Home News ‘The Internet is under attack’: protesters

‘The Internet is under attack’: protesters

by The Concordian February 14, 2012
‘The Internet is under attack’: protesters

Protesters signing the petition against Bill C-11 - Photo by Navneet Pall

Approximately fifty people gathered in Norman Bethune Square on De Maisonneuve Boulevard last Friday to protest anti-piracy legislation currently making its way through the House of Commons.
Many digital activists are up in arms saying that Bill C-11, the Copyright Modernization Act, could change the way people interact with the Internet in Canada.
Nadim Kobeissi, a political science student at Concordia, is a digital rights activist and organizer of the protest. He develops cryptography software and says there’s significant cause for concern should Bill C-11 be made into law.
“This sets a terrible precedent for the future,” he said.
Under the Conservative government’s proposed changes, saving a legally-purchased DVD to a computer would be illegal, he explained. He said even making copies of existing files for storage would be considered copyright infringement.
“The Internet is under attack,” said Kobeissi. “Even if you own something digital, you don’t own it anymore.”
Bill C-11 includes sections pertaining to copyright, performers’ rights, encryption research and non-commercial user-generated content, to name a few. Kobeissi said the extensive limitations are not actually protecting anyone.
“It’s not like we’re infringing on other people’s rights by unlocking an iPhone,” he said.
At the protest, volunteers were circulating a petition in association with Open Media’s online petition. So far over 37,600 signatures have been added to the site, which automatically sends a short message of discontent via email to Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Industry Minister Christian Paradis, among others.
Scott Mc Farlane, a prospective Concordia student, was especially eager to add his name to the petition.
“I came to help support awareness raising,” he said. “The government is trying to take control of the Internet and they don’t care what people think.”
Ryan Marcoux, a Concordia psychology student, said this “SOPA-like” legislation could mean changes that will affect a lot of Internet users.
“Internet service providers will monitor our downloads because they will be held responsible to ensure no copyright material is being downloaded,” he explained. “I’ve done enough research to know [Bill C-11] is dangerous.”
The second reading of Bill C-11 in the House of Commons finished Friday and the bill has now been sent to committee for further hearings and possible amendments.

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