Protest Against Quebec's Proposed "Illegal Web Filtering"Published October 23, 2015 by Elana K
Part of Quebec's budget included a new measure called "illegal website filtering," which would block traffic to all illegal gambling websites. The Internet Society slammed this measure, calling it "censorship."
In Quebec’s 2015-2016 budget, which was released earlier this year, the government proposed blocking all illegal gambling websites. This is to be done by changing the laws of the current Consumer Protection Act and adding a measure of “illegal website filtering.” This measure would require Quebec’s ISPs to block traffic to online gambling sites that compete with Quebec’s lottery corporation, Loto-Quebec.
The Internet Society, an international group whose mission is “to promote the open development, evolution, and use of the Internet for the benefit of all people throughout the world,” has come out calling this proposal “censorship,” and Canadian Chapter Chair Timothy Denton has even gone so far as to write an open letter to Quebec’s government, warning of the shortcomings and even dangers of such a plan.
Contents of the Letter
Denton wrote that the proposed act is “a direct attack on the freedom of movement of thought.” He also pointed out that the government’s proposal will cost more to implement than the revenues that will be gained. He sums up by saying,” “It’s expensive, it’s futile and it sets a bad precedent.”
Everyone Can Calm Down (For Now)
Quebec isn’t anywhere near implementing the government’s new proposal, and has no concrete plans for moving forward. This means that Canadians can continue their online gambling activity unperturbed, as there are no actual plans to change the status quo.
What exactly is the status quo in Canada regarding online gambling?
Currently, the Canadian government has an ambivalent stance on online gambling. On the one hand, they don’t grant licenses to site operators (except to some provincially-approved sites), but on the other hand, Canadians are able to play on any gambling site they choose. In Quebec, some of the most popular online gaming sites are 7Regal Casino, Crazy Vegas Casino and bet365 Casino.