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Censorship Industrial Complex

Internet censorship laws lead a majority of Canadians to believe free speech is threatened: poll

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From LifeSiteNews

By Anthony Murdoch

In light of the barrage of new internet censorship laws being passed or brought forth by the federal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, a new survey revealed that the majority of Canadians feel their freedom of speech is under attack.

According to results from a Leger survey conducted April 26-28 that sampled responses from 1,610 Canadians, 57 percent think their freedom of speech is being threatened, with 36 percent not believing this to be true.

Not surprisingly, those with conservative voting intentions, about 76 percent, were the most likely to feel that their free speech is under attack, with 70 percent of the same group as well as those over 55, feeling that Canada is not as free as before.

The survey results also show that 62 percent of Canadians think it is “tougher to voice their opinion in their country, while 27% think it is easier.”

“Conservative voters (70%) and Canadians aged 55 or older (70%) are more likely to think that it is tougher now to express their opinion,” Leger noted in its survey.

Not surprisingly, Liberal voters were the most supportive of placing limits on free speech, with 64 percent agreeing with the following: “There should be limits on freedom of speech to ensure that things such as hate speech, speeches preaching a form of intolerance, or speeches against democracy be prevented from reaching the public.”

The survey also revealed that about one of four conservative voters believe that their views are not socially acceptable.

Sixty percent of conservative voters said that free speech should never be limited in any manner and that one should be able to express their opinions publicly without issue.

Regarding their reasons for free speech being under attack, 11 percent blamed politicians causing more hate, with eight percent saying “right-wing” extremists were to blame, with seven percent blaming woke-minded thinking as the issue. Twenty-nine percent of Canadians felt that a growing lack of respect is to blame, and 13 percent thought it is due to “a degradation of the moral fibre in the country.”

When it comes to internet censorship laws, the most recent one introduced in the House of Commons is a federal government bill that could lead to large fines or jail time for vaguely defined online “hate speech” infractions under Liberal Minster Attorney General Arif Virani’s Bill C-63, or Online Harms Act.

LifeSiteNews recently reported how well-known Canadian psychologist Jordan Peterson and Queen’s University law professor Bruce Pardy blasted Trudeau and his government over Bill C-63.

Peterson noted that in his view, Bill C-63 is “designed … to produce a more general regime for online policing.”

“To me, that’s what it looks like,” he said.

Two other Trudeau bills dealing with freedom on the internet have become law, the first being Bill C-11 or the Online Streaming Act that mandates Canada’s broadcast regulator, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), oversee regulating online content on platforms such as YouTube and Netflix to ensure that such platforms are promoting content in accordance with a variety of its guidelines.

Trudeau’s other internet censorship law, the Online News Act, was passed by the Senate in June 2023.

The law mandates that Big Tech companies pay to publish Canadian content on their platforms. As a result, Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, blocked all access to news content in Canada. Google has promised to do the same rather than pay the fees laid out in the new legislation.

Critics of recent laws such as tech mogul Elon Musk have said it shows “Trudeau is trying to crush free speech in Canada.”

Censorship Industrial Complex

Trudeau’s ‘Online Harms’ bill so flawed it will never be enforced, Conservative MP says

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From LifeSiteNews

By Anthony Murdoch

Conservative MP Michelle Rempel Garner called the Trudeau government’s ‘Online Harms’ bill ‘irredeemable,’ and doubted it will ever be enforced.

A Conservative MP has contested that a Liberal government bill seeking to further clamp down on online speech is so flawed that it will never be able to be enforced nor come to light before the next election.  

“The government is close to the end of its mandate and does not have a lot of public support across the country,” said Conservative MP Michelle Rempel Garner in the House of Commons last Friday regarding Bill C-63, also known as the “Online Harms Act.” 

Rempel Garner observed that this bill “would not likely become law,” and that she is certain “the regulatory process is not going to happen prior to the next election even if the bill is rammed through.” 

The Online Harms Act, or Bill C-63,was introduced by Justice Minister Arif Virani in the House of Commons in February and was immediately blasted by constitutional experts as troublesome. Put forth under the guise of protecting children from exploitation online, the bill also seeks to expand the scope of “hate speech” prosecutions, and even desires to target such speech retroactively.

The law also calls for the creation of a Digital Safety Commission, a digital safety ombudsperson, and the Digital Safety Office, all tasked with policing internet content.

The bill’s “hate speech” section is accompanied by broad definitions, severe penalties, and dubious tactics, including levying preemptive judgments against people if they are feared to be likely to commit an act of “hate” in the future. 

Details of the new legislation also show the bill could lead to more people jailed for life for “hate crimes” or fined $50,000 and jailed for posts that the government defines as “hate speech” based on gender, race, or other categories. 

