ARCHIVED — Neil Fraser
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COPYRIGHT REFORM PROCESS
SUBMISSIONS RECEIVED REGARDING THE CONSULTATION PAPERS
Documents received have been posted in the official language in which they were submitted. All are posted as received by the departments, however all address information has been removed.
Submission from Neil D. Fraser received on September 8, 2001 via e-mail
Subject: Canadian copyright reformTo Industry Canada, the Department of Canadian Heritage, the Intellectual Property Policy Directorate and other concerned agencies:
I write to express my grave concern regarding the extreme intellectual property provisions of the Consultation Paper on Digital Copyright Issues (CPCDI).
Among the proposed measures is a provision to offer legal protection to technological methods. If this were to become law, it would mean that my job as system administrator would be criminalised. I am periodically responsible for evaluating encryption systems and determining if they are secure or not. The very act of undertaking this research requires me to attempt to break the mechanism. Companies who release security software make claims as to their effectiveness. By passing this proposal you would make it a criminal offence to verify these claims and publish the results of your tests.
This would inevitably lead to the same situation as the United States is facing. Their DMCA has meant that whistle-blowers who point out that a certain product is insecure get thrown in jail. This happened a month ago when a programmer discovered that Adobe was using encryption schemes of the same quality as the "Captain Crunch Secret Decoder Ring". Adobe's response should have been to increase their security. Instead, thanks to the DMCA, Adobe simply had him charged with a criminal offence. He is now awaiting trial.
It would be horrifying if Canada were to follow the US lead and criminalise research into cryptography. Especially after we have seen how the US's law is being abused. I am currently working in Scotland, and will certainly remain here should such a law get passed in Canada. After all, there wouldn't be much point in returning home if I were to be vulnerable to being charged with criminal acts.
Neil D. Fraser, Programmer & Wizard
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