Sunday, June 16, 2019

Importance of GOSSIP and David Graham (MP for Laurentides—Labelle)

(Photo from recent GOSLING gathering copied from tweet by Mike Gifford.  Mike is sitting beside MP David Graham in the top-right, and I'm sitting beside John Hall on the bottom-right)

In May of 2002 I was one of the co-founders of what became known as GOSLING (Getting Open Source Logic INto Governments).  While many participants were focused on how the government creates/distributes and uses FLOSS (Free/Libre and Open Source Software), my primary concern was in how the government regulated software.

Starting in the summer of 2001 when the government launched the consultations towards that copyright section 92 report until copyright bill C-11 passed in 2012, I spent a considerable amount of time talking to parliamentarians, attending all committee meetings studying the bill, and giving public talks on copyright focused on the regulation of software and hardware.

During that time I fairly regularly had people come up to me and ask if they could financially support me, or if I would ever consider running for office so that they would have a representative in parliament.

Having members of our community in parliament would be towards GOSSIP (Getting Open Source and Standards Into Parliament).

We currently have a situation far better than me trying to get elected, which is someone from the FLOSS technology community who is fluently bilingual, a much better public speaker, and has  an intimate understanding of parliamentary process from prior experience: David Graham (follow him on Twitter)

Shortly after his election he was written about on SlashDot, referencing a video of him talking tech in committee.  With it is possible to subscribe to get an email notice whenever he speaks in parliament, and I've been following his house and committee participation closely over the years.

If you were wondering why the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology report on copyright was so much better than what we've seen in other committees (Industry or Heritage, including in previous years), you only need to notice David's name as an active participant in that study.

For the partisans who support other parties, please note that I'm not endorsing any particular party.  The backward-facing report from Heritage committee is just as much a Liberal party report as the report from Industry as the party makeup of the committees are the same.  My experience has been in this area of policy that there are greater differences between the views of people on Heritage committee and those on Industry committee than between the political parties.

I am strongly endorsing David Graham, and hope that other non-partisans like myself or partisans from the FLOSS community will endorse and help ensure David is re-elected in the October federal election.  Even if you don't live in his riding there are other ways to help.

Please consider donating (Ensure riding is set to Laurentides—Labelle) before and during the election campaign.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Misinformation/corruption with the Broadcasting and Telecommunications Legislative Review

The following is a letter to my MP.

David McGuinty, my MP for Ottawa South,

I find the processes involving analog-era communications companies to be very problematic.  This latest note from Mr Geist is only an example.

Submissions to the government should be proactively disclosed during the process, so errors and/or misinformation from lobbiests can be corrected by the public.  The government should not be allowing submissions to be claimed proprietary, except when specific proprietary information is required by regulatory agency -- never for a consultation process.

I say analog-era as many of these vertically integrated companies are structured the way they are due to limitations with analog communications technology.  Analog communications technology required that a wire or part of spectrum be dedicated to an application.  With digital technology the OSI layered approach upon which nearly all digital communications technology is modelled allows for deployment and regulation much like highways: neutral infrastructure upon which a broad set of uses can be built.

The Broadcasting and Telecommunications Legislative Review should be looking at ways to sunset analog-era policy and replace with digital-era policy, not privilege the submissions from analog-era companies who have been misleading governments on this area of policy for decades.

We don't have road infrastructure vertically  integrated with UPS, Ford, Wall Mart or Pizza Hut - so why in 2019 do we still have digital communications infrastructure vertically integrated with analog-era phone, cable, and broadcast companies like Bell, Telus, Rogers, Corus or SaskTel?

[Note: I always include my address and postal code in letters, as it allows staffers to look up the postal code and confirm I'm a constituent].

This letter can be treated as public, and shared.