A Public Policy Framework for the Information Highway

Stan Skrzeszewski
Maureen Cubberley

April 3, 1995

Canada's Coalition for Public Information Steering Committee

John Anderson, Co-ordinator of the Ontario Federation of Labour's
Technology Adjustment Research Program Project

Wendy Brown, CEO, Peterborough Public Library

Barbara Clubb Director, Libraries and Community Information Branch of
the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Recreation

Maureen Cubberley, Deputy Director, The Ontario Library Association

Michael Dekoven, Co-chair of Information Resources Committee for the
Toronto Freenet

Ron Dyck, Ontario Library and Information Technology Association

Gail Dykstra, Director of Public and Government Relations, Micromedia

Garth Graham, representing Telecommunities Canada

Liz Hoffman (Chair), Ombudsperson, University of Toronto

Bill Hushion, Senior Vice President of McClelland & Stewart

Rosemary Kavanagh, Executive Director of CNIB Library

Elizabeth Kerr, Consultant, Northumberland/Newcastle Board of Education

Serge Lavoie, Executive Director, Association of Community Information
Centres in Ontario

Richard Malinski, University Librarian, Ryerson Polytechnical University

Mary Jane Quinn, Research/Administrative Assistant, Canada's Coalition for
Public Information

Tom Riley, Riley Information Services

Stan Skrzeszewski, CEO, Canada's Coalition For Public Information and
Principal, ASM Consultants
Fred Wardle, President Canadian Almanac and Directory and Chair,
Intellectual Property Committee, Canadian Book Publishers Council.


1. Introduction                                            
2. A National Vision

3. What is the Information Highway? 

4. The Benefits and Risks of the Information Highway? 

5. Strategic Tools Available to Government

6. Belief Statements and Strategies

7. Primary Principles 
I.      Universal Access and Ubiquity 
II.     Pluralism of Expression and Intellectual Freedom
III.    The Right to Privacy
IV.     Intellectual Property and Copyright
V.      Employment and the Quality of Work.

8. Social Impacts
VI.     Economic Growth/Competitiveness
VII.    Increased Productivity.
VIII.   Enhanced Quality of Life
IX.     Canadian Content and Sovereignty

9. Applications
X.      Electronic Commerce
XI.     Life-Long Learning
XII.    Health Care
XIII.   Government services
XIV.    Civic networking

10. Connectivity
XV.     Interconnection 
XVI.    Interoperability
XVII.   International/global connectivity

11. Conclusion

12. Consultations
.1      Public Consultation Meetings
.2      Individual Contributors
.3      Research Documents


This document presents the results of the public consultations held across
Canada from September 1994 to March 1995 by Canada's Coalition for Public
Information. In some areas, the detail and level of discussion was
substantial, highly informed and impressive. Other sections of the report
reflect lower levels of awareness, and is some cases, lower levels of
interest on the part of the general public. This document is, therefore, an
accurate representation of the input gathered through the public
consultation process. As such its purpose is to present the public's
recommendations for a public policy framework for the development of
Canada's information highway.

The public needs a voice in the debates about how all Canadians can connect
to the information highway, what the cost is, what kind of information is
available and which rules apply.  That is why the Coalition for Public
Information was formed, and that is why this report is important. It
reflects a Canadian vision of the potential of the information highway and
it identifies strategies by which this vision can be attained.

Many individuals, and community and public organizations are concerned that
current and future government policies and regulations will impede or
reduce public participation in Canadian society at a time when just the
opposite needs to happen, and when that enhanced participation can be
enabled by access to the information highway. As well as the developers,
service providers and legislators who are already involved, members of the
public need to formulate their own visions and participate actively in
shaping Canada's emerging information and communication infrastructures.  

Canada's Coalition for Public Information (CPI) was formed in November of
1993 in order to ensure that the developing information infrastructure in
Canada, the "Information Highway", serves the public interest, focuses on
human communication, and provides universal access to information.
A national organization, CPI's membership includes over three hundred
individuals, organizations and public interest groups whose goal is to
foster broad access to affordable, useable information and communication
services and technology. 


The Coalition believes that the Government of Canada must develop a
national vision based on a commitment to universal access to, and
participation in, the information and communication infrastructure. Current
policies and directions are based on the values outlined in the
Broadcasting Act and the Telecommunications Act, which relate to an
industrial age model of television and telephone services. These acts do
not reflect the new realities in these areas brought about by the
transformational effect of the new information and communication

A new vision is required supported by a national information access plan
with a representative public body to oversee its implementation. This
national vision should have at its core an enabling policy statement. The
following could serve as the basis for such a statement.

1.      A guarantee of the right of every individual to ready, effective,
        equitable and timely access to information in order to participate
        fully in the social, economic, political, educational, and cultural
        life of the country.

2.      Recognition that the open flow of information is essential for the
        empowerment of individuals as full participants in a democracy, with
        all the inherent rights and responsibilities that participation

3.      Recognition that information in its artistic and practical forms is
        essential for the enrichment of the human spirit and that access to it
        will enhance the richness of the Canadian cultural experience.

4.      Recognition that the open flow of information is critical for
        developing a society that is creative, innovative and entrepreneurial,
        and which can produce the wealth necessary to support an enriched
        social and cultural agenda.

5.      Promotion of the development of and access to scientific,
        technological and business information as a means of promoting

6.      Recognition that life-long learning and continued research is
        essential to the further social and economic development of Canada and

7.      A Guarantee of open, timely and unencumbered access to the information
        that is gathered and organized by government for the benefit of the
        people it serves.

8.      Recognition that cost should not prevent universal access to a public
        information service.


All Canadians have the right to participate fully in Canadian society and
democracy, and therefore have the right of universal access and to full
participation in the information and communication infrastructure.

The rights of access and participation can be enabled through the provision
of single-party digital access lines in order to provide individuals with
electronic access from their homes, schools, libraries, community networks
and places of work, and centres of government to interactive
communications, and information sources at the community level, across the
country and globally.

3. What is the "Information Highway"?

So far, what has been developed of the "information highway" is a network
of computer networks. It enables users of all kinds of different computers
to enhance their participation in society, to communicate with one another
electronically, to share and transfer information, and to access databases
and services.

