Before I start a special thanks to Industry Canada for providing a behind the scenes look at Bill C-27 and for educating me on the following.

Background on C-27:

In 2004 Industry Canada formed the Federal Anti-Spam Task Force (aka. FAST-F) to bring together all of the major industry players that would be effected by any potential legislation. This group was formed of several Large ISPs and Telcos, Marketing Associations, anti-spam organizations, larger corporations and Email Services Providers. This group worked together and published the document; Stopping Spam (PDF). I suggest everyone read it if they haven’t already.

In the Fall of 2008, Prime Minister Harper announced the intentions of the Conservative party that would table anti-spam legislation as part of their Protecting Consumers platform. This Bill was put forth in first reading in Early 2009. What are the Conservatives promising:

  • Increased civil penalties for false and misleading advertising, criminal convictions, tougher fines and potentially prison terms.
  • Legislation to reduce Internet spam and to prohibit practices such as identity theft, the spreading of viruses, “phishing” and other forms of fraud.
  • Increased fines for dangerous, deceptive and destructive email, and for attempts to steal personal information.
  • Establishing a coordinating body to ensure the legislation is effectively enforced and to respond to consumers complaints.

Current Status of Bill C-27:

The original bill was presented to the House of Commons in April, was debated and passed to the Committee on Industry, Science and Technology. After several months of interviews and hearing testimony (including my testimony) the changes and amendments were ratified and will now be presented back to the house for final vote (see amendments) – which will then initiate another round of reviews by the Canadian Senate.

Upcoming challenges:

Bill C-27 is not the only Anti-Spam bill currently in play within the Government of Canada. In 2008 the Canadian Senate put forth Senate Bill S-220 (aka. the Goldstein Bill) to deal with Spam. Having reviewed both of these bills I believe that C-27 encompass the intentions of, and surpasses S-220 with more comprehensive rules and regulations.

Stay tuned for more on this topic.