Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Welcome to the net neutrality party

The Liberals provide a pleasant surprise by responding to the Conservative's Orwellian Internet legislation by citing principal and taking a firm policy position.

The one the NDP has held all along.

Hours later, the scene shifted to question period, where Liberal Industry critic Marc Garneau surprised Internet watchers by emphasizing the importance of an open Internet and declaring that the Liberal party now firmly supports net neutrality. The party has adopted a position opposing the management of Internet traffic that infringes privacy and targets specific websites, users and legitimate business applications.

The move represents an unexpected shift in policy direction just weeks before the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission is scheduled to conduct hearings on network management practices. For months, the NDP has stood virtually alone among the major Canadian political parties in its support for web neutrality.

With the Liberals onside, the door is open for a bipartisan effort this fall to enshrine net neutrality principles into law.

Short term tactical thinking setting up a juicy confidence vote? Longer term strategic thinking about demographics and engaged youth? The liberal economic appeal of keeping a major economic sector as unregulated as possible?

Whatever it was, I'll take it. Welcome aboard Libs.

You'll forgive me if I haven't forgotten Bill C-74, I'll be watching closely to see what exactly the new Liberal enthusiasm for net neutrality means when it comes to proposing legislation rather than just opposing it.

1 comment:

Ian said...

I doubt any net neutrality bill would be a confidence question, and I don't see Ignatieff standing before the country and forcing us to an election over it. Good to see some sense come to that party for a change though.

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