In recent years the intersection between law, technology, and policy has exploded as digital policy has become a mainstream concern in Canada and around the world. This podcast explores digital policies in conversations with people studying the legal and policy challenges, set the rules, or are experts in the field. It provides a Canadian perspective, but since the internet is global, examining international developments and Canada’s role in shaping global digital policy is be an important part of the story.
Lawbytes is hosted by Michael Geist, a law professor at the University of Ottawa, where he holds the Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-commerce Law and where he is a member of the Centre for Law, Technology and Society.
Episode 192: Kate Robertson on the Privacy, Expression and Affordability Risks in Bill C-26
Bill C-26, alternately described as a cyber-security, critical infrastructure or telecom bill, remains largely below the radar screen despite its serious implications for privacy, expression, and affordable network access. The bill is currently being studied at a House of Commons committee that seems more interested in partisan political gamesmanship rather than substantive hearings. Kate Robertson is lawyer and senior research associate at the Citizen Lab in the Munk School at the University of Toronto who is a former criminal counsel and the co-author of one of the most extensive Bill C-26 committee submissions. She appeared last week at the committee studying the bill, but with limited opportunity to engage on the issues, she joins the Law Bytes podcast to talk about the bill, the concerns it raises, and some of the potential fixes.
Episode 191: Luca Bertuzzi on the Making of the EU Artificial Intelligence Act
European countries reached agreement late last week on a landmark legislative package to regulate artificial intelligence. AI regulation has emerged as a key issue over the past year as the explosive growth of ChatGPT and other generative AI services have sparked legislation, lawsuits and national consultations. The EU AI Act is heralded as the first of its kind and as a model for Canadian AI rules. Luca Bertuzzi is a Brussels-based tech journalist who was widely regarded as the leading source of information and analysis about the unfolding negotiations involving the EU AI Act. He joins the Law Bytes podcast to explain the EU process, the ongoing opposition by some countries, and the future steps for AI regulation in Europe.
Episode 190: Debating Bill S-210 - Senator Julie Miville-Dechêne Defends Her Internet Age Verification Bill
I’ve described Bill S-210, the Protecting Young Persons from Exposure to Pornography Act, as the most dangerous Internet bill you’ve never heard of as it contemplates measures that raise privacy concerns, website blocking, and extend far beyond pornography sites to include search and social media. The bill started in the Senate and having passed there is now in the House of Commons, where MPs voted in favour of it at second reading and sent it to committee for further study. Senator Julie Mivelle-Dechêne is the chief architect and lead defender of the bill. A former Radio-Canada broadcaster who was appointed to the Senate by Justin Trudeau in 2018, she joins the Law Bytes podcast to debate her bill as she provides her rationale for it and defends against the criticism and concerns it has sparked.
The Law Bytes Podcast, Episode 189: The Year in Canadian Digital Law and Policy and What Lies Ahead in 2024
Canadian digital law and policy in 2023 was marked by so many legislative battles that you needed a scorecard to keep track: Bill C-11 on online streaming, Bill C-18 on online news, and Bill C-27 on privacy and AI were the headliners, but there were notable developments on content regulation, competition, and a digital services tax. For this final Law Bytes podcast of 2023, I go solo without a guest to talk about the most significant developments in Canadian digital policy from the past year and to think a bit about what may lie ahead in 2024.
Episode 188: Consumers, Competition or Corporate Cash Grab? - My Bill C-11 Appearance at the CRTC
The CRTC just concluded a three week hearing on Bill C-11 with its primary focus on the prospect of mandating interim payments by Internet streaming services. The result was predictable as just about everyone made their way to Gatineau to make their case for cash. I appeared for the first time before the CRTC where argued that it should prioritize competition, consumer choice and affordability, recognizing that the emerging system brings with it risks of market exit or higher prices. This week’s Law Bytes episode goes inside the Commission hearing for my opening statement and exchanges with the panel of Commissioners.
Episode 187: Jeff Elgie on What the Bill C-18 Deal with Google Means for the Future of the Canadian News Sector
The Canadian government tried to salvage the Online News Act last week as its struck a deal with Google that will bring in $100 million to support the news sector and remove concerns about blocked news links. The government had to overhaul its own law in order to reach the agreement, tossing aside most of the core elements in favour of a fund-style single payment from Google. The reaction to the agreement from the news sector has been mixed at best with relative silence from many supporters and outright opposition from the likes of Torstar. So what to make the of the deal and what comes next? Jeff Elgie is the CEO of Village Media, one of the largest independent, digital-only news outlets in Canada. He joins the Law Bytes podcast to walk though his participation in the process, reaction to the agreement, and thoughts for the future.
How refreshing to hear this kind of thoughtful, well considered analysis is these important topics. And well articulated too!
From students to experts, everyone learns from this podcast. No wonder the entire legal community subscribes to it.
Thanks for the Tribute to Ian Kerr
Made for an emotional commute this morning, but it was also an inspiration to keep fighting the good fight and to keep paying goodness forward. Thanks Michael.