling policies that target U.S. technology companies and raise concerns under USMCA. The Online Streaming Act would require streaming services to fund Canadian-made content and promote it on their platforms. This bill would mandate preferential treatment for Canadian content and deprive U.S. creatives of the North American market access they were promised under USMCA.

Meanwhile, Canada’s Online News Act would require the largest social media platforms to bargain with Canadian news organizations and pay for the right to display news stories, headlines, snippets, and links. Again, this policy targets U.S. companies for the benefit of Canadian news producers and raises national treatment concerns under USMCA”.

So, very direct and very specifically targeting Bill C-11, Bill C-18, and the Digital Services Tax.  Moreover, they very specifically brought up various trade agreements, making it very clear that all of the above violates Canada’s international trade obligations.

Shortly after that letter was issued, the USTR followed that up with a fourth warning to Canada about these very issues.  In comments published on the USTR website, the USTR states, “Ambassador White expressed the United States’ ongoing concerns with Canada’s proposed unilateral digital service tax and pending legislation in the Canadian Parliament that could impact digital streaming services and online news sharing and discriminate against U.S. businesses.”

So, two warning shots in rapid succession at the very least.  What’s more, it’s very direct in saying that, yes, Bill C-11 and Bill C-18 are among the reasons for trade tensions.  No, there is no misunderstanding here.

Some have said that there is no way that there is trade friction with Bill C-11 and Bill C-18.  These talking points have since been adapted to say that there really isn’t any trade tensions specifically tied to Bill C-11 and Bill C-18.  That was followed up by the argument that there is no way that the US would really start a trade war at this point in time.  Well, that last talking point also got shot down.

One of the other areas of trade tensions has to do with dairy.  An announcement by the USTR states, “United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai today announced that the United States is establishing a dispute settlement panel under the United States – Mexico – Canada Agreement (USMCA) regarding Canada’s dairy tariff-rate quota (TRQ) allocation measures. In this new panel proceeding, the United States is challenging Canada’s revised dairy TRQ allocation measures that use a market-share approach for determining TRQ allocations, and impose new conditions effectively prohibiting retailers, food service operators, and other types of importers from utilizing TRQ allocations. Through these measures, Canada undermines the market access it agreed to provide in the USMCA.”

So, to those critics, yes, the US can, and will, target Canada in a trade dispute in this day and age.

Despite this, as that happened, Bill C-11 passed in the third and final reading at the Canadian Senate.  The good news is that the amendment to Section 4.2 survived.  So, at this point, it heads back to the House of Commons where it can receive Royal Assent, assuming the government accepts the amendments made by the Canadian Senate.

After passing the Senate 53 – 15, Heritage Minister, Pablo Rodriguez, seemed to walk back on comments he made to Senators.  During the Senate hearings, Rodriguez said that he was open to amendments that improves the bill.  He couched that in saying that he can’t approve or disapprove of amendments he doesn’t see, but he was open to the idea of amendments.

Well, after the bill passed the Senate, Rodriguez said in an interview that he would only accept amendments that don’t substantially change the bill.  Any amendments that does change the bill are amendments he is going to reject.  Ultimately, a complete 180 on what he earlier told Senators during the Bill C-11 hearings.

Understandably, many took that as a warning sign that the Section 4.2 fix would get rejected by the government.  Of course, the politics is very difficult here because the Ministry has long rejected comments that this bill is about regulating user generated content.  While the mountains of evidence would speak to the contrary about the governments position, that’s what the government was saying.  So, if the Section 4.2 fix is rejected by the government, that would be the clearest sign yet that the whole point of Bill C-11 is, in fact, to regulate user generated content.  Anything surrounding that is, at best, a superficial facade meant to distract.

Shortly after, lobbyists were loudly complaining about Bill C-11.  They claimed that it creates a two tier system.  The comments didn’t make a whole lot of sense in the context of the Section 4.2 fix, but put it into the context of ownership provisions, then it’s possible to see where those complaints are coming from – however you feel about the provisions about Canadian ownership.

