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Chapter 9: Internet Law, Policy, and Governance

Both Stanford University and Harvard University maintain centres related to “Internet law”:

In Canada, Michael Geist at the University of Ottawa maintains a blog as do several other law professors, including Jon Festinger, who writes on cyberlaw, and especially games and law.

Many government agencies, including the privacy commissioner for the country and many of the provinces, maintain web sites for information relating to legal issues online. Browse the web site for thePrivacy Commissioner of Canada.

Additional sites of interest include the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunication Commission (CRTC) and the main Government of Canada site.

Advocacy groups, such as BC Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) also maintain active sites.

International agencies, such as the World Trade Organization (WTO), the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), to name just a few, also maintain sites relating to Internet law and regulation.

The Internet is loosely governed at the international level. Some of the players include the Internet Society, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, and the Internet Engineering Task Force. Much governance of the Internet remains cooperative and informal, but controversy has continued to grow amid concerns about over-reliance on US interest in the management of the Internet. Wikipedia maintains an up-to-date page on the topic.

Philip Savage, who was interviewed for the text, maintains a Twitter feed and a personal home page.

One of the founding principles of Internet law and governance, so-called net-neutrality, was dealt a blow in early 2014 in a US court decision (check out this article from Re/Code). Canadian net neutrality provisions are also subject to considerable pressure from time to time. For example, the 2012 “throttling” dispute involving Rogers (and other telecommunication companies). Because there are considerable tensions in a topic like this, it is something that goes back and forth and is subject to lobbying and pressure on both sides. One of the prominent advocacy groups for net neutrality in Canada—OpenMedia—also has a web site.