(“War on Internet” is from Jane Gaffin’s archives, published in the Whitehorse Star, February 25, 2002, and is posted here in conjunction with the current “Big Brother is Eyeing Complete Take-Over of the Internet”.)
In keeping with the Red Book election campaign promises, Prime Minister Jean Chrétien and his Industry Canada minister of the day, Brian Tobin, had promised everybody in Canada access to high-speed Internet by 2004.
The terrorist attack on America saved the Liberals the trouble of having to fulfill their commitment. In mid-December (2001), a hastily-drafted, ill-debated anti-terrorist bill was pushed into law as a so-called security measure in the aftermath of 9-11 events.
Various cabinet ministers, interviewed on separate occasions by Anthony Germaine, host of Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s radio show The House, began to back-peddle their official political-pledge position. They blamed budgetary restraints due to the measures that had to be addressed in the new terrorism legislation. So, the altered target date, they said, for high-speed computer access was “as quickly as possible”.
Expressing overtures about the priority to implement protective procedures throughout government were Finance Minister Paul Martin, Human Resources Minister Jane Stewart and Allan Rock, who inherited the Industry Canada portfolio from “retiree” Tobin during Chrétien’s sweeping cabinet shuffle in mid-January (2002).
The weekend before the swearing-in-ceremony, computer wizards were hacking into the computer system served from Ottawa. Employees were evidently the last to know that the external e-mail access was first on the list of items to be dismantled and disabled Canada-wide on January 12 (2002).
Instead of improving Internet services for “everybody in Canada”, especially in remote regions, the government inconvenienced users by firewalling access to all Web-mail sites, such as Hotmail, Yahoo, Magma, Netscape, AOL, Sympatico, etc.
A denial notice, posted by Linda Bloskie, director of IC (Industry Canada) Network Services, explained the security measure was the result of terrorism acts against New York and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001.
Bloskie invited anyone with questions or comments to e-mail her but she didn’t provide an address.
“The security measure is being taken because the use of such e-mail accounts by desktops on the IC Network can inadvertently introduce e-mail viruses from those sites,” said the notice.
This is a crock of IT (intelligent technology in polite circles). Anyone bent on infecting the system can send a message to a government e-mail address from an outside Web-mail site, anyway.
The disabling was for the expressed purpose of scrubbing messages, which had been slow reaching their destinations because government was screening the material for unacceptable “hate” words--a direct fallout from C-36.
This terrifying law, which was purported to be a war on terrorism in the spirit of national security, has turned into a war on the Internet and free speech.
Suppression of information is the tyrannical deed of the devil. And the only effective way to combat the wickedness and retain a semblance of a free and democratic society is to be informed.
Free exchange of information on the Internet is more vital than ever to defend civil liberties against the depredations of evil leftists who are spreading lies and poisonous half-truths widely through the Net and liberal mainstream media. It is obvious that pseudo-journalists and “politically-correct” hacks, who have no principles nor integrity, cannot be trusted with facts.
Muzzling the Internet will play into the agenda of these dangerous busybodies by severely crippling fundamental rights and freedoms as guaranteed in 2(b) of the charter: “freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communications.”
“Should we allow one day of terror, executed by nine suicide bombers, to scare us into relinquishing the civil liberties that have been won through blood, sweat and tears, since the time of the Magna Carta?”
So asks Jim McKee in his piece titled “Trading Liberty for Security”. The Ontario-based writer pointed out in a recent Dialogue magazine that one of the police-state powers given the government and its agencies under C-36 authorizes judges to order the deletion of material from any Internet site in Canada that is deemed to be “hateful”.
To merely criticize the delicately-sensitive government might be considered “hate”. For sure, to specifically criticize its poor immigration policy would be open season for Web site censorship.
You and the judge could become bosom buddies. From the time the court orders your Web site gagged until it can potentially be restored could be five years or longer, winding through courts exhausting appeals.
Among the 15 or more statutes that need amending to accommodate the terrorism legislation is the Canadian Human Rights Act.
Paul Fromm, director of the Canadian Association for Free Expression, noted in a newsletter that the Human Rights Act makes discrimination out of any published material that is “likely to expose hatred or contempt” on members of privileged groups.
The privileged are designated by race, national or ethnic origin, colour, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, family status, disability, even those whose conviction of an offence has been granted pardon. These type discriminatory acts water down democracy by trying to pretend that giving special rights to select groups supersede natural rights
“But under Section 13.1 of the Human Rights Act, truth is no defence, nor does intention matter,” Fromm reminds us. The censorship lobby, which has long had its sights fixed on the Internet, is ecstatic, he added.
These self-righteous, politically-correct socialists are crawling out of the dark corners like so many repulsive roaches to intentionally destroy people’s freedom of expression and their rights to ownership of intellectual and entertainment properties.
The January (2002) issue of Canadian Intelligence Service also acknowledges the whole government attack on the Internet as nothing more than an attack on freedom of speech and communication for all except those of politically-correct opinion.
“In every respect, its provisions are the very denial and negation of English common law, which is the basis of Canadian law,” the CIS bulletin states.
But using the Internet to attack freedom is not making an iota of contribution to Canadian security, nor to the war against terrorism.
Nope. “(It) is in reality itself an attack on Canadians’ freedoms and the institutionalizing of bureaucratic terrorism,” continues the CIS commentary, “using the present crisis as the excuse for inflicting such a Draconian measure on our own people.”
The Canadian government’s tampering with the Internet is a scary, maggot-infested people-control device that any freedom-loving person knows must be stopped dead in its tracks.
Otherwise, the next tyrannical move is for government agents to round up and chuck hard copies of your Bibles and books, CDs and photographs into fiery incinerators, along with your firearms, and then seize all independently-owned printing presses.