Cyber-Safety Act: The “Department of Bad Facebook Comments”?

There is nothing funny about Nova Scotia’s Cyber-Safety Act: “The province recently created CyberSCAN. This unit of five investigators will be up and running next month, tasked with manning the phones to respond to complaints of cyberbullying. The complaint will be assigned to an investigator who will in turn immediately contact the complainant.”

As Anthony Furey says in his second article on this subject, “Will bullies get their day in kangaroo court?” appearing in the Toronto Sun yesterday, “The danger here is bureaucracies like to grow. Once a department is created it’s hard to shut it down. Remember, there’s nothing more permanent than a pilot project. It’s hard to imagine this unit not expanding over the years.”

We can add to that the phenomenon known as “bureaucratic momentum”, and also “the law of the instrument”, which suggests that when one has a hammer, more and more things start looking like nails.

The negative effects of these two factors will be greatly enhanced by politically-correct agendas held by bureaucrats and political activists alike, who will undoubtedly collaborate to create a world, or at least a province, in which ignorant or unpleasant but otherwise legal comment and “unacceptable” opinions regarding race, immigration and other controversial matters, can be effectively squelched with little fear of successful resistance.

Imagine having to spend big bucks to appeal to higher courts simply to ask for the lifting of an arbitrarily-imposed “cyberbullying prevention order” before a lower court even rules on your guilt or innocence?  As with Section 13, “the process will become the punishment”.

And as what constitutes “cyberbullying” will be up to interpretation, anti-free speech precedents will pile one on top of the other until “free speech” effectively becomes meaningless.

Nova Scotia’s Cyber-Safety Act poses an immensely serious threat to our rights and freedoms.  It is just a matter of time before minority-group members decide to invoke the protections of the Act by claiming that critical commentary constitutes “bullying”, and then commence using its malicious, anti-democratic systems and procedures to silence any opinion that threatens their special status and priviliges.

“Son of Section 13“ is an ugly monster indeed, and it must be slain before other provinces jump on the bandwagon and free speech is snuffed out right across Canada.

Jeff Goodall.

See Anthony Furey’s article “Will bullies get their day in kangaroo court?” here.

See my post “Nova Scotia’s “Cyber-Safety Act”: Section 13 on steroids?” (Aug. 14th) here,  (several useful links including the full text of the Cyber-Safety Act).