Mind the Gap: A New Model for Internet Child Pornography Regulation in Canada Sara M. Smyth [University of Ottawa Law and Technology Journal]
Posted in: Research at 18/10/2009 18:56
Abstract: Canada's child pornography provisions were enacted just as the "computer revolution" was building momentum. At that time, very few policy makers had any idea about what the internet was, how it could be used, and its vast potential for facilitating criminal activity on an international scale. Although Parliament has proven to be both willing and able to respond to the child pornography problem, our legislators have not implemented appropriate regulatory measures to combat the circulation of these materials on the internet.
Domestic legislation is clearly necessary to target child pornography offenders; however, various problems with the way that child pornography is now collected and distributed make the use of domestic regulation by itself unworkable. Parliament must focus on effective systemic enforcement of internet content by securing the cooperation of service providers at home and abroad. The Council of Europe's Convention on Cybercrime, which Canada signed but did not ratify, provides an ideal framework for the implementation of new regulatory measures to achieve this goal. It enables many countries to work together by pursuing a common criminal policy based on international cooperation and the harmonization of domestic legislation. It requires signatory states to update their technological capabilities for combating digital crime by implementing sophisticated evidence gathering techniques to lawfully intercept online communications, share resources, and obtain information about those who use the internet for criminal purposes. Parliament must ratify this treaty and work with other nations to target the proliferation of real child pornography on the internet.