Canadian organizations join new coalition concerned with Internet censorship in controversial international agreement
As officials meet in Peru for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Canadian groups are helping launch an international “Fair Deal” coalition
May 21, 2013 – Today, OpenMedia.ca and a coalition of organisations representing a diversity of interests have come together from around the world to ask for a fair deal on intellectual property (IP) in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP).
The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a trade agreement being negotiated by Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Peru, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore, Vietnam, and the United States. The changes to copyright required by the TPP would reduce access to information and restrict the ability to innovate, both on and offline. Read more »
As Minister Paradis reviews the proposed Telus-Mobilicity takeover, Ottawa faces an important decision about the future of the wireless industry in Canada. Will it intervene to stop the collapse of independent providers, or walk away from fostering a more open & competitive wireless market?
Make your voice heard: http://demandchoice.ca/
Article by Christine Dobby for the Financial Post:
In 2008, Ottawa took bold steps explicitly designed to shake up a wireless communications sector dominated by three big players, determined to give consumers more choice and a break on pricing. Read more »
The Conservative Party of Canada is accessing contact information from government agencies to use for their PR efforts. Will political parties be able to access citizen data this way too?
We are calling on the government to pass strong pro-privacy legislation to protect citizens. Add your name at http://StopSpying.ca/
Article by David Pugliese for PostMedia News:
OTTAWA — The Conservative party is sending email to some public servants at work promoting the government’s economic action plan and linking them to a website that asks which party they intend to vote for in the next election. Read more »
Professional cell phone contract negotiators are now haggling for better deals on behalf of Canadians who are either frustrated or unwilling to discuss their cell phone bills, contracts and plans with their wireless providers.
If the government allows Big Telecom to succeed in taking over Canada's independent wireless assets, even higher cell phone bills than ever before. Don't forget to visit http://demandchoice.ca/
From CBC News:
Discussing cellphone bills, contracts and plans with their wireless provider is something many Canadians would rather not do — so a number of entrepreneurs are offering to haggle with service providers on their behalf.
Companies such as mybillsarehigh.com negotiate with wireless providers like Rogers or Bell to get customers a better deal, in return for a cut of the savings. Read more »
The U.S. government is proposing to expand wiretap design laws in order to intercept Internet audio and video chats. This expansion will require software companies to change their current operations, and those that are not able to do so will face fines. If allowed to go through, this expansion could pose serious security risks to ordinary users of the Internet, allowing thieves & foreign agents a new and discreet way to listen in on conversations.
We must remain vigilant to ensure that such proposals do not take hold here in Canada. Speak out at: http://stopspying.ca/
Article by Somini Sengupta from The New York Times:
Surveillance can be a tricky affair in the Internet age.
A federal law called the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act allows law enforcement officials to tap a traditional phone, as long as they get approval from a judge. But if communication is through voice over Internet Protocol technology — Skype, for instance — it’s not as simple. Read more »
Citizen engagement meets policy work as we push for strong national rules to protect cell phone users
We at OpenMedia.ca have been working hard to ensure your voices are heard as the CRTC works to develop national rules to protect cell phone users.
If we’re successful this Code of Conduct could play a big role in increasing cell phone providers’ transparency, curbing certain price-gouging practices, and dialing back the all-too-common punitive long-term cell phone service contracts. As only three large companies continue to control 94% of Canada’s wireless market, the CRTC rules could help reduce Canadians’ frustrations and could also play a critical role in enabling more choice.
Many of you have been engaged in this proceeding from the start—thousands of you even called on the CRTC to develop these rules in the first place—and have informed the Wireless Code of Conduct proceeding by sending in your cell phone horror stories, which we also used to inform our report Time for an Upgrade and its recommendations. Read more »
Copyright affects us all – artists, musicians, journalists, and anyone who enjoys sharing Facebook posts or YouTube videos with their friends. That was the clear message from last night’s Remix This: A Copyright Cabaret event, which brought together people from all walks of life in an exciting attempt to reimagine the whole concept of copyright.
Over a hundred Vancouverites attended the FreshMedia event in person, and were joined by many more from around the world who followed the discussion live using hashtag #RemixThis on Twitter. Read more »
We're working hard to make sure your voices are heard on the proposed Telus takeover of Mobilicity, one of our largest independent cell phone providers, as demonstrated in this article. If the government allows this deal to go through, it will mean even less choice and even higher prices for Canadians.
It's time to stand together and send Industry Minister Paradis a clear message - add your name at http://DemandChoice.ca/
From the Techvibes Newsdesk:
Telecommunications giant Telus has agreed to acquire discount wireless carrier Mobilicity for $380 million. Read more »
Here's Arielle with your update:
Watch Arielle's video update to hear this week's news. This week we discuss the 17th round of the TPP's secretive negotiations in Lima, Peru. Please head to StopTheTrap.net to demand that governments involved in the TPP make the process transparent, accountable, and open to public participation and to all interested stakeholders. Read more »
The CRTC held a public hearing last week in response to Bell—Canada’s largest telecom and media conglomerate—once again attempting to take over Astral Media. Last year, the telecom giant unveiled a $3.4B plan to take control of Astral, one of Canada's largest media companies. Canada already has one of the most highly concentrated media systems in the industrialized world, and this deal would only make this situation worse by giving Bell a monopolistic share of the media market.
After thousands of Canadians and public interest groups decried the original takeover attempt, the CRTC denied the deal, saying that Bell had not proven the takeover would benefit the broadcasting system or be in the public interest. So Bell came back with a slightly watered-down version of its original proposal to take over Astral, which included dividing some assets up with Shaw, another one of Canada’s largest media and telecom conglomerates. Read more »
OpenMedia.ca argues the takeover will encourage more mistreatment of Canadian cell phone customers
April 16, 2013 – Telus has formally announced plans to takeover Mobilicity, one of Canada’s largest independent cell phone providers. Grassroots group OpenMedia.ca believes, if allowed to go through, will stifle choice and fair treatment of customers in Canada’s already-broken wireless market.
Mobilicity is one of only three carriers in Canada independent of the “Big Three” cell phone companies - Bell, Rogers, and Telus - that already control roughly 94% of the market.
OpenMedia.ca says that the sale of Mobilicity to Telus will stifle choice in an already monopolistic wireless market. According to the group, the deal also gives big telecom conglomerates more room to raise prices, as the check on the market provided by new entrants diminishes. Read more »
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