Sunday, May 8, 2011

Canadian government plans to outlaw internet linking by Mark Fournier

Canadian government plans to outlaw internet linking

Bill C-51: Investigative Powers for the 21st Century Act

By Mark Fournier | Freedominion

Available at:


One of Prime Minister Stephen Harper's campaign promises was that he would pass the Investigative Powers for the 21st Century Act within 100 days of his May 2, 2011 election. This bill contains some of the most dangerous and oppressive sections in Canadian law.

One example of the dangers of this bill is:


Clause 5 of the bill provides that the offences of public incitement of hatred and wilful promotion of hatred may be committed by any means of communication and include making hate material available, by creating a hyperlink that directs web surfers to a website where hate material is posted...

Hyperlinks are at the very core of the internet, they are what enables every internet user to view any available page on the internet and direct others to view pages. This bill will put the control of all hyperlinks into the hands of government bureaucrats and put all Canadian internet users in legal jeopardy.

This clause essentially makes any Canadian posting a link on the internet legally responsible for the content of any web page linked to even though the person posting the link has no control over the content of that page. If the person who does control the page you've linked to changes the pages content you are still legally responsible because you posted a link.

This will make it unsafe for any Canadian to post a link to any page on the internet that he does not control.

This bill will also make it impossible for any Canadian to operate a forum or a blog that allows for public comments. Even if a blogger vets every posted link on his blog with a bevy of lawyers at his side he still will be held legally liable if the content of the outside web pages changes. The only way to safely operate a blog will be to disallow links to other sites and pages.

Beyond the dangers of this bill as it is supposed to function lies the massive potential for abuse by government agents and private individuals. A person who dislikes you for political, competitive or personal reasons could easily set you up with legal problems. Using readily available proxy servers and disposable emails anyone could set up a simple webpage outside of Canada with a theme of “I hate [enter favoured group here] and then post a link to it on your forum or blog. A screen shot of both the created page and the hyperlink on your page is all the evidence needed to show the new law has been violated.

The immediate and potential dangers of this law cannot be overstated.

Beware of government censors posing as agents for law and order.

This bill will be part of the Crime Bill that the Conservatives intend to pass within 100 days.

Don't let that happen!




This text is from a posting by Mark Fournier on FreeDominion at