Revisions to Broadcasting Act won't cover online porn, heritage minister says

·1 min read

OTTAWA — Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault says sweeping updates to the Broadcasting Act will not cover pornography or sexually exploitive content online.

Guilbeault told a parliamentary committee that a new regulator will handle child pornography and non-consensual material, but that Bill C-10, which aims to regulate YouTube, Facebook and other platforms, will steer clear of content moderation, including for porn.

Guilbeault says that task will fall to an oversight body whose mandate will draw inspiration from Australia's e-safety commissioner, among other watchdogs, in legislation that is still in the works.

Conservative and New Democrat MPs asked Guilbeault why a new regulator is needed to crack down on exploitive material when the Criminal Code already bars child pornography and the knowing distribution of illicit images.

Guilbeault says current tools to handle online harms "aren’t adapted to the digital world" and need revision.

Rampant child pornography and sexual exploitation on platforms such as Montreal-based Pornhub — the world's largest pornography site — have come under increasing scrutiny since a New York Times opinion piece highlighted the problem in December.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 7, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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