Unfortunately, the Globe & Mail covered those complaints and botched the story.  The reporter associated the complaints with the Section 4.2 fix.  I had the chance to speak to Senator Paula Simons, one of the two senators who authored the Section 4.2 fix, about this and Simons told us that the complaints made by those lobbyists had nothing to do with their amendment.  In fact, there was no amendment that had anything to do with what the lobbyists were complaining about.  Further, the reporter never contacted her about the report in the first place, meaning that there wasn’t a chance for the Senator to correct the story.  I was the one that contacted the Senator and, ironically, websites like mine get called “not news” in the Bill C-18 debate.  Hilarious.  Ultimately, the piece by the Globe & Mail was the product of pure carelessness on the journalists part.

The backlash against the bill only continued.  Senator David Adams Richard made a speech at the Senate about Bill C-11.  Richards made a number of really good points about the bill and Canadian ownership.  Here’s part of that speech.


This, of course, plays into how so often, Canadian creators are often left out or intentionally excluded from the very system that swears that it’s very existence is built around the idea of supporting creators.  Indeed, countless creators have been turned away and told to seek their fame and fortune in another country – frequently the US.  It is frustrating, but Canada has a long history of offering very few, if any, opportunities for Canadian creators to make it big in Canada.  As Senator Richards pointed out, Canada only welcomes these creators back into Canada when those creators have made it big elsewhere, making Canada a very hostile environment to home grown talent.

The Internet, however, changes this and anyone, anywhere can theoretically make it big – all of this without bureaucrats and the system determining who should be big and who should not.

While some may continue to insist that Bill C-11 is a niche issue that only affects a small number of people, the implications are quite huge to anyone who uses the internet in the first place.  If you needed further proof that this is an issue many are paying attention to, that proof ultimately came this month.  This thanks to Canadian literary giant, Margaret Atwood.  In an interview with the Globe and Mail, possibly to the surprise of those conducting the interview, Atwood said, “bureaucrats should not be telling creators what to write.”

“All you have to do is read some biographies of writers writing in the Soviet Union and the degrees of censorship they had to go through – government bureaucrats,” she added. “So it is creeping totalitarianism if governments are telling creators what to create.”

Her comments came after Senator Richards speech.  In fact, Atwood encouraged people to listen to Richards speech in the Senate about this bill.

With more momentum shifting towards those opposed to the bill, supporters began to panic.  In an effort to try and offer a rebuttal, Hugh Stephens wrote an op-ed in the National Post trying to reverse that momentum.  That rebuttal ended up backfiring spectacularly as his piece ended up being, at best, unconvincing and, more likely, self-satirizing nonsense.  In his piece, he admitted that the letter from the US Senate did exist, but, uh, let’s not talk about that.

Stephens then acknowledged the existence of the CCIA white paper which offered very detailed reasons why Bill C-18 violates Canada’s international trade obligations.  However, for him, uh, the paper is, uh, entertaining and unconvincing because, uh… umm… it mentioned maple syrup at one point.  Yeah, that’s the ticket!  It mentioned maple syrup and can’t be treated seriously.  Please don’t read the rest of it.

After that, Stephens said that, sure, there’s very real trade tensions between Canada and the US, but, uh, it’s not an opinion shared unanimously south of the border.  Yeah, some media outlets in the US sent a letter.  Yeah, a letter!  They expressed disapproval with the US government targeting Canada over Bill C-11 and Bill C-18.  What’s more, there might have been the use of bold-faced font as well.  So, you know, please ignore all of those actions made by the US because someone, at some point, sent a letter!

Stephens then wrapped up his arguments by saying that this whole repeated threats from the US thing, yeah, that’s just Big Tech enlisting the help of the US and it’s all part of Big Tech using its dirty tricks – yeah, dirty dirty tricks.  They’re trying to, uh, turn back the ship, yeah, that’s the ticket, turn back the ship!  Why?  Oh, uh… uhhhh… the government… uhh… said that their bill is in compliance with all of Canada’s international trade obligations.  Yeah, that’s it!  You know what they say: if a government says it, then it must be true!

