Internet Traffic Shaping in Canada

A recent survey by the Canadian Press Harris-Decima poll on the internet traffic management in Canada suggests one in five surveyed supports the idea as long as all users are treated fairly.

From the Internet Service Provider’s (ISP) point of view, they are doing the right thing by reducing clogs during peak-use-time due to peer-to-peer file sharing services. However, I believe that type of service comes with a cost to regular subscribers. In order to execute such monitoring service, ISP will need to know activities of each and every subscriber which breaching their privacy. The Privacy Commissioner of Canada should be involved in the discussions that Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) are currently having ensuring the privacy of Canadians.

With regards to the Canadian Press Harris-Decima survey, I am curious if the survey ever educated the respondents with the details especially about the ramifications to the regular ISP subscriber if the ISP is allowed to shape internet traffic. According to the report by the Canadian Press, 54 per cent of the respondents did not know whether the traffic management affects them personally.

Couple this with two recent bills – the Investigative Powers for the 21st Century Act and the Technical Assistance for Law Enforcement in the 21st Century Act – just introduced before the House of Commons that will allow police to collect information about Canadian Internet users without a warrant and to activate tracking devices in their mobile devices and cars; wouldn’t it be a free pass to the privacy of every Canadian internet user?

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