Bell Canada Wants To Block Access To Pirate Websites…… WTF?

If you’re into “acquiring” content via torrent sites and you’re Canadian, you are likely not going to like what I am about to write. In what has to be considered to be an over the top move, Bell Canada is floating the idea of blocking any or all access to websites that are related to piracy:

Canada is a safe haven for internet pirates, Bell Canada says. The telecom giant wants the federal government to fight back by blocking Canadians’ access to piracy websites and stiffening the penalties for violations.

“People are actually leaving the regulated [TV] system, not just because they want to watch Netflix but because they want to watch free content,” Rob Malcolmson, Bell’s senior VP of regulatory affairs, told federal politicians last week. He was speaking at a government hearing in Ottawa on NAFTA negotiations.

According to Malcolmson, this is how the website-blocking plan would work: an independent agency, such as Canada’s broadcast regulator (the CRTC), would create a blacklist of sites that allow people to download or stream pirated content like movies and TV shows.

Internet service providers, like Bell, would then be required to prevent their customers from accessing the sites.

“So you would mandate all [internet providers] across the country to essentially block access to a blacklist of egregious piracy sites,” said Malcolmson. Canadians made 1.88 billion visits to piracy sites last year, according to Bell.

Hmm….. The government and private companies putting together a list of sites they consider “pirates” and blocking them from your view. There certainly no potential for abuse here. None whatsoever. Also, Bell Canada owns the rights to some the content that is being pirated. Thus I am sure that this factors into this proposal, even though they likely won’t admit it.

The fact this that this is an insane over-reach if it were to be adopted. Hopefully Canadian politicians have the common sense to smack Bell Canada into reality as they are way offside here.


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