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Free speech advocates around the world railed against a new Canadian law that could demand a life sentence for adults who violate speech laws on social media.

Introduced last month, the Online Harms Act, or Bill C-63, would empower judges to imprison adults for life if they post views supportive of genocide. The bill would increase the maximum penalty for advocating genocide from five years to life imprisonment and from two years to five years, on indictment, for the willful promotion of hatred.

Advocates of the bill say it will make online platforms safer. However, critics called the law "totalitarian" and "Orwellian" for its crackdown on speech. The bill also allows a judge to impose house arrest and a fine if there are reasonable grounds to believe a defendant "will commit" an offense. 

George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley deemed the measure the latest step in a progression of already harmful laws against free speech in Canada.

DON LEMON SAYS FREE SPEECH ‘DOESN’T MATTER' TO ELON MUSK AFTER X PARTNERSHIP IS CANCELLED

Fox News contributor Jonathan Turley

Legal scholar and Fox News contributor Jonathan Turley said Canada's Online Harms Act was another step the government has taken to criminalize speech? (Fox News)

"The proposed changes constitute a doubling down on Canada’s commitment to reducing free speech for citizens despite criticism from many in the civil liberties community," he wrote in a new column.

Justice Minister Arif Virani, who introduced the bill, argued that laws exist regulating the safety of toys kids play with but not the "screen that is in our children’s faces."

As a father, he said he was "terrified of the dangers that lurk on the internet for our children." 

However, Turley argued the same reasons given to stifle speech in this bill could be expanded to apply in less extreme examples.

PROPOSED LAW WOULD SET FOOTBALL FIELD-SIZED ZONE AROUND DRAG SHOWS, FINE ‘OFFENSIVE’ SPEECH UP TO $25,000

Trudeau/Canada

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau backed the controversial "Online Harms" bill that would increase the maximum penalty for advocating genocide and hatred online. (Getty Images)

"It is not likely to end there. Today the rationale is genocide. However, once the new penalties are in place, a host of other groups will demand similar treatment for those with opposing views on their own causes.  This law already increased the penalties for anything deemed hateful speech," Turley added.

Canadian psychologist Dr. Jordan Peterson also spoke out against the bill by warning that even liberals fear it will chill speech.

"If even the mother of the progressive feminists in Canada thinks that Bill C-63 is dangerous then perhaps the rest of us might think twice as well," he wrote, referring to criticism of the bill from "Handmaid's Tale" author Margaret Atwood.

Atwood previously blasted the measure as "Orwellian" and said it invited "possibilities for revenge false accusations and thoughtcrime stuff."

Conservative author Stephen Moore called the bill the "most shocking of all the totalitarian, illiberal, and anti-Enlightenment pieces of legislation that have been introduced in the Western world in decades." 

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A recent poll found a majority of Canadians, 70%, supported the government's plan to regulate online content, The National Post reported. 

Only 41% of respondents said they believed the legislation would create safer online platforms and just 10% of those polled said they "completely trust" the government to do the job while protecting free speech rights.

Fox News' Bradford Betz contributed to this report.

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