Stephens ultimately concluded by saying that, yeah, those trade wars won’t happen over these bills because, uh, he has a good feeling about it!  Yeah, and what are you going to believe?  His honest gut feeling or your lying eyes???  Also, uh, “The sabre may rattle, but on this issue it will be put back in its scabbard with no blood drawn.”  There, that was genius!  Do you think they believed that?  That was convincing right?  Yeah, that was convincing.  Totally convincing.

So, yeah, you can probably see why I thought his piece was satire at first.  Was happy to laugh even harder when he seemed to be serious.

On a more serious note, though, one thing that has been rather consistent for supporters is that many of them have long wanted the regulation of user generated content.  Of course, they can’t say that part out loud, so, instead, they rely on a whole pile of other arguments to pretend that this bill is about something else entirely.

Yet, whenever there are efforts to amend Section 4.2, suddenly, they start screaming to high heaven about it.  The question is always asked why they don’t want that section to be amended.  The answer most commonly seems to be about flexibility.  Then the question becomes something along the lines of what flexibility are you wanting then?  The answer is typically that it’s just about flexibility, stop asking those pesky annoying questions.

They never really answer the question of what they hope to solve because they don’t want to admit that this has always been about regulating user generated content.  Such a position is indefensible, though.  This ‘don’t say the quiet part loud’ game they play has been around since the early days when this legislation was called Bill C-10 and continues to this day.

Well, this month, thanks to the Section 4.2 fix, lobbyists have been put in an impossible spot.  Either finally admit that this bill was always about regulating user generated content or just wave the white flag on this and move on.  As it turns out, one organization decided to go ahead and say the quiet part loud and admit that Bill C-11 was always about regulating user generated content.  This admission came from none other than notorious collective, SOCAN.

SOCAN, of course, has faced numerous controversies in the past.  Whether it is questions that they are properly paying out royalties to artists to pushing bad copyright reform, and a number of other controversies, the collective hasn’t necessarily gotten a whole lot of friends.  Not getting into that as that would turn this into a two hour podcast.  So, how did they put their foot in their mouth this time?  Well, they sent a letter to the government expressing outrage at changes made to Bill C-11.  The letter states, in part – and no this is not satire:

“Bill C-11 must remain broad so that it can adapt to future online services, whose models for delivering content are not yet known. A bill that is tailored only to services in operation today will not be flexible enough for the future of broadcasting online. The amendment to clause 4.2 jeopardizes this flexibility. We need Parliamentarians to reject this amendment.”

So, not only an admission that this was about regulating user generated content, but also insulting their readers by thinking that there are people out there that still honestly believe the lie that this is about the bill being “flexible”.  No one who follows this debate closely, in their right mind, who isn’t horribly corrupt, actually believes that at this late stage in the game.  The whole point of the Section 4.2 fix is to make the bill do what the government says it actually does.  Those who attack the fix make it crystal clear that they want to regulate user generated content.  SOCAN fell for this hook, line, and sinker.

Now, over the years, I’ve grown accustomed to people making really bad takes.  One style of a bad take is to push for a bad internet bill, then, when the bill passes, wait a mere one day and say that the internet didn’t change overnight, therefore, critics were wrong about the bill.  I more or less saw this with the network neutrality debate in the US when the FCC repealed network neutrality. The reason why the internet didn’t change overnight was largely because of the California lawsuit to fight back against this change.  It is a legal move that really has been holding the very integrity of the US internet together to this very day.

Bill C-11 is awaiting Royal Assent.  It was widely expected that it would go through that process within a week, though the Section 4.2 fix is certainly giving the government pause here.  So, knowing that a similar play could be made by the media and Bill C-11 supporters, I got out ahead of this talking point and explained why the internet won’t change over night.

