Canadian Federal Regulators Nix Quebec's IP Blocking Law

Published Saturday, September 03, 2016 -
Canadian Federal Regulators Nix Quebec's IP Blocking Law

In many online gambling jurisdictions gambling regulators are trying to subject patrons to censorship to steer them towards government owned and operated online casino web locations. This approach has worked in some cases where the law prohibiting the blocking of web sites by Internet service providers is not strong enough or doesn’t exist at all.

In Canada the province of Quebec has gone farther than any other province in its attempt to block offshore internet gambling web locations from being accessed by those living in Quebec. Canada’s broadcast regulator the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission is a public organisation that regulates all Canadian broadcasting and telecommunications activities and enforces rules and policies assigned to the Commission.

Quebec’s recent move to block certain internet gambling sites was challenged by the Public Interest Advocacy Centre and the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association who claim the move by Quebec’s government violates the constitutional rights of Quebecers.

The Commission has found it useful to address the legal issue as to whether section 36 of the Telecommunications Act applies to the blocking of end-users’ access to specific websites on the Internet. This provides greater clarity and certainty as to whether Canadian carriers are prohibited from blocking access to specific websites in the absence of Commission approval. The blocking of the delivery of content to an end-user would be unlawful without prior Commission approval.

The provincial government’s Bill 74 legislation to block online gambling websites that are in direct competition with Loto Quebec is according to the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission a violation of federal law.

Politicians in Quebec voted for the censorship legislation scheduled to take effect in 2018 with Quebec’s  Finance Minister Carlos Leitão stating that the law has been created to protect Quebecers from companies that do not have to follow the same responsible gambling rules as Loto-Quebec.




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