QUEBEC FACING OPPOSITION TO INTERNET BLOCKING LAW
Quebec First Nation community prepared to fight provincial governments interference with the Internet.
Media reports from Montreal indicate that an unidentified Mohawk First Nation community is preparing to tackle the Quebec provincial government on its questionable new law 74, which authorises the ISP blocking of online gambling sites as determined by the provinces own Loto-Quebec gambling enterprise, which includes the online site EspaceJeux.
The law, passed under the guise of a public health measure after provincial politicians had already discussed removing competition to improve EspaceJeux revenues, has attracted wide criticism for its anti-competitive nature and apparent conflict with the Net Neutrality concept, and federal laws which place the responsibility for telecommunications squarely in the national governments jurisdiction
In pushing the bill, Quebec Finance Minister Carlos Leitao claimed that "illegal" online gambling websites had cost Loto-Québec upwards of Cdn$ 200 million in lost revenue.
The Mohawk community claims that the new law violates their tribal territorial rights, whilst Internet freedom advocates have condemned it as a dangerous precedent for further government interference in the Internet.
Online law expert Michael Geist is on record on the issue as opining that the new law is questionable on several grounds, and indicates that the Quebec government is attempting to censor the Internet for its own commercial gain.
No court filings have yet been reported, but the Mohawk community involved is reportedly firm in its intention that the new law must be challenged.