Rempel Garner noted that members of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s cabinet do not have public support when it comes to Bill C-63. 

“We are presently living under a government that unlawfully invoked the Emergencies Act and that routinely gaslights Canadians who legitimately question efficacy or the morality of its policies as spreading misinformation,” she said, noting that harmful online internet content could be countered by “laws that are already on the books but have not been recently enforced due to a lack of extreme political will.” 

Bill C-63 an ‘Orwellian’ disaster 

In addition to being slammed by a number of Canadian legal experts, a number of high profile personalities domestically and abroad have taken the time to skewer the proposed law.   

Jordan Peterson, one of Canada’s most prominent psychologists, recently accused the bill of attempting to create a pathway to allow for “Orwellian Thought Crime” to become the norm in the nation.  

During Rumble’s first-ever free-speech-centered live event, speakers including Donald Trump Jr. critiqued Trudeau’s Online Harms Act. 

Even billionaire tech mogul Elon Musk remarked that it is “insane” the Trudeau government’s proposed “Online Harms” bill would target internet speech retroactively if it becomes law. 

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Censorship Industrial Complex

Australia passes digital ID bill, raising fears of government surveillance without accountability

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From LifeSiteNews

By David James

Critics argue the legislation, enacted under the guise of increased security, ramps up government surveillance and control, with no accountability mechanisms for public sector misuse.

The Australian Parliament has passed the Digital ID Bill 2024 and Digital ID (Transitional and Consequential Provisions) Bill 2024 which, it claims, will provide “certainty” for the expansion of the existing Australian government digital ID system.

The move is being presented as a way to improve “privacy and security” for people when interacting online by “verifying” users’ identities. The government claims that the legislation will reduce fraud and other malpractice by private actors, but the bill says nothing about the public actors, the government. The implication is that that the public sector will never do anything wrong with its increased powers, raising the suspicion that it is yet another move by state and federal governments to increase surveillance and control over the lives of citizens.

Australia is a paternalistic society and there is no mechanism to hold the executive branch of government accountable – indeed the possibility is rarely raised. There is thus nothing to stop more intrusions into people’s privacy by the government.

Commenting on the passing of the bill, Queensland Senator Malcolm Roberts from the One Nation Party said that, while the voluntary system has been presented as a measure for security and convenience it could lead to significant privacy breaches, cyber-attacks, and government overreach. He described it as a potential attack on Australians’ “freedom, privacy, and way of life,” especially if it eventually becomes mandatory.

Roberts pointed to the Digital ID bill, the Online Safety Act, the Identity Services Verification Act, and the Misinformation and Disinformation Bill as elements of what looks like a coordinated plan by the federal government “to identify, punish and imprison anyone who resists this slide back into serfdom.” In the initial inquiry into the Digital ID bill, he said, the Human Rights Commission “drew attention to the lack of protection of privacy and human rights in the bill,” but it was ignored. Roberts added that the bill is very similar to legislation being implemented in other Western nations.

A significant proportion of the Australian population has concluded that politicians and the public sector cannot be trusted and that they fail to scrutinize their own actions. As if to underline this unaccountability, the Digital ID bill was passed using “tricks used to stifle debate and public discussion,” according to former federal senator Craig Kelly. He said on X (formerly Twitter) that the way the bill was passed was “contrary to precedent, the spirit of the Constitution and [the] Westminster tradition.”

“Labor introduced the Digital ID in the Senate (the House of review) instead of the House of Representatives,” Kelly wrote. “Then they guillotined debate in the Senate. And in House of Representatives, Labor shifted debate to the Federation Chamber where the Liberals put up token resistance with only one Liberal MP and two National MP’s bothering to speak on the Bill – and they didn’t even try any amendments to protect privacy or to try and safeguard against it being made compulsory.”

The government mendacity continues – at a time when federal laws against “disinformation and misinformation” are being debated. There is constant propaganda in government-funded media outlets about what an effective job was done against the “pandemic” by pursuing lockdowns and mass vaccination. It is false; there was no pandemic. The Australian Bureau of Statistics found that 2020 and 2021 had the lowest number of deaths from respiratory diseases since records have been kept.

The federal government, in a statement, is giving the impression that the move is merely a way to protect vulnerable Australians, to give certainty for providers and services, and to provide transparency in order “to build public trust.” But what is not said is more important than what is said. There is no mechanism for Australians to redress wrongs committed by the government.

What should happen is something that has never existed in Australia: the establishment of a way for Australians to hold the public sector accountable and stop their governments becoming a menace, as occurred during the “pandemic.” Unless public servants are at risk of being penalized, or at least of having their actions constrained, there is a strong likelihood that fears about the Digital ID Bill will ultimately be realized.

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