The technology of the information highway can be defined in the following

        It is a result of the convergence of computing and communications
        technology, as applied in telephony, cable-tv, and the Internet. 

        It will become a basic element of Canada's infrastructure, along with
        roads, rails, waterworks, telephone and other fundamental services.

        An integrated, seamless, high-speed, network of telephone, cable
        television, satellite and wireless communication systems. 

        It will be composed of high bandwidth transmission capacity, open
        architecture incorporating distributed, interactive switching. (Some
        experts are predicting a 1000% increase in bandwidth capacity, at the
        same cost, by the year 2000)

        It will be interactive or bi-directional: voice, data, text, graphic
        and video communication will travel to and from the user.

        "Interactivity" is the most revolutionary aspect of the information

        It will be inter-operable so that computer users can share files with
        others even if their computer systems are not the same.

        It will be a "Network of Networks" owned and operated by different
        service providers and content sources. The distributed nature of the
        network of networks means that there is no central authority and that
        the choice of connection rests with the user.

        It will be universally accessible within the community, by connecting
        to schools, businesses, libraries, hospitals and homes, and its
        services will span the globe.

The foundation is in place for the information and communication
infrastructure. How it will be used, governed, accessed, and funded is
still being developed. 

As the information highway continues to develop, it will include more than
computers as we know them as the means of linking up and communicating.
Telephones and televisions, as well as computers, will link homes,
businesses, schools, libraries, community networks, governments and other
institutions to a wide range of interactive services, including those from
the educational, social, cultural, and entertainment sectors.

4.The Benefits and Risks of the Information Highway.

Much of what has been written to date about the emerging Canadian
information infrastructure has focused on economic benefits. This is to be
expected as large Canadian corporations continue to invest in the
development of the infrastructure and position themselves to provide
services or products, or both, over the networks. This is an important
economic development for Canada. There is no doubt that a thriving,
profitable business sector lays the foundation of any country's economic
well-being. Nonetheless, the private sector has already begun referring to
users of the information super highway as "customers", emphasizing the
"product for sale" approach that drives their involvement.

The Coalition for Public information recognizes the economic benefits in
the development of information and communications technology. The Coalition
also realizes, however, that there are potential benefits to the
information highway that are not purely economic in nature. CPI believes
that telecommunications and computing technology have the power and the
potential to enhance the quality of life for all Canadians. Together, they
can create new opportunities and better ways for people to communicate with
each other.

Here are some of the benefits:

- Expanding everyone's opportunities for education and lifelong learning
through the electronic delivery of elementary, secondary, college,
university and special interest courses.

- Bringing better and less expensive social services and health care to all
Canadians, regardless of where they live.

- Making it possible for governments at all levels to be more accessible
and responsive to their constituents.

-Enhancing the skills of the Canadian work force by training and re-
training workers and managers in the technological skills required for
information-intensive environments.

- Allowing people with disabilities to have access to information and
learning opportunities on the same basis as the general population.

- Simplifying the ways in which Canadians access and use computer
technologies, enabling the formation of "virtual communities"  for the
creation and sharing of information and ideas in all walks of life.

- Renewing civic responsibility by relating people directly to social
sector services through new modes of interactive communication.

- Creating new ways of providing  access to the vast collection of
publicly-owned cultural resources that are in our museums, galleries,
archives, cultural centres and libraries.

- There is a further consideration, and this involves small business: In
today's (and tomorrow's) knowledge-based economy, the most valuable
resource is information and the capability for enhanced communication.  The
Coalition is working to ensure that this resource continues to be available
to the individuals, organizations and importantly, those who currently fuel
the economy, the small business sector.  The current and future electronic
information formats are not always easily accessible, yet without access,
it is possible that an "electronic information monopoly" could exclude all
but large business interests, thus crippling the ability of small business
to gain and maintain a competitive edge.  It is the CPI's stated objective
to ensure that this does not happen.

While there are benefits, some of the potential negative implications must
not be overlooked. These include:

- many jobs and services could be lost as the whole middle sector is
replaced by direct delivery of services and goods to the home and the

- virtual schools, libraries and other virtual services may replace actual
services, without fully replicating the service.

- jobs can be "wired" out of the country and done in cheaper labour

- telework and homework will rise but may not be accompanied by employment
standards and union rights.


In recommending a course of action for the Coalition to follow, it is
important to take into account the tools that the government has at hand;
legislation, regulation and policy, grant programs and a number of other
options, and to become aware of the parameters within which those tools can
be applied.

The Coalition believes that Legislation and Regulations should:

-prevent telephone or cable monopolies. 

-extend the concept of "universal service" to the information and
communication infrastructure. 
-define public/private/social sector roles in the development, governance
and operation of the information highway.

.1 Legislation
Within existing federal legislation, the following Acts, have particular
significance in the development of the information highway:

Access to Information Act

Bank Act (1991)

Broadcasting Act - regulates broadcasters and cable-tv through the CRTC.
Assigns a cultural role to television and cable and subjects them to
Canadian content rules. Cable companies and broadcast television companies
are not required to provide third party suppliers with access to spare

Competition Act/Bureau of Competition Policy

Copyright Act

Criminal Code

The Privacy Act (1982)

Radiocommunications Act - regulates use of the radio frequency
(RF) spectrum.

Telecommunications Act - regulates the major telecommunications carriers
through the CRTC to protect consumer interest. Regulatory forbearance
"requires the regulator when it concludes as a matter of act that there is,
or will be, a sufficient level of competition to protect users, to refrain
from regulation". (Janisch)

Federal and Provincial Labour Codes and Employment Standards
These acts can be used to update and change regulations to protect workers
on the information highway.

.2 International Agreements
Canadian legislation and policies must consider international agreements
which may constrain or direct our national agenda.

For example, NAFTA brings Canada's copyright legislation closer to US
copyright legislation.

OECD Guidelines
The Canadian government has also adopted the "Guidelines on the Protection
of Privacy and Transborder Flows of Personal Data" released by the
Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development in 1981.