Long story short, there is a period of time where the regulator – the CRTC – would have to hire staff and gear up to start regulating the internet.  I know, senseless idea, but this is where we are at in this debate.  What’s more is that there is inevitably going to be lawsuits fighting against this bill.  This for a whole variety of possible reasons.  Further, there are international challenges that seem inevitable at this stage.  What all of that means is that it will take months, if not, years, to sort all of this out.  Anyone who has experience in the world of litigation knows that court cases take time.  Anyone who has any experience in creating new departments in government that is enforcing something totally new knows that such processes, whether hiring or training, takes time.  So, no, even after the bill receives royal assent, the internet is not changing overnight.

I wouldn’t be surprised if some supporter of the bill would try that really bad talking point because, as sad as that sounds, not everyone reads Freezenet.  Still, when that bill does go through, I’m calmly awaiting someone dumb enough to make that claim.  What’s more, I’m curious to see how close I would come to debunking the talking point before those talking points were even made.  We’ll see what happens, though.

Well, it would seem that the Royal Assent process is going to take a little bit longer than originally expected.  Part of the reason?  It appears that Quebec is not happy with the bill.  The Quebec National Assembly unanimously passed a motion that says, among other things:

“THAT it underline that this bill does not recognize the application of Québec laws regarding the status of artists;

THAT it recognize that this bill, as it is currently written, grants Québec no rights of inspection on the directions that will be given to the CRTC, and that those directions will have a significant impact on Québec’s cultural community;

THAT it remind the federal government that Québec’s linguistic specificity must be respected;”

The opposition is extremely late to this debate, but better late than never.  I don’t know about you, but the politics about what just happened there is fascinating.

First, the Bloc Quebecois at the federal level has long been touting Bill C-11 as a bill that’s in the interest of Quebec.  Anyone who is against the bill is somehow against Quebec.  I’ve seen people make the logical leap that being against Bill C-11 means that you are against Quebec.  Because Quebec rejected the bill like that, that party basically got left high and dry.

Second, the NDP supported this bill for the longest time seemingly as a way to curry favour from Quebec voters.  In doing so, they basically cast aside their own principles.  As you know from past episodes, Charlie Angus is quietly against this bill, but is voting for it because he’s not going against what the party thinks is in the interest of his party.  So, the party is voting for this bill.  Because of this motion, the only remaining reason for the NDP to support this bill is to maintain the Supply and Confidence deal.  Even then, that can be maintained while not supporting this bill.  In short, the NDP shafted themselves by getting themselves to support a bill that will get them nothing politically in return.

Third, a number of MPs from the Liberal party come from Quebec.  Now, they may face some tough questions about why the party is pushing through a bill that is against the interests of Quebec.  All this while firmly believing all this time that Bill C-11 will make Quebec happy.

Yeah, awkward!  Something tells me that Bill C-11 is going to be taking a bit more time to clear the last legislative hurdle.

Now, we have been covering a number of dire threats to the internet happening in Canada for quite some time now.  There are some threats coming from elsewhere, but our focus has been, understandably, tied to Canada given that this is where Freezenet comes from.  Well, Canada doesn’t have exclusivity in terms of policies meant to destroy the free and open internet.  In fact, the US has had its own share of really bad internet laws and policies in recent years.  One threat is, and no, we are not talking about the California Age Verification law even though that is a terrible bill as well, the threats to Section 230.

Section 230 itself isn’t that hard to understand.  The text of the section, in full says, “No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.”

While some have tried to re-write the section and pretend it is really about being a gift to “big tech”, the meaning hasn’t changed a whole lot, outside of the damage caused by SESTA or FOSTA.

Unfortunately, this critical legal pillar of the internet is under threat at the US Supreme Court.  The first case is known as Gonzalez v. Google.  The case revolves around a victim of a terrorist attack and YouTube.  The idea of this case is that YouTube automatically recommends content to users.  If YouTube recommends terrorist content that was uploaded by someone else, then that makes YouTube liable for terrorist activity.

I know, “what?  No!” indeed.

It’s a case that shouldn’t have gotten as far as it did.  It should have been a simple case of “Section 230.  YouTube is not liable.  Case dismissed” at a much lower court level.  Yet, here we are and internet advocates across the US are watching the US Supreme Court nervously, fresh off of knowing about the Roe v Wade decision.

