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Trudeau Pushes Online Censorship Bill To “Protect” People From “Misinformation”

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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau last week complained that governments have allegedly been left without the necessary tools to “protect people from misinformation.”

This “dire” warning came as part of Trudeau’s effort to have the Online Harms Act (Bill C-63) – one of the most controversial of its kind pieces of censorship legislation in Canada of late – pushed across the finish line in the country’s parliament.

C-63 has gained notoriety among civil rights and privacy advocates because of some of its provisions around “hate speech,” “hate propaganda,” and “hate crime.”

Under the first two, people would be punished before they commit any transgression, but also retroactively.

However, in a podcast interview for the New York Times, Trudeau defended C-63 as a solution to the “hate speech” problem, and clearly, a necessary “tool,” since according to this politician, other avenues to battle real or imagined hate speech and crimes resulting from it online have been exhausted.

Not one to balk at speaking out of both sides of his mouth, Trudeau at one point essentially admits that the more control governments have (and the bill is all about control, critics say, regardless of how its sponsors try to sugarcoat it) the more likely they are to abuse it.

He nevertheless goes on to declare that new legislative methods of “protecting people from misinformation” are needed and, in line with this, talk up C-63 as some sort of balanced approach to the problem.

But it’s difficult to see that “balance” in C-63, which is currently debated in the House of Commons. If it becomes law, it will allow the authorities to keep people under house arrest should they decide these people could somewhere down the line commit “hate crime or hate propaganda” – a chilling application of the concept of “pre-crime.”

These persons could also be banned from accessing the internet.

The bill seeks to not only produce a new law but also amend the Criminal Code and the Canadian Human Rights Act, and one of the provisions is no less than life in prison for those found to have committed a hate crime offense along with another criminal act.

As for hate speech, people whose statements run afoul of C-63 would face fines equivalent to some $51,000.

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