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ECPA moving forward

spammyThe clause-by-clause review of the controversial Electronic Commerce Protection Act by the House of Commons standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology is drawing to a close, and it appears that some of the staunchest critics of the Bill are withdrawing their objections.

The supporters of the Bill, like Dr. Michael Geist, say that it’s needed to prevent Canada from being a “spam haven”. Janet DiFrancesco, Director General of the Electronic Commerce Branch of the Department of Industry, goes further, claiming that the legislation is necessary to control the “malicious and detrimental activities that dissuade Canadians and Canadian businesses from taking part in the online marketplace”.

On the other hand, critics of the Bill claim that it goes too far and has the potential to deter legitimate forms of commercial activity and stultify the use of the Internet for legitimate business purposes. They hoped to soften the impact of the legislation at the committee stage by introducing numerous exceptions and amendments.

So why would the critics back off? It may be that there’s little appetite to follow the disastrous example of the National Do Not Call List, where intense lobbying for exceptions made the DNCL a toothless laughingstock.

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Colin Braithwaite

Freelance writer at Colin Braithwaite Editorial Services
Colin Braithwaite has more than 20 years experience in writing and publishing. From 2004–2010, Colin was the Managing Editor responsible for the products in the Internal Control Library at First Reference Inc.Read more
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