Apparently, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) is considering Canadian content requirements for the internet. While I do support the existence of public broadcasters, I have never felt the same way about Canadian content rules for television or the radio. To me, they seem parochial and unnecessary; why does it matter whether people want to watch shows or listen to music that originated elsewhere?
Of course, the internet idea is even more dubious. Unlike radio and television, where you get to choose between channels but have no input into what each one is putting out, the internet lets you choose each film or song individually. As such, enforcing Canadian content requirements is both more intrusive and less practically feasible.
I remember when there were high hopes that the internet would be free from this sort of petty governmental manipulation. Unfortunately, with all the censorship, dubious monitoring, and other governmental shenanigans happening now, it isn’t surprising that yet another government agency wants to assert its regulatory influence over what happens online.
Hearings begin on Tuesday, with the aim of reviewing the current policy of not regulating content on cell phones and the internet.