.3 Some Other Government Tools

Tax Policies
Grant programs should be re-focused to:
-aid the private and public sectors in developing and demonstrating
-develop applications and services that will maximize the value to users in
the fields of health care, education, libraries, manufacturing, provision
of government services
- aid development of network access in non-urban areas.

Training Programs
Training programs should be developed in order to yield the most benefit to
the public as users of the information highway.

Government should use its vast power of procurement to encourage technical
developments and private sector contributions.

Pilot Studies 
"Model User" pilot projects should be recommended which would expand the
amount of information available to users provide electronic access through
schools, libraries  and other publicly-funded information providers, such
as: National Library of Canada, CISTI, CBC, NFB, StatsCanada and other such
information providers.

6. Belief Statements and Strategies
The Coalition for Public Information believes that strategies should flow
from basic principles in support of benefits, applications and

PRINCIPLES: Strategies are required to realize the primary principles. 
SOCIAL IMPACTS: Strategies are required in order to maximize the benefits
of the information highway.

APPLICATIONS: Strategies are required to develop and demonstrate
CONNECTIVITY: Strategies are required in order to maximize the ability of
Canadian's to connect electronically across the country and around the


The Coalition believes that the development of Canada's information and
communication infrastructure should be based on five primary principles.
        I.       Universal Access and Ubiquity
        II.      Freedom of Expression, Pluralism & Intellectual Freedom
        III.     The Right to Privacy
        IV.      Intellectual Property and Copyright
        V.       Employment and the Quality of Work

If these principles are used as the basis of the policies, strategies and
action plans that build Canada's information highway, then the highway will
serve as a much needed catalyst to economic growth. It will also be of
value to the public and to the public interest. It will be an investment
not only in Canada's business future, but in the future of Canada's people
as well. 
The most critical and complex issue to be addressed is that of access to
the emerging information and communication infrastructure. The principle of
universality of access must form the basis for information policy. In a
democratic society each individual has the basic right to information that
allows him/her to participate effectively. It also recognizes that the
maximum benefit from the information resource can only be achieved if it is
allowed to flow freely and openly to each individual.

.1 Universal Access and Ubiquity - Belief Statements.

The Coalition believes that:

.1 Cyberspace is public space.  Spectrum and bandwidth are in the public

.2 Public and private resources must be allocated to the development of the
information and communication infrastructure. The development of the
infrastructure must not be left to market forces alone.

.3 Access to basic services, including broadband and switched services,
should be universal, that is, access should be affordable to all. This must
include access for persons with disabilities. The extra costs of providing
access to people with disabilities should be carried by society as a whole
and not be borne by individuals with disabilities, at their personal

.4 Network access and connectivity should be made available regardless of
geographic location.

.5 Non-profit participation in the governance of the information highway is

.6 Diversity of access should be protected through the use of
non-proprietary standards.

.7 Network access costs for public funded information providers such as
libraries, educational organizations, government entities and for
non-profit groups should be stable, predictable and not distance sensitive.
Public information providers must be subsidized. Access should be priced on
a flat-rate basis.

.8 The network should be designed to ensure ease of use, and must include
effective interfaces and directories that allow effective searching and
location of information. Ease of use includes technologies that allow those
with disabilities with access to the infrastructure on the same basis as
the general population.

.2 Universal Access and Ubiquity - Strategies

.1 A Commitment to Universal Access and Ubiquity.
The Coalition recommends that the Government of Canada develop a national
vision based on a commitment to ensuring that all Canadians, including
those with a print handicap, are connected to the information and
communication infrastructure.

.2 Open Platform Service
The Federal Government must pass legislation that will ensure that open
platform service will be available to all Canadians. Open platform service
is switched end-to-end digital telecommunications service that has the
bandwidth to both send and receive multimedia information services. From
the evidence of the rapid spread of the World Wide Web we believe that
people will want and will use higher levels of interaction than are
presently being planned.

.2.1 ISDN
ISDN is emerging as the successor to analog modems. ISDN is required to
support some of the new graphical interfaces and to retrieve images through
the Internet.
Since the current infrastructure combined with expanded ISDN service can
provide most of the digital information services without requiring high
bandwidth cabling, the Coalition for Public Information recommends that
regulations for infrastructure development for the information highway
should provide incentives (eg.lower tariffs) for the proliferation of
universal ISDN telephone service in advance or parallel to the
proliferation of high bandwidth ATM fibre-optic services.

.3 Affordability
Affordable pricing policies must be established that support the concept of
universal access and participation. It must be recognized that in some
cases affordable may mean no fee. The Coalition recommends that pricing for
network access and use must be set to encourage usage and not be distance
or time sensitive. If based on bandwidth, pricing must not exclude people
on low incomes.

Equalized access to the information infrastructure must be included in the
pricing policy. A fixed rate or flat rate, perhaps based on the bandwidth
of the connection, not network usage, should be established as a standard
for all except public institutions. (see .4)

.4 A Public Lane
The information highway must have a public lane accessible to everyone. A
toll-free lane on the information highway should be provided for
institutions, such as, schools, libraries, community networks, hospitals,
by reserving 20% of the carrying capacity of future broadband networks for
public use and civic participation. The recommendation submitted by Stentor
that telephone companies should fund community television should be
extended to cover the recommended 20% public reserve. The public lane would
be governed by the National Access Board.

.5 Training, Development and Research Foundation
Universal access and participation will require broad-based training, an
understanding of transformation issues, and ongoing support. Since the
training program should be independent of government or corporate agendas,
the Coalition for Public Information recommends that telecommunications and
cable television companies be required to pay a one-time levy for the
establishment of a public interest foundation whose mandate will be to
support efforts which ensure universal access to the information highway
through training, equipment purchases, technical consulting, research and
foundation grants. These funds would be channelled through educational
facilities, libraries, community networks, researchers, health care
facilities, museums and not-for-profits.  This foundation could be
administered by the proposed National Access Board.
A second option would be a universal service fund, based on a customer
premise tax, a tax included in the price of appliances designed for net

.6 Free Public Access Points - Public Libraries
There are public libraries in almost every community in Canada. Public
Libraries secure the basis of democracy by providing information and free
library service to support informed decision making, life long learning and
culture. Electronic information is a new, rapidly evolving and growing
resource capable of helping to fulfil this mandate. People must have the
right of mediated access to the information resources of the information
highway, otherwise, the sheer volume and diversity of formats of
information available will overwhelm the potential user.

