Reforming CASL – Time to Lighten Up

In my new Canadian Lawyer column, I discuss Canada’s anti-spam law (CASL) and make several recommendations to amend the law before the upcoming three-year review and private rights of action come into force in July. Below is an excerpt with a link to the full column.

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Imagine a new law ten years in the making. The result of a government-established task force and action plan to tackle a serious economic problem. A law that moved through several draft bills, multiple rounds of committee hearings and extensive and broad stakeholder consultations over many years.

A law so important to the effective functioning of an economy that not one but three federal enforcement agencies were tasked for its enforcement, together with a national coordinating body and three government oversight departments to ensure its efficient operation. Federal agencies that had issued an extensive body of technical guidelines, guides, backgrounders, fact sheets, information bulletins, infographics, videos, presentations, enforcement advisories, news releases and FAQ documents to help business and consumers understand the law.

Imagine that these various federal enforcement and administrative organs in their diligence had also launched an intertwined network of websites, microsites and social media resources, as well as a reporting centre – a sort of hotline – where concerned citizens could inform the government about violators of this critical national law. A law with corporate penalties up to $10 million and civil damages up to $1 million per day.

Such extensive government efforts and penalties, one would think, could only be allocated to a most critical national priority. A new criminal law? Corporate corruption? Securities fraud perhaps?

Spam actually. CASL.

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For the full column see: Reforming CASL – Time to Lighten It.

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