As the leadup got closer, we also found out about Taamneh v Twitter.  It’s a similar court case trying to chip away at Section 230.  That case similarily involves a victim of a terrorist attack.  In that case, though, the question is that if Twitter moderates content, leaving terrorist content up on their platform means that they are liable for terrorist activity.  Yeah, rolling your eyes is a perfectly reasonable response to that.

That court case was also set to be heard this month at the same time as Gonzalez v Google.

The most recent update for this podcast is that early signs during oral arguments actually sound like a number of justices are skeptical at the idea of removing Section 230 protections.  The caveate is that this is just preliminary parts of the trial.  Justices can, and have in the past, end up ruling in a different direction than where they were going in with their initial questioning.  Still, a very minor reason for optimism – something that has been in dire short supply as of late.

Finally, Bill C-18 has once again made it into the spotlight this month.  This month, PostMedia announced that they would be issuing mass layoffs.  This amounts to 11% of the total workforce.  Some might point to this example of major layoffs as proof that Bill C-18 is needed.  However, ironically enough, this example wound up proving that Bill C-18 would be ineffective at stopping such mass layoff events in the media sector.

Indeed, by the Canadian Heritage Ministry’s own estimate, Bill C-18, under the assumption that the platforms would pony up in the first place over something that should be free, would pull in, in total, about $150 million.  Sounds like a great number – that is, until you take into account the subsidies that media players like PostMedia pull in already.

Already, the government heavily subsidizes big journalism operations today.  Known examples include the Local Journalism Initiative which pays out approximately $50 million.  Then, there is the $595 million big media bailout.  On top of that, there is the $60 million pandemic-specific Emergency Support Fund.  Finally, there is the $10 million dolled out by the Special Measures for Journalism top-up fund.  This doesn’t even include wage subsidy programs and other COVID-19 related relief funds that were more broadly applied to various sectors in the Canadian economy.  At any rate, you’re looking at over $700 million in relief funds already received by media companies. These are statistics gathered by Canadaland last year.  Yet, despite these massive bailout and subsidy programs, you are still seeing PostMedia making this announcement of massive layoffs.

It raises a very valid question.  If $700 million isn’t enough to prevent the massive layoffs to journalism staff, what chance does a part of $150 million have at turning things around?  The numbers don’t add up, yet we are led to believe that Bill C-18 will somehow save journalism and usher in a new golden age of journalistic freedom, independence, and prosperity.  Not hard to see how these promises were seen as greatly exaggerated.

As noted earlier, the CCIA published a white paper on why Bill C-18 violates Canada’s international trade obligations.  While a Bill C-18 supporter tried to dismiss it as little more than a vague argument about syrup, we decided to dive right into what the white paper actually argued.

One argument, unsurprisingly, is the fact that the law discriminates against what the law calls “digital news intermediaries”.  It points out that platforms and news publishers are not competing against each other.  Additionally, these “intermediaries” are generally not based out of Canada, yet the beneficiaries of the ensuing funding would go towards Canadian sources.  Either way, though, such provisions, according to the CCIA, violates articles 14.4, 14.5, 15.3, and 15.4 of CUSMA.

A second argument is that the law disciminates against non-Canadian news outlets.  While some US news organizations could, theoretically, qualify as an elligible news source in Canada, most would get worked out of the system.  As a result, Bill C-18 violates articles 14.4, 15.3, and 19.4 of CUSMA in that regard.  Put it another way, Canadian media outlets get an unfair market advantage over their US counterparts who were hoping to benefit from the free trade block promised under CUSMA.  A common term for this is, of course, “discrimination”.

A third argument is that the law demands payments be made when articles, any portion of it, or merely referencing in some way, happens to appear on a platform.  This violates the right to quotation under the Berne Convention.  Specifically, Article 10(1).

There are other arguments, but overall, the case is not only convincing, but pretty overwhelming as well.

