A Canadian Telecom’s Labor Dispute Leads to Blocked Web Sites and Questions of Censorship
Telus, the leading telecommunications company in western Canada, does not typically block its subscribers’ access to particular Web sites. But the company did play censor when it came to two sites related to its current labor dispute.
On July 21, members of the Telecommunications Workers Union went on strike against Telus. Strikebreaking immediately became a hot topic on www.voices-for-change.com, a pro-union Web site operated by a Telus employee and a second site (now apparently defunct) that featured photos of managers and union members who were still on the job.
On July 22, Telus blocked its Internet subscribers’ access to both sites. “What gets me is that Telus didn’t notify me,” said David DiMaria, the employee who operates voices-for-changes.com.
“We were very concerned for the safety of our employees,” Drew McArthur, the vice president of corporate affairs at Telus, said. “It was very intimidating.”
The company contends that its service agreement with subscribers allows it to block any Web site, a claim that some Canadian legal scholars question.
Later: Slashdot suggests it’s still going on (Aug 4): Hundreds of Sites Blocked By Canadian ISP