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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

From Michael Geist: Parties' Digital Policy Scorecard

Nobody will ever win or lose an election on copyright or internet policy, but these are important issues and it's good to know where each party stands. Of note from the Wireless Nomad point of view is the Green platform, which actually is in favour of real net neutrality and supports open source software. There's more to government than tech policies (or environmental policies!), but I would argue tech policy has significant and long-term effects on our society and economy, and deserves whatever attention we can spare.

From Prof. Geist's website:

Parties' Digital Policy Scorecard Heading Into Election Day

As the national election campaign launched five weeks ago, I wrote that "the election presents an exceptional opportunity to raise the profile of digital issues." While the economy unsurprisingly dominated much of the political discourse, each of the national parties unveiled platforms and positions that included some discussion of digital policy. With Canadians headed to the polls today, this column offers a scorecard on each party's digital policy positions...

...While the Green party is associated primarily with environmental issues, the party presented a fairly robust digital policy position. It rejected copyright legislation based on providing legal protection for digital locks, called for an end to crown copyright, and provided the most explicit support for net neutrality, noting in its platform that it would prohibit "Internet Service Providers from discriminating due to content while freeing them from liability for content transmitted through their systems."

The party was also the only one to focus on the emergence of open source software. Its platform says that the party will "ensure that all new software developed for or by government is based on open standards" and that it would encourage and support transitions to open source software in government and education.



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