CTV News (ca) title Justin Trudeau’s China trip could bring political headaches for Liberals article CtvNews.ca (ca)/The Globe and Mail (ca): The Trudeau government is planning to seek the court’s permission to impose a blanket internet blackout on Chinese internet users.
The plan was announced in an online consultation, but there is no official word on how far the government will go.
China has already blocked many websites and blocked some online applications for the first time in the country’s history.
The ban has been widely criticized.
On Tuesday, the Liberals released a policy paper outlining the steps the government would take in response to the blackout, including “blocking websites for non-essential purposes” and “promoting the safety and security of Internet users and providers.”
Crown corporations and telecoms are also reportedly expected to play a role in implementing the blackout.
“We believe that Canada’s openness is the most important element of our relationship with China,” the government’s press release says.
“In response to our concerns about internet access, we are proposing to impose limits on the use of certain websites and applications that do not serve Canadians, as well as limiting access to certain applications that are deemed to be critical of the Chinese government.”
The government is also looking to create an online portal for Canadians to access a range of other services, including health information and access to free dental care.
Internet access in China has been limited to a handful of people in Beijing.
The government says it will ask for the court to order the “full and unrestricted distribution” of the information.
The Liberals are also considering a “national Internet” initiative, but that is likely to face opposition from the Chinese Communist Party.
The online consultation is part of Trudeau’s bid to gain political support for the policy after the Chinese state-owned Global Times said it was considering shutting down social media sites for Chinese users.
Some of the concerns raised by the Global Times are similar to those raised by internet advocates who have argued that Canada should be allowed to impose Internet bans.
Trudeau has also repeatedly said that Canada has no plans to allow internet access to Canadians who are overseas.
Citizens in China who are living in Canada should apply for a permit from their government before the start of the blackout period.
They will also need to pay $250 a year for the privilege of accessing their country’s Internet.
This story has been updated to include comment from the Canadian government.