Home > cdnpoli, Digital Policy, Digital Revolution, net neutrality > Internet Regulation in Canada Forecasted by 2019

Internet Regulation in Canada Forecasted by 2019

Most experts believe that the NSA leaks have globally given thought to internet regulation as more and more governments seek refuge from praying eyes.  Governments are increasingly looking at ways to basically control the communication flow of traffic within their boarders, and most experts believe we will end up with a fragmented Internet that will disrupt the “free flow” of information in the very near future.  I’m now forecasting that the internet will be fully regulated by 2019 in Canada.

The Global Commission on Internet Governance is a new think tank that will try to develop best practices for Internet regulation and governance in an attempt to keep the free flow of information alive, as ideology around internet regulation becomes more solidified politically over the next few years.   Meanwhile on the opposite side of the spectrum, Graham Henderson the head of the Canadian Recording Industry’s Music Canada (the main lobby group for the big 4 American music labels) is asking that regulation include the blocking of sites linked to downloadable content, and search engine manipulation to ensure that internet users are pointed to legal buying opportunities.

In between these 2 ideological points of view will be an inevitable situation where regulations will be developed in the near future, which in turn will determine the course of the future of the internet. Regulatory policy will effect our economy, the middle class, and the everyday consumer.  With the 2015 elections coming into play here in Canada over the next year or so, one would suspect that digital policy would become a priority for all political parties.  It’s going to become increasingly clear that by election time, you can not have an economic goal without a digital policy to achieve that goal going forward.

The governing Conservative party held a national consultation on digital policy a few years back, however what’s missing is a digital platform leaving many to wonder why tax payers money went into a consultation process, with no digital economic policy decisions to date based on those consultations.  The consultations that took place are now out of date, and obsolete.  After the NSA leaks in May of 2013, the conversation has changed greatly from the conversations that took place during these consultations.

Liberal leader Justin Trudeau’s main goal is to focus on the middle class, with no digital policy on how he’s going to achieve this. The NDP have traditionally sided with net neutrality issues, are still missing in action on their digital platform as well.

To state the next election will be decisive on choosing our digital and economic path, is an understatement.  Canadians that care about our economic well being, need to also be focused on digital policy issues.  The next election, will truly be our “digital election” with the effects of digital policy going far beyond our children and grandchildren.  Will the internet remain open to the freedom of idea’s, or a closed system controlled by very few?  That will be the decision our next Prime Minister will be forced to make.


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