But first and foremost, Canada must get its own house in order. Thailand wasn’t the only country requesting that Google remove content; Ottawa did as well. What is most notable, and troubling, about Canada’s takedown requests is that an increasing number were not accompanied by a court order, but rather fell into Google’s category of “other” requests from the “executive, police, etc”.
This demonstrates that the government increasingly is bypassing formal and lawful processes in their attempts to get the compliance of private sector companies in their Internet censorship activities. Meanwhile, the government continues to resurrect Bill C30, despite widespread condemnation. The proposed electronic surveillance law would give the government unprecedented access to Canadians’ private online information without the requirement of a warrant.
If the Canadian government fails to respect freedom of expression, the right to privacy, and the rule of law in our own country, how can it expect other countries to do so in theirs?
* Kieran Bergmann, “Throttling free speech, at home and abroad”