Letter: Website, chatroom legislation all but impossible to enforce

Editor: I take the points made by Cran Campbell (the Times, Dec.9) seriously, yet, I can’t help but wonder how any such legislation could possibly be enforced.

Canada is inarguably a huge per capita user of the internet and all its related technologies.

It is no stretch to assume that we Canadians also likely have a disproportionately large number of websites, chat rooms and other such services run from servers located within our country.

Those may be legislated, just as Cran proposes — but read on anyway. What is there to do when violations emanate from locations beyond Canada’s jurisdictional authority?  Which is in, point of fact, almost all of them.

As I understand it, Canada’s current law surrounding not only the internet, but specific items like child porn or hate crimes already identifies the internet as an area where misuse is illegal.

How to arrest, charge, prosecute and imprison persons who have never set foot in Canada is a dilemma.  Does Canada really want to step into the role of being the world’s conscience — determining what is right, what is wrong, and then punishing the world’s wrongdoers?

It is not only unrealistic to propose such an idea, but entirely fraught with unmanageable international law.

May I suggest that if certain activities online are offensive to you that you govern the ability of your technology to travel to such sites yourself.

And equally govern the technology of your children, preventing them from encountering these types or dreadfulness.

Although I agree that something has to be done about child porn, hate crimes and bullying etc., I feel legislation and thereby the legal responsibility for this activity has already been resolve and it has a title…it is called parenting.

Parents the world over must take responsible control of their technologies, and those of and their dependents, protecting them from the advances of all those negatives Cran refers to — and more.

However, and this is a tough one, how does a parent prepare their child for the harsh realities of adulthood, where they must learn the skills to manage such horribleness on behalf of their own family?

I foresee some really hard, difficult and uncomfortable conversations between parents and their children preparing them to be parents themselves.  Just as it should be, just as it has always been, just is it will continue to be.

Stephen Ross,


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