If libraries are to be providers of electronic information, then the issues
of copyright in a digital age, and the cost of connecting libraries will
have to be resolved. The Government of Canada must provide the appropriate
policy and funding support to public libraries to ensure that they can fill
their role as public access points. Federal Government funding should be
targeted at providing equipment, connectivity, training, and the
development of pilot projects for prototypes of the digital library. Pilot
projects are also required to assess the viability of electronic depository
distribution of government publications.

Federal legislation and regulation must clarify copyright and intellectual
property issues, particularly issues emerging around the new technology,
such as the concept that electronic access equals reproduction.

.7 Public Access Points - Community Networks or Freenets
Thousands of Canadians are gaining hands-on experience of life in a
knowledge society through membership in community networks. 

The Coalition recommends that the regulatory process should utilize the
experience that this grassroots initiative provides as a means of assessing
private sector plans to meet public needs.

.8 Gender issues:
Women are still under-represented in almost every aspect of computer
culture, from programming to product design to use of the information
infrastructure. The Coalition encourages the development of educational
software and training material which is gender-sensitive, takes into
account gender differences in learning styles, and avoids sex stereotyping.

The Coalition recommends the development of online gender issue information
services. Such services could include listings of technology training and
applications opportunities for women.

The Coalition recommends the development of online harassment guidelines
which would govern the use of the Internet by everyone who receives an
Internet account. These guidelines would also include grievance procedures
for complaints of sexual harassment.
.9 People with Disabilities
The information highway will enable people with disabilities to have access
to information and learning opportunities on the same basis as the general
population. Participation in the current information infrastructure has
been next to impossible for blind Canadians and those with other
impairments because so much information is driven by print. With the
present trend toward captivating, eye-catching graphical displays, print-
handicapped persons are once again facing serious obstacles accessing
information which should be available to all. Such individuals must be
assured equal access unencumbered by interfaces which are largely unusable,
or which may only be reached through painstaking and time consuming
Digital information opens a new opportunity for people with disabilities
for full participation and access. Therefore the Coalition for Public
Information recommends that the information infrastructure be made
accessible through a variety of access methods, including visual and sound
methods, in order to ensure universal access for all.
Further, The Coalition recommends that mandatory minimal technical
standards be set for persons with disabilities; that costs for persons with
disabilities to access the information highway not be greater than the cost
to members of the general public to do so; and that the rates established
for the information highway be developed in consideration of the lower
economic status and potentially longer usage rate of persons with

.10 Access for People in Rural and Remote Areas.
Canadians in rural and remote areas are concerned about access. Since it is
unlikely that ISDN or ATM will penetrate rural and remote areas, and since
CPI is committed to equitable and ubiquitous access, The Coalition for
Public Information recommends that wireless technologies be considered in
order to provide access to these areas.

.11 Directories
The usability of the system to access information will depend on indexing
and directory services. The Coalition recommends that The Government of
Canada develop strategies and financial support for the development of
standards-based navigational and retrieval tools, including directories
that will identify and locate information.

The development of universal access and participation in the information
and communication infrastructure in Canada will be a long term and
evolutionary process. This process should be guided by a national board
which will evaluate progress and develop strategies to achieve universal
access and participation. Many of the recommendations made in this report
could be referred to the National Access Board for implementation. It is
important that the board be representative of the three main sectors of
Canadian society. These are the government sector, the corporate or private
sector, and the non-profit or social sector. This board could be attached
to the CRTC or CANARIE, but it must be noted that neither of these bodies
are fully representative of Canadian society.

II. Freedom of Expression, Pluralism and Intellectual Freedom

Our Canadian society is one of the most diverse in the world. Our cultural
diversity is firmly rooted in our tolerance of the views of all Canadians,
and in our commitment to human rights, including freedom of expression.

.1  Freedom of Expression, Pluralism and Intellectual Freedom - Belief

The Coalition believes that:

.1 The Canadian information infrastructure should encourage the expression
of the ideas of all Canadians, regardless of age, religion, race, ability
or disability, sexual orientation, social and political views, national
origin and economic status.

.2 Those who will act as common carriers in the information infrastructure
must guarantee the free flow of information in the spirit of Canada's
Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and provide open access on a non-
discriminatory basis.

.3 Individuals should have the right to choose the information they wish to
receive, and the source of that information.

.4 A diversity of information sources and providers, including non-profit
organizations and community groups, should be encouraged in order to
guarantee an open and fair marketplace, with a full range of viewpoints.

.5 These freedoms will be provided within the context of legal protection
from "illegal information" and from the tyranny of majority opinion.

.6 The individual should be protected from unwanted or unsolicited
information, and from abuses of the information infrastructure.

.2  Freedom of Expression, Pluralism and Intellectual Freedom - Strategies.

Common carriers should not carry any liability for carrying controversial
information and should be required to accept all users and not discriminate
on the basis of content.

.1 Eliminate the Legislative Distinctions Among Technologies.

The continuing process of convergence is blurring the distinctions between
the different information technologies, therefore the Coalition recommends
that the distinctions in legislation and regulation about the different
technologies be discontinued. This discontinuance must be conducted over a
period of time to prevent any service disruptions, provide existing
services with some time to adapt and to allow any new services an
opportunity to prepare for the new opportunities.

In recommending that the distinctions in legislation and regulation be
discontinued the Coalition wants to ensure that the public interest
objectives identified under the Broadcast Act be revised and enhanced and
applied to telecommunications companies, if they are to be content
providers as well as to broadcast companies.

.2 Content

Pluralism of expression and intellectual freedom are dependent on
sufficient content being available to reflect a wide range of views. The
Coalition recommends that the Government of Canada develop strategies for
the rapid digitalization of government information sources and for the
holdings in libraries. 