With the situation starting to go sideways for Bill C-18 supporters, sponsor of the bill, Senator Peter Harder, made an attempt to salvage the situation by attempting to sell the legislation as if it was somehow a good bill in all of this.  To be fair, if he is a sponsor of the bill, it’s only natural that an attempt would be made.  The attempt, fell completely flat.

Senator Harder attempted to argue that platforms are somehow stealing ad revenue from journalists – something that isn’t actually true.  He then argues that platforms place ads next to the snippets that gets posted.

After posting screenshots of both Facebook and Google, this was proven to obviously be a false statement.  I mean, you tell me where the ads are in Google News.  I’m waiting.

From there, the Senator called the agreements that platforms and news publishers would enter into “voluntary”.  A simple reading of the bill would conclude that this is false.  This given the fact that the choice for platforms is to either enter into an agreement on their terms or be forced into final offer arbitration which would compel platforms to accept agreements.  There’s nothing voluntary about that.  If anything, it’s basically “mandatory voluntary” agreements which, of course, is complete BS terminology.

Senator Harder then argued that platforms shouldn’t be picking winners and losers just like government shouldn’t be picking winners and losers.  The problem is that Bill C-18 is picking winners and losers.  This after numerous models show that a lions share of the revenue predicted to come out of this would go to the biggest media players.  It would also leave smaller players – i.e. small community newspapers and small online news operations – with little to no money afterwards.

So, all in all, the attempt to save the credibility of Bill c-18 ended with a total faceplant from the Senator in question.

Of course, not all Senators are on board with the bill.  In fact, Senator Paula Simons gave her own speech on the legislation and it was a very compelling one worth listening to.  Here’s a sample of that speech.  Yes, it’s long, but it packs a lot of concepts into a relatively short period of time and I found it to be very informative.


So, there is a lot that was said and it speaks to how unwise this whole business of link taxes truly are.  Indeed, is it even wise to hand over so much power to a handful of private foreign companies all for the sake of making a fast buck?

Over top of what was said in the speech, what happens when platforms decide that the Canadian media market is not worth their time and just block news links altogether?  If Canadian media outlets were suffering before, just imagine when their respective websites get blocked by both Google and Facebook.  It’s not as though, at least not yet anyway, that there is a legal obligation to carry links to news articles in the first place.

Already, the arguments for Bill C-18 are, at best, on very shakey legal and ethical grounds.  The various threats of blocking news links or trade sanctions from the US makes Bill C-18 a foolhardy endeavour to boot.

This month, Bill C-18 also got criticism from another organization.  This time, it’s the Internet Society raising concerns about the bill.  In a brief they published, the organization says that the bill will be “harmful for the open internet”.

While many of the arguments are arguments I have previously covered, there were a few arguments that they brought up which are both new and interesting.  A big one is criticisms to Section 6 of the bill.  In that section, a “digital news intermediary”, meaning platforms for the most part, can be required to pay for news links if, among other things, the operator has “a strategic advantage over news businesses” and it “occupies a prominent market position”.  Additionally, the size of such a service would also be considered.

The problem with this language is that it is very ill defined.  For instance, the legislation never defines a threshold for the size of such a platform.  Is a size of 100 pageviews per month reasonable or is it 100,000 pageviews per month?  Further, there is no description for what the bill means by “a strategic advantage over news businesses”.  One could argue that being on the internet alone would be enough to qualify in this manner.  Further, what is “a prominent market position”?  Does that mean in the top 20 websites on the internet?  Top 1 million websites?  Top 5 million?  Who really knows?  The legislation certainly has no answers.

By extension to all of that, would link shortening services count?  Where’s the line between what is and isn’t covered?  These are all very good questions to ask.  This isn’t the extent of the submission, but I thought I’d highlight this angle as it doesn’t get much coverage on this podcast otherwise.

With that, here are some of the other stories making news this month.

Other Stories Making News

This month kicked off with disappointing news.  A court has rejected the Competition Bureau’s challenge to the Roger’s Shaw Merger.  In response, the Competition Bureau said it found the ruling disappointing, but would not be pursuing an appeal as a result.  The ruling clears one more hurdle in transforming Canada’s telecom sector into a formal triopoly.

