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Canadian House of Commons votes to strengthen net neutrality

M-168 asks the House of Commons to recognize five things:

  • “that the internet has thrived due to Net Neutrality principles of openness, transparency, freedom and information.”
  • Canada’s existing and “strong” net neutrality rules already in place.
  • the importance of continuing to preserve “open internet” to various aspects of democracy and citizen and societal well-being
  • the importance of expressing support for net neutrality.
  • a call on the government to use net neutrality as a guiding principle of the upcoming Telecommunications Act and Broadcasting Act reviews.

The bill was sponsored by John Oliver, an MP for the Oakville, Ontario riding.

“Requiring that net neutrality be a guiding principle in the review and update of these acts signals a clear commitment to placing consumers and content providers first…that is a very important signal to send to the industry.” — Oliver, as reported by the Financial Post

As BetaKit reports, no law in Canada explicitly acknowledges the existence of net neutrality. Instead, a section of the Telecommunications Act is used to both argue for net neutrality protections and against establishing formal net neutrality laws. This is where M-168 comes in.

This news from Canada comes in the midst of the US going through their own net neutrality fight. In December, the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) repealed the rules around net neutrality that had been established by the Obama administration, but earlier this month the US Senate voted to re-instate those rules. The House has since announced plans to force its own vote on net neutrality and members of congress have “ripped in to” FCC Chairman Ajit Pai over his “lack of candor,” Tech Crunch has more on the saga.

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