Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Blacklock’s, Spam, CRTC, and ATIP

Readers will be aware that I have been following and commenting on Blacklock’s “litany of litigation”, as I have called it, against the Federal Government and several of its agencies.

An alert reader has advised that Blacklock’s has apparently had some interaction with the CRTC regarding Canada’s anti-spam legislation. This led to an “undertaking” by Blacklock’s.  It’s brief, so I’ll quote it in full:
Undertaking: 1395804 Ontario Ltd (dba. Blacklock’s Reporter)
File No.: 9094-2018-00502
Date of undertaking (signed by all the parties): 28 September 2018
Under section 21 of the Act to promote the efficiency and adaptability of the Canadian economy by regulating certain activities that discourage reliance on electronic means of carrying out commercial activities, and to amend the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission Act, the Competition Act, the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act and the Telecommunications Act, S.C. 2010, C. 23 (CASL, or the Act)
Person entering into an undertaking
1395804 Ontario Limited doing business as Blacklock’s Reporter (Blacklock’s Reporter).
Acts and omissions covered by the undertaking and provisions at issue
Blacklock’s Reporter has voluntarily entered into an undertaking with a designated person of the Commission (Commission staff) concerning alleged violations of paragraphs 6(1)(a), 6(1)(b), 6(2)(b), 6(2)(c), subsection 11(1) of the Act, as well as non-compliance with paragraph 2(1)(d), subsection 2(2), and section 3 of the Electronic Commerce Protection Regulations (CRTC) SOR/2012-36 (CRTC Regulations).
Following an investigation, Commission staff alleged that commercial electronic messages (CEMs) sent by Blacklock’s Reporter between 22 December 2017 and 21 March 2018 to market and promote its subscription-based news service were sent without the recipients’ consent. In addition, Commission staff alleged that CEMs sent between 16 August 2017 and 21 March 2018 did not contain appropriate sender identification and a readily-performed unsubscribe mechanism as required by sections 6 and 11 of the Act.
Summary of conditions
Blacklock’s Reporter has agreed to put in place a compliance program to ensure that all parties sending commercial electronic messages on its behalf comply with the Act and Regulations.
The compliance program includes the review of current compliance practices, the development, and implementation of corporate policies and procedures to ensure compliance with the Act, the tracking of commercial electronic message complaints and subsequent resolution, as well as audit measures for reporting the program’s implementation to Commission staff.
Commission staff determined that there would be no incremental benefit to promote compliance by imposing a monetary payment on Blacklock’s Reporter. Instead, given the size and scope of the business, Commission staff have encouraged Blacklock’s Reporter to invest funds in developing a compliance program, including technical tools and staff training that will ensure full compliance with section 6 of CASL.
This undertaking fully settles all alleged or potential responsibility of Blacklock’s Reporter regarding all commercial electronic messages sent by the company during the period between 16 August 2017 and the date of this undertaking.
Date modified: 

Ironically, given Blacklock’s reliance on the ATIP mechanism, an attempt to obtain information about spam complaints against Blacklock’s led to the following result:


All spam complaints against 1395804 Ontario Ltd between January 1, 2013 and June 14, 2018.
All exempted
(highlight added)

This means that no documents were provided to whoever submitted this ATIP request.


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