.3 Model Libraries

The newness of the information infrastructure means that we lack models and
experience of the new governance structures, collection management tools,
access systems, and digitization processes and issues. The Coalition
recommends that federal funding be provided to libraries to develop pilot
projects that will define and create a digital library as a model for
implementation across Canada. 

.4 The Question of Pornography
Children and students, those under 18 years of age, should be protected
from exposure to pornographic material. "Blocking systems" such as those
currently available with satellite TV reception systems should be developed
for all information highway media, thus leaving the "de-selection" of
information in the hands of individual parents and guardians.

III. The Right to Privacy

While new telecommunication technologies can facilitate access to
information and can support a wide variety of personal and commercial
services and transactions, they can also create problems in the area of
personal information, specifically in its collections, accuracy and use. 
As more people gain access to the information highway, there will be
increased pressure to deal with issues that are central to maintaining
every Canadian's right to privacy.

.1 The Right to Privacy - Belief Statements

The Coalition believes that:

.1 Privacy should be carefully protected and the definition of information
privacy should be extended to include the new categories of personal
information inherent in electronic transactions such as e-mail and voice

.2 Comprehensive policies should be developed to ensure that there are no
exclusions to the right to privacy and that the privacy of all people is

.3 Personal data that is collected to provide a specific service should be
limited to the minimum amount necessary to provide that specific service.

.4 The sharing of data which is collected from individuals should be
permitted only with the individual's informed consent.

.5 Individuals should have the right to inspect and correct data files
about themselves.

.6 Transaction data should be confidential. Law enforcement officials
should be required to obtain a court-approved search warrant or subpoena
before transaction data can be disclosed.

.7 Protection from unreasonable amounts of unsolicited information must be

.2 The Right to Privacy - Strategies
Federal Legislation:
Governments have a responsibility to assume the role of privacy regulator
on the information highway, based on the protection of privacy rights
through privacy protection legislation covering all formats. New federal
legislation is required to define the extent of privacy protection, which
must go beyond individual rights with respect to government to include
individual rights with respect to other individuals and corporations. The
Quebec Act is a good starting point.

The collection, retention, use and disclosure of personal information on
the information highway should be governed by policies and procedures based
on fair information practices, established in law.

The data protection framework established in law should incorporate general
principles of fair information practices setting minimum standards in the
following areas:

The collection of personal information should be limited to that which is
necessary to support current or planned activities.  The purpose of the
collection should be clearly specified, and made clear to the individual,
before or at the time of collection.  Personal information should be
collected with the knowledge and consent of the individual to whom it
relates or where there is legal authority to do so.  It should also be
collected directly from the individual to whom it relates, except where
inappropriate (e.g., law enforcement, national security, or medical

Use and Disclosure:              

Without the individual's informed consent or other legal authority,
personal information should only be used and disclosed for the purpose for
which it was collected, or for a consistent purpose.  Personal information
should not be used and disclosed unless it is accurate and up-to-date.

Access and Correction:

Individuals should have the right to access and correct personal
information which relates to them.  Where there is a dispute about the
accuracy of the information, a note detailing any discrepancies should
accompany the information.

Whenever personal information is collected, the individual should be
informed of the following:

1. what information is being collected and why;

2. the legal authority for the collection, if relevant;

3. how the information will be used and disclosed;

4. whether the provision of information is voluntary or mandatory;

5. the consequences of providing or withholding the requested information;

6. whom to contact with questions about the collection, use or disclosure
of the information.

If the personal information will be collected indirectly from another
source, the individual should still be informed about the collection, where
possible.  Notification should include a description of the sources of the
information and the reason for using indirect sources.

The Costs of Privacy:
Information technologies or services on the information highway that
threaten to compromise privacy should be accompanied by appropriate
measures to maintain privacy at no additional cost to the individual.

Advances in new information technologies and services should not be
implemented at the expense of diminished privacy.  At a minimum,
individuals should be able to maintain the level of privacy that existed
prior to implementation of a new technology or service.  Those who plan to
introduce new information technologies and services should bear the
responsibility for ensuring that individuals are provided with the means
for maintaining privacy at no extra cost.

Public Education and Training:
Public education and training should be provided about any security/privacy
issues surrounding the use of the information highway. With the use of new
information technologies individuals must be fully informed of their rights
and they must be made aware of the circumstances that could arise around
these technologies.
Those who plan to introduce services on the information highway should bear
the responsibility of informing the public about any privacy issues, and
any steps that individuals can take to maintain the existing level of
privacy. In addition, privacy and security issues should be incorporated
into other general educational programs on the information highway by
service providers.

Enforcement and Redress:
A means should be established to handle complaints and to provide redress
for improper use of personal information.

While there is no way to restore privacy once personal information has been
improperly used, a means is essential to ensure that the improper
collection, retention, use and disclosure of personal information does not
occur without consequence.  For example, penalties should be imposed to
minimize the likelihood of future violations of fair information practices. 
A system should be introduced to compensate those who suffer harm as a
result of the improper collection, retention, use and disclosure of
personal information.  To encourage compliance with a common code of fair
information practices, an independent means to handle complaints and, where
appropriate, to impose penalties and award damages for improper use of
personal information, should be established.

Privacy Impact Assessments: (Riley)
Public input during the planning and implementation phases of major public
personal information systems is critical to the success of the system.
Therefore, a privacy impact assessment should be conducted by an
independent privacy authority and made available for public comment. 

IV. Intellectual Property and Copyright

The electronic, digital environment is emerging as a medium for the
creation, storage and distribution of information. Unlike books and other
sources of print-on-paper information, the new technology allows for
information to be transferred from computer-to-computer, and to be
manipulated with ease.  

.1 Intellectual Property and Copyright - Belief Statements

The Coalition believes that:

.1  Intellectual property rights and protection apply uniformly, regardless
of the form of publication or distribution.

.2  The intellectual property system should ensure a fair and equitable
balance between rights of creators and other copyright owners and the needs
of users.

.3 Fair dealing, as well as exceptions to owners' rights in the copyright
law, should continue in the electronic network environment.

.4  Compensation systems must provide a fair and reasonable return to
copyright owners.

