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HomeNewsSenators amend online streaming bill to require age verification to watch porn

Senators amend online streaming bill to require age verification to watch porn

A Senate committee amending the Liberal authorities’s controversial Invoice C-11 has added the requirement for on-line platforms to confirm age of customers accessing pornography, a transfer web regulation consultants stated was probably unconstitutional.

The shock transfer got here Tuesday morning, when Sen. Julie Miville-Dechêne proposed an modification stating that “on-line undertakings shall implement strategies corresponding to age-verification strategies to forestall youngsters from accessing applications on the Web which might be dedicated to depicting, for a sexual goal, specific sexual exercise.”

You are reading: Senators amend online streaming bill to require age verification to watch porn

The committee handed the modification, with seven senators opposing it, 5 voting in favour and two abstaining. The modification was supported by Conservative senators who’ve been a few of the most vocal critics of Invoice C-11’s potential to have an effect on freedom of expression, together with committee chair Leo Housakos, whereas Sen. Marc Gold, the consultant of the Liberal authorities within the Senate, opposed it.

The amended model of the laws have to be permitted by the total Senate after which return to the Home of Commons earlier than it turns into regulation. It if does go into regulation, it might be as much as the CRTC to resolve find out how to implement the age verification requirement.

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“The age verification necessities added to Invoice C-11 in the present day increase severe constitutional issues,” stated College of Ottawa regulation professor Vivek Krishnamurthy.

“Everybody desires to guard youngsters from age-inappropriate content material, however requiring Canadians to show their age earlier than accessing such content material poses unacceptable privateness dangers.”

He stated the modification “interferes with the rights Canadians get pleasure from underneath the Constitution and worldwide regulation to entry info anonymously.”

College of Ottawa regulation professor Michael Geist stated on his weblog Tuesday that if the modification survives the remainder of the legislative course of, he doesn’t “see the way it survives a constitutional problem.”

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“Relying on how the CRTC implements the coverage, this might require age verification to entry providers corresponding to Twitter and Google, which each allow entry to this type of content material,” Geist stated on his weblog.

Invoice C-11 units up the CRTC to control platforms like Netflix and YouTube, with the concept they’d contribute to the creation of Canadian cultural content material. It has drawn controversy over potential regulation of user-generated content material, however the idea of including age verification necessities wasn’t a part of the talk, or the invoice, till Tuesday’s modification.

Nonetheless, Sen. Miville-Dechêne has beforehand proposed comparable laws. Throughout a 2021 Senate committee listening to on a distinct invoice launched by Sen. Miville-Dechêne, the then-privacy commissioner stated it may lead to numerous privateness issues.

Daniel Therrien stated on the time that if enough privateness measures aren’t taken, the age verification course of “may improve the danger of showing adults’ personal looking habits.”

Emily Laidlaw, a regulation professor on the College of Calgary, additionally instructed senators at that very same 2021 assembly that the proposed laws was “a free expression concern, as a result of it creates a excessive bar for adults to entry authorized content material.”

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