March 20, 2023

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OTTAWA. Google stated it can name a few of its prime executives to testify earlier than a parliamentary committee inspecting the Silicon Valley large after it ran a five-week check that blocked information hyperlinks for some Canadian customers.

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The check was designed to evaluate the implications of a possible response to Invoice C-18, the Liberal Authorities’s On-line Information Act.

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The check ended on Thursday.

Google stated it notified the legacy committee that it might volunteer its president of worldwide affairs and chief authorized officer Kent Walker and vp of stories Richard Gingras to satisfy with the committee. The date has not but been set.

“We all the time try to work constructively with Canadian parliamentarians and the Authorities of Canada on regulatory points,” a Google spokesperson stated in an announcement.

Walker and Gingras rejected the committee’s problem earlier this month.

Of their place was the pinnacle of Google Canada, however Google stated it acknowledges that MPs on the committee nonetheless have questions they want solutions to.

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Liberal MPs have just lately expressed dissatisfaction with Google and Meta, which personal Fb and Instagram.

On February 9, Google started a five-week check that restricted entry to information to lower than 4 % of Canadian customers. Affected customers had been unable to see information hyperlinks within the Google search engine and within the Uncover bar on Android telephones.

The corporate stated the check applies to information of every kind, together with content material produced by Canadian broadcasters and newspapers.

Meta additionally introduced final week that it might block information on Fb and Instagram if the federal government’s proposed on-line information regulation was handed in its present kind.

Tech giants corresponding to Meta and Google have lengthy been combating in opposition to a proposed regulation that might require them to enter into offers that might compensate Canadian media firms for hyperlinks to their content material or in any other case repurposing their content material on-line.

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Main Canadian media firms and the federal Liberal authorities have backed the invoice, saying it might stage the taking part in area for information shops that compete with tech corporations for advert {dollars}.

On Monday, three days earlier than U.S. President Joe Biden’s go to to Ottawa, Liberal MPs on the legacy committee plan to solicit inside paperwork from two U.S. firms, asking their executives to look.

Liberal MPs on the committee additionally desire a new research of “the present and ongoing use of scare and subversion techniques by tech giants to evade regulation in Canada and world wide.”

Chris Bittle, Parliamentary Secretary to Canada’s Minister of Heritage, shared the Liberals’ proposed proposal on Twitter.

“The actions of the tech giants have actual implications for our society and our democracy. Their latest scare techniques are a step too far,” Bittle stated.

“Tech giants are usually not above the regulation.”


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