.2 Intellectual Property and Copyright - Strategies

.1 Support Phase II Reforms
The Coalition supports Phase II reforms to Bill C-60 that will include
limited exemptions for library and educational users and the continuation
of the "fair dealing" defense in the Copyright Act.

.2 Centralized Registry
Since the new information technologies will enable many individuals and
groups to publish or market their own materials, and since the material
distributed on the information highway can be easily manipulated, copied or
changed, the Coalition recommends that a centralized registry of
copyrighted services and publications be established as an Internet host to
which individuals and groups could automatically register and update
copyright statements.

.3 Quality/Integrity of Information
The electronic, digital environment is emerging as a medium for the
creation, storage and distribution of information. Unlike books and other
sources of print-on-paper information, the new technology allows for
information to be transferred from computer-to-computer, and to be
manipulated or altered with ease.  

.4 The government must prepare clear and fair enforcement of intellectual
property rights as an incentive to private investment.

In terms of specific technologies that can ensure the integrity of
documents the Coalition has adopted the following positions:

.1 Encryption:
Government and industry must encourage system designers to develop and
adopt encryption standards in order to ensure the security and privacy of
electronic communications. The Coalition opposes the adoption of government
key-escrow based standards, such as, the Clipper chip (government-escrowed
back doors). 

.2 Smart Cards
The Coalition supports the use of smart card technology since it removes
the need for all personal information to be in centralized databases.

.3 Digital Cash
The Coalition supports the development of digital cash as one way to reduce
the opportunity for computer fraud. 

.4 Public Education
The issue of copyright rarely came up during the public consultation
process and when it did it was in the most general of terms. An informed
debate on an issue cannot occur when the public itself is not well versed
on the issue. 

CPI supports the recommendation in the "Preliminary Report of the Copyright
SubCommittee" that "users and creators must assume greater responsibility
for informing themselves on copyright and the application of various rights
in a digital world". The Coalition recommends that the federal government
and industry undertake a public education campaign to better inform both
users and creators about the use of copyright.
Specifically the public must be informed on:
        * how to use copyrighted works responsibly,
        * what constitutes a copyright,
        * how to copyright a work,
        * what constitutes "fair dealing",
        * how to compensate a copyright owner.

V. Employment and the Quality of Work.

.1 Employment and the Quality of Work - Belief Statements
The new world of electronic communication systems will have a dramatic
effect on the world of work. Homework, telework and contract work and all
forms of flexible work are on the increase. Jobs may be lost as new ways of
distributing information results in the closing of traditional methods of
providing information currently employed in libraries, newspapers,
community television as well as traditional offices, retail outlets and
financial institutions.

The Coalition believes that :

.1 Employment must not be sacrificed in favour of new technology systems
simply for short economic gain.

.2 Where jobs will be lost because of the new technologies, new job
opportunities must be created, and training and adjustment assured for
those whose jobs have been eliminated or radically changed.

.3 Revisions to employment standards legislation, along with the extension
of union rights, to cover new working environments, such as telework or
work in cyberspace, must be introduced. 

.4 Individuals, and the communities they make up, must have an opportunity
to choose, what, when and if new technologies are going to be used with
services such as, education, health and government. New technologies must
not be introduced without due and informed consultation.

.2 Employment and Quality of Work - Strategies.
The Government should provide incentives to the public and private sectors
to support training and retraining of workers and managers in the
technological skills required for information-intensive environments.

Industry, labour, and government should work together to link all plants,
factories and other workplaces, industrial and non-industrial, to the
information highway in order to provide direct access to information
services for Canadian workers.

8. Social Impacts

The coming of the information highway will have a major impact on society,
much of which is not yet understood. Strategies are required for maximizing
the benefits of the information highway.

VI. Economic Growth/Competitiveness
In open and distributed information and communication systems both the
choice and the responsibility for action is transferred to the individual.

The Coalition supports a competitive model for information highway
development. A competitive approach requires the removal of legislative and
regulatory impediments, such as line of business restrictions, currently
imposed on cable and telephone companies. It requires a shift away from a
regulation to greater reliance on competition law and policy. This shift
must be phased in to allow for a level playing field for all participants,
including established firms and new entrants. The Coalition supports a 3-4
year phase-in period. However, this phased in approach cannot be uniformly
applied. In some jurisdictions, where the major providers agree, this
phasing-in process should be fast-tracked.

Immediate access to information is critical to business success. In
particular information on census demographics is useful to designing
marketing strategies. Information on patents awarded or pending is useful
in determining whether an idea is really commercially viable and whether it
is already in the marketplace. Immediate access to export development
strategies would enable Canadian firms to have a head start on the

Small business needs access to training on the use and potential of the
information highway and funds for expansion onto the information highway.
In particular, small business needs to know how to express themselves and
communicate in this environment.

Governments should provide an attractive investment climate for
information-related, high-technology development, including initiating
capital spending on the creation of publicly accessible information

VII. Increased Productivity.
Productivity gains brought about by information technology should be shared
with those producing the gains. This gain is best expressed by a shorter
work week. Government policies should work toward reductions in the work
week and should mitigate against the increased working time many Canadians
are facing due to total and unending connectivity brought about by the new
information technologies.

VIII. Enhanced Quality of Life.
Preferential rates should be established for institutions, such as schools,
libraries, hospitals and community networks.  These rates could be
supported through a reserve fund or universal service fund, based on a
percentage of corporate profit, or a customer equipment tax.

The information highway enables telecommuting and home-based enterprise.
Strategies must be developed to protect the home environment and individual
liberty from work invasion. 

There is a need for an environmental assessment of the emerging information
economy and its social and political impact. At the moment most of the
decisions about the information highway are being made by a small corporate
and technological elite. The Coalition recommends that Governments ensure
that ongoing monitoring, analysis and evaluations of the social, economic
and political impact of the new information technologies are carried out.

The Coalition supports initiatives such as the one put forth by Statistics
Canada Culture Statistics Program, which is currently trying to secure
funds for a research program on aspects of the emerging information

The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) should fund
academic research on the information highway. The Coalition is currently
engaged as a partner in such a proposal with the Faculty of Information
Science, University of Toronto.

