Canada's Research in Motion (RIM), the company that gave the world the Blackberry smart phone, has been embroiled in a battle with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) over the use of Blackberries inside their borders. Like all good totalitarian regimes, UAE is demanding complete access to all encrypted communication over the Blackberry network or it will suspend all Blackberry services in the country.
Communications technology, such as that found in the innovative Blackberry, terrifies governments.
Because these tiny handheld devices give the average citizen instant access to the internet and all the information it contains. Information that cannot be controlled by our government propaganda machines.
This battle is one that will be seen again in the future, I'm sure, as every government wants access to the private communications of its citizens. Good, safe democracies like Canada are not immune from such stupidity.
Free Speech is an issue very few governments actually embrace.
The United States, for example, stopped embracing the ideal about 20 years after the revolution that formed that great nation. Canada is not far behind.
Our so-called Human Rights Tribunals are nothing, if not an institutionalized form of citizen terror used to silence free speech, not protect it. Use of the internet to speak ones mind, just like I am doing here, has garnered people massive fines and legal bills. All because their speech wasn't "approved speech". But that's not what free speech is... it is not the freedom for me to say what YOU want to believe... it's the right for me to say what I believe, your beliefs be damned.
Prior to the high-profile cases of Ezra Levant and Mark Stein, Canada's Human Rights Tribunals (ever "bastions of freedom") had never presided over a single allegation that was unfounded. Every single case brought before them, until Levant and Stein, were upheld by these government buffoons.
I for one am grateful they grew too big for their britches and went after people who buy ink by the barrel and paper by the boxcar.
And while the United States is currently calling the battle between RIM and UAE a freedom of speech issue... The lady doth protest too much.
I wonder if they will take the same view of it when it's their turn at the block and they attempt to blackmail RIM into handing over full access to their systems and hardware.
Citing National Security Concerns, of course, just like UAE is doing now.