Freedom Defender of the Week: Prof. Michael Geist

Freedom Defender of the Week: Prof. Michael Geist

For many years now, the federal government has been determined to update broadcasting and internet policies according to a very specific vision of how tech and media should be regulated in Canada.

Whether it be the Online Streaming Act, or the Online Harms bill, it’s seemed impossible for the federal government to suggest any policies in this realm that don’t seem to have immediate constitutional problems. At the very least, the federal government seems to be committed to limiting personal choice and disregarding Canadians’ agency to consume media they want in the way they want.

Thankfully Canada has one vocal expert opposed to this approach and not afraid to speak up about it. Prof. Michael Geist is the Canada Research Chair in Internet and e-Commerce Law and a Professor at the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law.  As Canada’s leading tech law expert, Prof. Geist has been very critical of the federal government’s consistent approach of ramming through questionable legislation in this area of the law. This included challenging again and again—what can only be called government misinformation at this point—the fact that the Online Streaming Act does in fact give the CRTC power to regulate user-uploaded content.

For his consistent and principled position on these matters in both his writing and his appearances at committee hearings, we salute Prof. Michael Geist and choose him as our Freedom Defender of the Week!

If you’re interested in learning more about the problems with the federal government’s legislation regulating tech and telecom, I’d highly recommend following Prof. Geist’s blog:

Photo from faculty profile via uOttawa