IX. Canadian Content and Sovereignty
In a national political context, the knowledge which we, as Canadians, have
of each other, our regions and our diverse cultures forms a critical
component of our collective identity. To strengthen Canada, "we must deepen
our understanding of ourselves, of our shared history and culture." (The
Spicer Commission Report, Citizens' Forum of Canada's Future). There is no
doubt that Canadians have a unique way of seeing themselves, their
communities and the world. This vision is expressed and strengthened each
time it is relayed in print, in broadcast media, on stage or in some other
creative expression. The information conveyed reflects both a personal and
collective viewpoint, a heritage, a history.
Electronic data also convey a particular vision of things above and beyond
the bits of information themselves. If we come to rely on non-Canadian
sources for electronic information, we will lose one way of communicating
our own vision. 

The Coalition believes that government policies and mechanisms, including
government procurement of Canadian database products, must facilitate
strengthening Canada's electronic data-base industry and the other
information services that continue to convey our vision of ourselves.
Government's cultural policies should support the digitization of Canadian
cultural products.

In a communications environment where every Canadian can be a broadcaster,
adequate levels of Canadian content can be ensured by enabling every
Canadian to make and provide their own content. As capacity on the
information highway increases, the CRTC must adopt a more flexible and
quicker approval process for new services, without waiting for profit
guarantees or cable acceptance. Greater freedom must be given to the

The Coalition supports the concept that the major carriers, such as the
telco's and cable, must contribute funds to support the development of
Canadian programming and content.

9. Applications
Strategies for developing and demonstrating applications:

X. Electronic Commerce
Electronic commerce includes electronic bidding and procurement, payment
and revenue collection.
Electronic commerce will need greater bandwidth than Freenets can provide
for large businesses, but for small business freenets may be the only
effective solution and a very good way to gain first hand experience.

Electronic commerce will require the development of standards supporting
such developments as EDI (Electronic Dissemination of Information) which is
increasingly important in such areas as "just-in-time" distribution.
Standards could be developed through regulations or cooperative efforts on
an industry by industry basis.

XI. Life-Long Learning
Canada's information infrastructure must strengthen our culture of life-
long learning. The information infrastructure should include a national
system of networks that will provide the basis for life-long learning
beginning in the classroom, through a person's career and into retirement.
Furthermore, every student should be able to log on to the internet from
networked stations in their schools, colleges and universities.

Life-long learning encompasses enhanced distance education, and the ability
to hire the best teachers without regard to geography, distance, resources
or disability.

Reduced rates for network access should be established for educational
institutions. They could be subsidized by charges for private sector
agencies or the private sector could voluntarily subsidize network access
for educational institutions where a particular industry sees a benefit
from encouraging research or education.

The Federal and Provincial governments should continue to develop programs
that will accelerate the deployment of the necessary computer hardware and
software applications in schools, colleges, libraries and technical
institutes across Canada.

Governments should initiate a feasibility study on the development of a
"virtual" university. 

XII. Health Care
Health care institutions must be connected to the information
infrastructure as quickly as possible. Connectivity could be provided
through the proposed public lane or by providing special rates or direct

XIII. Government Services.
Governments must take on a direct role in actively disseminating government
information. Governments have a responsibility to ensure that the right of
the electorate to information, so as to produce an informed electorate, is
maintained and enhanced through the new information technologies.

Governments must strengthen and clarify depository services in a digital

Government information must be made available to the public through free
distribution to a system of depository libraries and community networks.

All legislation and legislative records must be available free on-line on
a 24-hour-a-day basis to anyone with access to the Internet. The public
must be guaranteed access to the on-line system through gateways and public
computer services located in the network of depository libraries.

Governments should establish a legislated contract compliance program that
will ensure that all hardware, software, and information services purchased
by governments, or developed using government funding, are accessible to
persons with disabilities. 
XIV. Civic Networking
Municipalities must establish networks that link with other municipalities
in order to exchange and share information.

Governments should establish funding support programs to assist
community-based non-profits and municipal organizations in establishing
coordinated approaches to developing community networks or FreeNets as one
of the building blocks of the information and communication infrastructure.

10. Connectivity
Strategies are required in order to maximize the ability of Canadian's to
connect electronically across the country and around the world. 

XV. Interconnection 
The Coalition supports government policies that will lead to the regrouping
and interconnection of cable systems. The facilities of cable licenses
beyond that used by the licensee for the carriage of broadcasting services
should be made available for lease, resale, and sharing by service carriers
on a non-discriminatory basis.

The Coalition opposes the adoption of government key-escrow based
standards, such as, the Clipper chip (government-escrowed back doors). The
Coalition does support the development of a standard of data encryption
based on triple-DES, a strengthened and upgraded form of DES (Data
Encryption Standard), which represents an already accepted standard which
has been tested, as an immediate short term solution. Another option is
"Pretty Good Privacy" an effective and inexpensive encryption program,
which is a de-facto North-American standard.

XVI. Interoperability
Interoperability between the diverse networks that will make up the
information highway in Canada is essential. Maximum connectivity between
users will enable the information highway to enhance Canadian
competitiveness. The best way to ensure interoperability is to utilize open
system interfaces based on International Standards.

The Coalition supports the development of interoperability between cable
and telecommunications carriers.

XVII. International/global connectivity.
Global connectivity will provide the opportunity for Canadians to develop
new ideas and innovations through global communications and will expand the
market for Canada's world-class programming and various cultural products.

In developing legislation and policies to support access, intellectual
property, freedom of expression and privacy Governments must look globally,
as well as locally, in determining the impact of such measures. 

11. Conclusion.

The convergence of telephony, cable and information and communications-
based computing will have a transformational effect on society that will be
greater than that brought on by the introduction of television or cable.
Therefore it is critical that the public be engaged in public policy
discussions. The public must have the opportunity to gain greater
understanding of the impact, and greater awareness of the potential of the
information highway, if an informed discussion is to take place.
Governments, industry, labour and special interest groups must join
together to help all Canadians reap the benefits of the information age.
The Coalition recommends that all parties develop broad-based public
awareness and education campaigns. Canada's Coalition for Public
Information is committed to working with Canadians to ensure that the move
to the information age and the knowledge-economy is successful and benefits
all of us. The Coalition will continue to facilitate the development of
future knowledge to make it so.

