Monday, October 20, 2008

CRTC looking to build evil empire

I don't have a lot of time to comment on this just now, falling behind in other writing work. But I want to make a note of this now for further action soon. Canada's broadcasting regulator, the CRTC is floating a balloon in an attempt to justify its entering into the business of regulating the internet. This idea should be completely unacceptable to any Canadian with a regard for freedom and who knows that the idea of a "balanced" media environment is the quintessence not of neutrality but of the liberal world view: a world regulated by "balanced" elites who get to define what is respectably "right" and "left" and what cannot be heard because too "extreme". Others have already made some observations as to why we must quickly start protesting this move towards growing thought control:

Deborah Gyapong: The CRTC wants to control the Internet--don't let them:
Let's make sure they don't put the kybosh on the last free speech zone there is and use Google the way China does to suppress dissent. Let's make sure that the Mainstream Media does not make sure that only their portals to the Internet are available and those that have a conservative or traditional or Christian or otherwise religious viewpoint are no longer available or only at a higher cost to state-registered "approved" sites. - ESSAYS ON OUR TIMES
The latest power grab is through the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, the antiquated regulatory authority for broadcasting and telephony. It was established in its present form, with a social-engineering mandate to promote "Canadian unity," by the Trudeau government in 1976. Such decisions as its recent one to deny broadcast rights to two Ottawa-area Christian radio stations, 11 days after approving a new "Canadian-content" pornographic TV channel in Alberta, are typical of the commissioners' judgment.

This week, the CRTC announced its intention to break the promise made by its then-chairperson, Fran├žoise Bertrand, in 1999: "Our message is clear. We are not regulating any portion of the Internet." In a "notice of consultation and hearing" on Wednesday, the commission suddenly gave Dec. 5 as its deadline for submissions about expanding the CRTC's jurisdiction into "new media."

That this announcement was made by the CRTC, rather than by Parliament, is an indication of the degree to which the CRTC is a law unto itself.

In the time-honoured, mealy-mouthed way, the CRTC will soon be explaining that its intentions are innocent, that it is merely trying to keep up with the convergence of broadcast and Internet technologies. Only a naive fool will believe that. The regulator has created a strict broadcasting environment in which Christian and all other views that do not conform to political correctness are effectively kept under siege. The left hungers for the ability to create a similar tightly regulated environment on the Internet, to bring the free reporting and opinions of bloggers and other citizen-journalists under its ideological jackboot.

The citizens' response to this imposture should be short and sharp: "We were not born yesterday. We know your game, we know where you are going with it. Do not try to insult our intelligence. This is Canada, this is a free country, and to keep it free we must stand on guard against commissars like thee. Take your filthy stinking hands off the Internet."

But while I recommend this as a defensive half-measure, a much bolder approach is required over the longer term. No one wins playing only on defence. The CRTC already has powers of regulation over broadcasting content that are offensive to a free people; powers that go far beyond the simple and once-necessary task of apportioning finite broadcasting bandwidth.

Advances in technology have made it less and less necessary to impose rationing on the airwaves. We have got beyond the "rabbit ears" age. Digital technology for cable and satellite have moved far beyond this, and the Internet itself becomes capable of delivering a range of material unimagined only a generation ago. Nor is telephony what it was in past generations. The CRTC is a fossil relic from an antediluvian era.

Digital Home Canada - CRTC initiates proceedings into its regulation of the Internet
In a written statement this week, the federal bureaucrats said the review was required now because Canadians are now spending more time watching video over the internet and mobile devices. The Commission, therefore, wishes to consult on the "the appropriateness of the Commission's exemption orders for new media and mobile broadcasting services."

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