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[Graphic: Who is Shaping Your Digital Future?]

Halifax Internet Town Hall:

Who is Shaping Your Digital Future?


Town Hall Presentation: The Digital Divide in Nova Scotia by Andrew D Wright

Chebucto Mousepad Columns:

CBC Radio Maritime Noon has excerpts from the Town Hall meeting.

Right click and Save this MP3 file. Town Hall content starts at the 8:15 mark.
The Digital Divide podcast featuring Chebucto Community Net's Andrew D Wright.

Right click and Save this MP3 file. Town Hall content starts at the 15:00 mark.
The Online Privacy podcast featuring McInnes Cooper's David Fraser.

Right click and Save this MP3 file. Town Hall content starts at the 9:50 mark.
The Net Neutrality podcast featuring ACORN-NS' Terry Dalton.

Right click and Save this MP3 file.
Maritime Noon: Copyright and Digital Rights Management podcasts, Privacy and Digital Divide phone-in podcast features keynote speaker Dr Laura Murray and Dr Darren Abramson. Phone-in featuring McInnes Cooper's David Fraser and Chebucto Community Net's Andrew D Wright.


Privacy on the Internet. Net Neutrality. Copyright law and Digital Rights Management. The Digital Divide.

Four of the hottest topics on the Internet. Governments around the world have been passing laws determining what people can and can't do online. Change is coming, but what will be driving it?

At 7 PM, Monday, October 26th, 2009 the Chebucto Community Net in association with the Dalhousie Student Union and the Dalhousie Computer Science Society (CSS) will be hosting a public Internet Town Hall meeting in the McInnes Room of the Dalhousie Student Union Building, 6136 University Avenue in Halifax called "Who is Shaping Your Digital Future?"

[Photo: Costas Halavrezos] This is the only meeting of its kind in Atlantic Canada, one in a series of such meetings being held across the country. Admission is free and the general public is welcome. Doors open at 6:30 PM.

Moderated by CBC Radio's Costas Halavrezos, this Town Hall meeting will feature keynote speaker Laura Murray, co-author of "Canadian Copyright: A Citizen's Guide".

[Photo: Professor Laura Murray] Professor Murray currently is the English Department Undergraduate Chair at Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, a Fulbright scholar, and is well-versed in copyright law and theory. Professor Murray writes about Canadian copyright issues on her blog at

Copyright law and Digital Rights Management (DRM) issues have been high profile targets for new government legislation. With strong lobbying from groups representing copyright holders, there has been much debate on questions such as what constitutes fair use of copyright material, how long copyrights should last, and if strict enforcement of copyright is ultimately damaging to culture and society as a whole.

Four local panelists, each an expert in their field will talk on each of our hot topics.

[Photo: David Fraser] Privacy on the Internet will be addressed by David Fraser, Halifax-based lawyer with McInnes Cooper, and widely regarded as one of the leading privacy and technology lawyers in Canada.

With more and more parts of everyone's lives available online, questions of who has access to personal information and under what circumstances are more timely than ever. Canada is one of the world's last bastions of personal privacy - for now. In the United Kingdom, citizens can be arrested and jailed for refusing to hand over personal encryption keys to the government. In the United States, digital information can be seized by the American government any time it crosses their border. Proposed Canadian legislation will go a long way toward eliminating our personal privacy.

[Photo: Andrew D. Wright] Andrew D. Wright will be talking on the subject of the Digital Divide. Office Manager for the Chebucto Community Net for more than a decade, he has seen first-hand the struggle for Internet access some people must go through, and the people left behind.

Whose child will do better in school, the one with home access to the Internet or the one waiting for limited time at a public terminal? Senior citizens, people on assistance or disability and low income families are some of the folks who have to make sacrifices in their lives to get online. For some, even public access is not an option and Halifax residents, once national leaders in online access, are now trailing much of the rest of the country. Barriers to access are now more economic in nature than geographic.

[Photo: Terry Dalton] The topic of Net Neutrality will be addressed by Terry Dalton, current Chair of the Atlantic Canada Organization of Research Networks in Nova Scotia (ACORN-NS), an Optical Regional Advanced Network (ORAN) in association with the Canadian Network for the Advancement of Research, Industry and Education (CANARIE), and an active member of the CANARIE ORAN Advisory Committee representing advanced networking initiatives for the province of Nova Scotia.

Net Neutrality is the idea that corporations who own parts of the Internet backbone should have to play fair with network traffic. They should not be able to make some traffic faster and other traffic slower. They should not be able to redirect traffic and make some web destinations they control work better while other web destinations they may not like don't work as well.

[Photo: Dr Darren Abramson] Darren Abramson is an Assistant Professor with the Dalhousie University Department of Philosophy specializing in Logic, the Philosophy of Computer Science and the Philosophy of Mind and Cognitive Science.

Digital Rights Management (DRM) is a form of copyright protection that can be built into devices so that authorized content can be played.

However authorizations can expire, not work properly, and in some cases even be withdrawn completely or create problems unrelated to their functioning. Games can stop working because the manufacturer closes the authorization server, purchased content can be taken back after sale and computers can be made vulnerable to hostile takeover through vulnerabilities created by badly written or broken DRM.

Panelists will be taking questions and feedback from the audience. The event will be recorded by CBC Radio.

The Chebucto Community Net is a registered charity and the oldest Internet Service Provider in Atlantic Canada. It is the second oldest community net in Canada and is dedicated to the proposition that everyone should have fair access to the tools of communication.

Dalhousie Student Union represents the diverse interests of Dalhousie students. It is a leading advocate and provider of innovative and valued student services.


Contact Information:

Chebucto Community Net:

Contact: Andrew D. Wright


Phone: (902) 494-2449



Dalhousie Student Union:

Contact: Rob LeForte


Phone: (902) 494-1275




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