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Online Harms

by on September 27, 2021

 

Timothy Denton’s Blog

Commentary and insights on policy issues in telecommunications and the Internet.

People think that fascism appears as gangs of thugs in black uniforms beating people up. I suspect that it first appears by thought and word, before it manifests as physical violence.

If you define the word “fascism” in its Italian sense, it means “nothing outside the State, everything for the State, and nothing against the State”, then obviously the role of the private sector – and you – is subordinated to statist purposes. I invite you to read the submission of the Internet Society Canada Chapter to the Department of Heritage in this light.

It is a long submission, twenty pages, because it had to be that long in order to describe the abominable measures that the government is proposing. While C10, the broadcasting proposal, had one central error, namely expanding the definition of broadcasting to cover all audio-visual transmissions, the proposals for online harms combine most every fault of conception and practicality that can be imagined, and a few more.

If after reading the ISCC’s response, you believe that the online harms proposals are not fascistic, or are better described in other terms, I shall be pleased to hear your point of view. I suspect that we Canadians have the problem best described by Orwell, that it takes all of our concentration to see what is directly before our noses. What is the nature of the proposals called “on line harms”? Until I am induced to a better and more precise understanding, I call it fascism, albeit proposed by people who think they are doing good. To which I say, more evil is done by people who think they are doing good than ever is committed by the self-consciously evil. The chief objection, of course, is that the government’s proposals are illiberal, and betoken a grim future for us all if enacted.

https://internetsociety.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/ISCC-Response-Online-Harms-Final-21-9-21-1.pdf

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