Guilbeault says online hate bill could have “nuclear” option blocking access to sites


Liberal Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault said regulations on online hate speech could “theoretically” include the ability for the government to block access to non-compliant websites. Guilbeault said this during a virtual panel on online harms hosted by the Liberal-connected group Canada 2020. Guilbeault said the government would create a “new body” to oversee enforcing any incoming internet regulation, with the potential for the proposed regulator to use “blocking orders” to deny Canadians access to websites that do not comply with government content rules. “Could we envision having blocking orders? Maybe. It would likely be a last resort, a nuclear bomb in a toolbox of mechanisms for a regulator,” said Guilbeault. “It’s pretty extreme, but theoretically it is a tool that is out there and could potentially be used. But really no decisions have been made on that. This is something you would see as part of the regulations most likely.”

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