More layoffs have hit the tech sector.  This time, Spotify laid off 600 employees.  The news was quickly paired with another news story from PayPal.  That company wound up laying off 2,000 employees.  The news is the latest in a massive string of layoffs in the whole sector.

Finally, we noted the overall lack of progress of Bill C-27, Canada’s privacy reform bill.  By 2018, it had become clear that Canada was falling behind with the coming into force of Europe’s privacy reform law, the General Data Protection Regulation – a law that is regarded as a gold standard for respecting privacy.  Unfortunately, rather than swallow its own pride and play catch up, Canada has since been dragging its feet on similar reforms.

That foot dragging has carried on to today.  Bill C-27 was introduced after well over a year worth of delay.  When it was tabled, a big question was: what caused the delay in the first place?  This especially since so little changed from the previous version outside of a few minor language tweaks.  Regardless, the foot dragging continued despite the fact that, in 2021, Innovation Minister, François-Philippe Champagne, called it his “top priority”.

Currently, the bills progress since its introduction on June of 2022 was only that of two debates on the bill.  Ever since, the bills progress has stalled.  For those saying that bills take time to pass, comparing the progress of other bills renders the progress of this one a sorry joke.  Bill C-11 was introduced on February 2, 2022.  It cleared third and final reading at the Senate on February 2, 2023 in spite of what many consider the longest committee study in history.  Bill C-18, meanwhile, was introduced on April 5, 2022.  It is currently sitting on second reading at the Senate, completing first reading on February 2, 2023.

By comparison, Bill C-27, to this day, is still trying to make it to the second reading at the House of Commons level.   Pathetically slow for a bill that has received broad party support, really.  I can only expect the foot dragging to continue at this point.  After all, the only real top priority here is the government trying to wreck the free and open internet.  That is painfully obvious, really.

Video Game Reviews

Now, it’s that time in the show where we turn towards entertainment.

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

For this month’s Steam game, we played Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare.  You can check out that video directly on our site and on YouTube.

Next, we played the Playstation 3 game, Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction.  That video can be seen on our site and on YouTube.

For this month’s XBox 360 game, we played Perfect Dark Zero.  That video can be seen on our site and on YouTube.

Finally, we wound up, well, not playing the Playstation 4 game, Destiny.  That video of an error message can be seen on the site and on YouTube.  Not the start to the Playstation 4 I was expecting, I can tell you that much.

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 Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus for the Playstation 2.  Solid controls, nice writing, and great learning and difficulty curves.  Great graphics certainly didn’t hurt things, either.  So, this game get’s a great 80%.

Next we played Need for Speed: Most Wanted for the Playstation 2.  Rubber band opponents and repetition did this game no favours.  Still, there is some decent variety to be had here.  This one gets an alright 68%.

From there, we played Call of Duty: World at War – Final Fronts for the Playstation 2.  Reduced features and short gameplay didn’t make this one a strong title.  Dated graphics also didn’t help much.  This one gets a barely passable 50%.

Finally, we round things out with Need for Speed: Carbon for the Playstation 2.  Improved difficulty curve and interesting map features means this title is really turning the franchise back around for the better.  Also, the inclusion of original score music really boosts this games quality.  This with solid graphics rounding things out.  This one gets a very solid 76%.

Music Reviews

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

Sash! – It’s My Life

Alice Deejay – Better Off Alone (Radio Edit)

Aphex Twin – Come to Daddy (Pappy Mix)

Everclear – Everything to Everyone

H2O – EverReady

Matthew Good Band – Indestructible

Duran Duran – Out of My Mind

… and finally, Green Day – Nice Guys Finish Last

Picks of the Month

So, that leads us to our pick of the month.  This month, our pick of the month belongs to Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus for the Playstation 2.  Also, be sure to check out Alice Deejay – Better Off Alone (Radio Edit).


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…and that’s this months episode for February, 2023.  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, Tumblr, and Mastodon.  Thank you for listening and see you next month.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Facebook.

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