"A typically Canadian reaction by BC Telecom. Never defend constitutionally guaranteed rights to freedom of expression, freedom of speech, UN Declaration of Human Rights Article 19 etc.
No - run to the cops! Run to government! Run to the courts! In other words, run to Big Brother! Let him decide and rule over us!
"Here is the difference between America and Canada. That's why Canadians are known as 'British subjects' to this day - and that's why Americans, by contrast, fought for their freedom 222 years ago, to be free men and women, to think and decide for themselves, free from government interference."
Against that statement, read the following press release, dated April 17, 1998:
"BC TELECOM responds to web site complaints
"Burnaby, B.C. -- BC TELECOM is asking law-enforcement agencies for assistance in responding to complaints involving Web sites served by Fairview Technology Centre Ltd., an Internet service provider in Oliver, British Columbia. A BC TELECOM subsidiary provides Internet access to Fairview Technology.
'We met with B'nai Brith and the Canadian Anti-Racism Education & Research Society two weeks ago to hear their concerns about these Web sites,' said Dorothy Byrne, BC TELECOM's vice-president of law and regulatory affairs. 'We immediately hired senior criminal counsel to help us review material on these Web sites. Yesterday, this external counsel advised us in a report that he did access material on these sites that, in his opinion, violates the hate propaganda provisions of Canada's Criminal Code.'
BC TELECOM has shared these findings with the hate crimes unit of the R.C.M.P. and officials with the Ministry of the Attorney-General of British Columbia. The company has also advised Fairview Technology, B'nai Brith and the Canadian Anti-Racism Education & Research Society.
'We've spent an enormous amount of time and resources understanding the nature of these Web sites and grappling with our role and responsibilities as a telecommunications carrier,' Byrne added.
'We've considered carefully the concerns of the complainants as well as other concerns expressed by the Internet community. Also, we've heard from hundreds of our customers. The vast majority of them believe strongly in free speech and don't feel it's appropriate for us to take direct action against this Internet service provider. This feedback has been very valuable to us because we don't want to make any decision in isolation.
'The question of restricting content on the Internet is new to us and others worldwide. In fact, it's such uncharted territory that there have not yet been any Canadian or, to our knowledge, U.S. cases that have applied hate propaganda laws to Internet communications. Quite simply, there is no easy solution. That's why we're turning to the law-enforcement agencies for assistance.
'Like most Canadians, we feel our justice system is best suited to take the lead on issues of this kind that are potentially criminal. We're hopeful the extensive research we've conducted during the past two weeks will be useful to the Attorney-General and the R.C.M.P.'
BC TELECOM will comply with any court orders or requests from law-enforcement agencies regarding this matter.
For more information, please contact:
Media relations manager
1-800-892-4120 (toll-free pager)
firstname.lastname@example.org (e-mail address)
Thought for the Day:
"The beaver is a good national symbol for Canada. He's so busy chewing he can't see what's going on."
Back to Table of Contents of the April 1998 ZGrams