12. Consultations

.1 Public Consultation Meetings and Information Sessions

April 12, 1994. "A Policy Agenda for Universal Access" Ottawa, Thunder Bay,
Toronto, Ontario.
Speakers: Tom Wright, Ontario Information and Privacy Commissioner
                 Dennis Mills, MP Broadview-Greenwood
                 Peter Gillis
                 Michael Williamson, National Library of Canada

November 22, 1995. Canadian Association of Special Libraries and
Information Services - Toronto Chapter. Toronto, Ontario.
Speakers:        Liz Hoffman, IHAC/CPI
                 Stan Skrzeszewski, CPI
                 Maureen Cubberley, CPI

November 24, 1994. The McLuhan Program in Culture and Technology. "Grass
Roots Consultation on the Information Highway". Toronto, Ontario.

November 29, 1995. "Technology Adjustment Research Program, Ontario
Federation of Labour". Toronto, Ontario.
Speakers:        Maureen Cubberley, CPI
                 Sam Sternberg,
                 Andrew Clement, Faculty of Information Studies, U.of T.

December 6, 1994. "The Future of Libraries". Health Sciences Library,
McMaster University, Hamilton.

December 13, 1994. "Implications of the Commercialization of the Global
Networks".  Senate Chambers, University of Manitoba. 
Speakers:        Larry Geller, Searden Community Network

January 25, 1995. "Information Highway: People's Consultation". London,
Speakers:        Margaret Ann Wilkinson, Faculties of Law and Library and
                 Information Science.
                 Ray Hazzan, Graduate School of Journalism.
                 Dr. Edward Medzon, Inter-Com Information Services.

January 26, 1995. Canadian Book Publishers' Council Annual Meeting -
Copyright Forum. Toronto, Ontario. 
Speakers: Gail Dykstra, Micromedia
                 Danielle Bouvet, Corporate Governance, Industry Canada
                 Maureen Cubberley, CPI
                 Andrew Martin, Cancopy
                 Stuart Robertson, CBPC Copyright Legal Counsel

January 30, 1995. "A Public Discussion on the Information Highway: More
then Movies on Demand?" Palmerston Branch, Toronto Public Library.
Speakers:        Howard Weinroth, Forest Hill Collegiate Institute
                 Michael DeKoven, Toronto Public Library
                 Marcia Olmsted, Marcia Olmsted and Associates

March 2, 1995. Red Deer College, Alberta
Speakers:        Dick Pawloff, Red Deer Public School Board
                 Margaret Law, Parkland Regional Library
                 Cliff Soper, Red Deer College
                 Alan Chan, Red Deer Public Library Board
                 Joe McLaughlin, The Red Deer Advocate

March 6, 1995. "The Information Highway Comes to Regina". Regina Public
Library, Saskatchewan.
Speakers:        Ken Jensen, Chief Librarian, Regina Public Library
                 Bob Greenfield, Great Plains FreeNet
                 Georgina Heselton, Council of Canadians with Disabilities
                 Bob McDonald, Lawyer

.2 Individual Contributors

John Anderson, Ontario Federation of Labour
Jim Armstrong, Southern Ontario Library Service
Pierre Belanger, University of Ottawa
Cheryl Buchwald, Faculty of Information Studies, University of Toronto
Jo Churcher, Toronto
Barbara Clubb, Ontario Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Recreation.
Stephen Cummings, St. Thomas Public Library
Dan Dorner, Graduate School of Library and Information Science, UWO
Ron Dyck, Etobicoke Public Library
Gail Dykstra, Micromedia Ltd.
Nancy Fleming, Canadian Copyright Institute
Brian Foran, Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada
Clyde Forrest, Victoria, British Columbia
Dean Frey, Red Deer Public Library, Alberta
Irwin Glasberg, Assistant Commissioner, Information and Privacy
Garth Graham, Ottawa
Jean-Claude Guedon, Universite de Montreal
Georgina Heselton, Council of Canadians with Disabilities
Eric Huure, Forevergreen Productions
Liss Jeffrey, McLuhan Program in Culture and Technology
Theresa Johnson, Public Service Alliance of Canada
David Jones, McMaster University & Electronic Frontier Canada
Syd Jones, Metro Toronto Reference Library
Rosemary Kavanagh, Canadian Institute for the Blind
Gina La Force, Markham Public Libraries
Andrew Love, Nepean
Marita Moll, Public Advisory Council on Information Highway Policy
Michele Ollivier, Canadian Action Committee on the Status of Women
Tom Riley, Riley Information Services
Luke Sather, Saskatchewan
Jean Sebastian, Montreal
Leslie Regan Shade, McGill University
Sid Schniad, Telecommunications Workers Union, Burnaby, British Columbia
Grazyna Stepien-Clark, Electronic Village
Colin Williams, Toronto
Margaret Williams, Toronto
Michael Williamson, National Library of Canada
Shawn W. Yerxa, Public Advisory Council on Information Highway Policy

.3 Research Documents

Access and Privacy Principles. A report prepared by the Information and
Privacy Commissioner/Ontario for the Coalition for Public Information,
October, 1994.

Angus, Elisabeth & Duncan McKie. Canada's Information Highway: Services,
Access and Affordability. Industry Canada, May, 1994.

Council of Canadians with Disabilities. Submission to Information Highway
Advisory Council. March 3, 1995.

Information and Telecommunications Access Principles. Canadian Library
Association. June 18, 1994

Janisch, Hudson N. Recasting Regulation for a New Tele-Communications Era.
Policy Options, 1994.

O'Connor, Barbara. Universal Service and the National Information
Infrastructure. The Alliance for Public Technology. February 1, 1994.

Ollivier, Michele. Learning and Training on the Information Highway.
(Electronic File received February 13, 1995).

Principles for the Development of the National Information Infrastructure.
Chicago, American Library Association, 1993.

Socio-Economic Implications of a British Columbia Information Highway:
Summary Report. The Telecommunications Workers' Union of British Columbia,
November 18, 1994.