Thursday, July 28, 2016 : ANOTHER COURT CHALLENGE FOR QUEBECS INTERNET CENSORSHIP LAW (Update)
Canadian wireless telecom lobby files court action against the notorious Law 74.
The Quebec provincial governments attempt to hobble online gambling competition to its own Espacejeux.com commercial venture through the recently implemented ISP-blocking Law 74 has triggered another legal challenge, this one from the powerful Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association.
The Association filed its legal challenge with the Quebec Superior Court Wednesday, with spokesman Mark Choma claiming that the legalization is unconstitutional and that additionally:
* Telecommunications laws are the preserve of Canadian federal authorities;
* That Quebecs law 74 violates the federal Telecommunications Act by forcing Internet service companies to control or influence Internet content.
Quebecs controversial attempt to control Internet content grants the state-owned Loto Quebec (parent of online gambling site Espacejeux.com) authority to draw up a blacklist of online gambling companies accessing Quebec punters and then require Internet Service Providers to block the domains of those operators, effectively stifling competition for Espacejeux.
Whilst originally touting in budget documents the advantages to Espacejeux of blocking other operators, Quebec politicians have more recently claimed that the ban is justified on public health grounds (public health being within the jurisdiction of the province).
Commenting on the law, the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association spokesman said that it forces Association members like Bell and Videotron to choose between complying with federal or provincial law, and is a violation of Net Neutrality.
Previously, legal observers have condemned the law for similar reasons, and noted that it also infringes on rights to freedom of speech .
Canadas federal 1993 Telecommunications Act clearly states: "Except where the Commission (the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission) approves otherwise, a Canadian carrier shall not control the content or influence the meaning or purpose of telecommunications carried by it for the public.