Troubling Tech News from Canada

May 7, 2018

When people discuss high tech countries and also countries that censor its citizens through technology, Canada rarely enters either conversation. The country is democratic and values free speech, but has no Silicon Valley. However, a Canadian company was recently outed as a catalyst for censorship in other countries, according to a CBC story, “To Censor The Internet, 10 Countries Use Canadian Filtering Technology.”

According to the story:

“As part of a globe-spanning investigation released Wednesday, researchers at the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab say they have found fresh evidence that internet-filtering technology developed by Waterloo, Ont.-based Netsweeper is being used in 10 countries to censor access to news, religious content, LGBTQ+ resources, and political campaigns.

“India and Pakistan, both parliamentary democracies, are two notable entries in a list of regimes that includes the UAE.”

Very disturbing news for any democratic nation, but oddly, not the last of the bad news involving Canadian Tech. Lawmakers in Ottawa have also begun investigating whether or not Canadian tech companies are related to various human rights violations. This is troubling news, but nothing new for countries that practice free speech. That right allows some to profit off of others’ lack of those rights. Hopefully, the Canadian government and people will find a solution to this dangerous news.

Patrick Roland, May 7, 2018


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