What Canada's pro-Internet community has built (you're amazing)
Over the years, your support has allowed us to build some pretty awesome pro-Internet tools.
One of the things we like most about the Internet is the way it levels the playing field. The Internet breaks down barriers between decision-makers and everyday citizens (like you!)
Many of the online tools that you’ve helped develop—and the ones that will help us achieve amazing things in the future—take full advantage of the citizen-powered aspect of the web. Since OpenMedia.ca started, people have been using the Internet to save the Internet by putting pressure on elected leaders and policymakers, and innovative tools have made it possible.
Thanks to our donors and Allies, volunteers and interns, and those who have spread the word, more people than ever are aware of the possibilities of the open Internet. So we at OpenMedia.ca want to take a moment to thank you as we seek support for the next step in our efforts to safeguard Internet freedom, and let you know about the amazing tools you’ve helped us build already.
The letter-to-the-editor tool
Just 100 days after the Conservative Government took office and announced that it would pass invasive, warrantless, and costly online spying legislation, a.k.a. "Lawful Access," Connie Fournier and Quincy Lam decided to fight back the best way they knew how—they started coding. The result was the development of a cutting-edge piece of engagement software: an online letter-to-the-editor tool that allows supporters from the pro-Internet community to easily write and submit letters to their local newspaper editors. The letter tool makes it simple for citizens to write informed messages to media sources. Not only does the tool provide key points to include within a letter, but it also takes care of the targeting by identifying local media outlets using a postal code lookup, and sending the letter to as many or as few of them as desired. When Public Safety Minister Vic Toews accused the majority of Canadians of “standing with child pornographers” the letter tool was an essential resource that enabled Canadians to respond in newspapers across the country. This tool has been adapted and used in almost every campaign since.
Amid the plethora of media coverage surrounding our StopSpying.ca campaign, a hero from the pro-Internet community emerged. Early last summer, Jeremy Brown of Rattlesnake Films, offered to help educate Canadians about the dangers of online spying by creating a few public service announcement-style videos. He was disturbed by what the government was proposing and wanted to help educate citizens about this crucial issue. Armed with a Canon 7D camera, a few friends and family, and a police officer costume, Jeremy took action. After a few days of filming, producing, and editing, the three short StopSpying.ca videos Jeremy created were posted. They have now been viewed over 100,000 times on YouTube. They've also garnered national media attention and have helped the pro-Internet community move Canadian politics. You can now find his videos on both our StopSpying.ca petition and MP email tools, or his Vimeo channel.
Developed by the amazing Mark Coatsworth of Built By Giants, the OpenMedia.ca web app for iPhone and Android has everything a pro-Internet Canadian needs. Want to hit the streets in your community armed with a mobile Stop Online Spying or Stop The Meter petition? Our app does that. Want to read the latest news about the Internet, on the go? Yeah, it does that too. Mark did a fantastic job putting this together in record time, and we’d like to give a huge (but comfortable) pat on the back to this pro-Internet volunteer.
Our 150-page, comprehensive report on the future of the Internet in Canada was funded by the generous donations of the pro-Internet community and was written in partnership with OpenMedia.ca supporters from coast to coast. We’ve hand-delivered the report to several MPs and even the new CRTC Chair. You can read the report and send it to your MP here.
Stop Online Spying petition drive for five
For most of us, the chances of speaking to five different people within a single day are pretty high. With the Stop Online Spying Five tool, you can use those five conversations to make a small but meaningful difference in the fight against online spying by getting five signatures for the StopSpying.ca petition. These signatures can come from friends, family, or colleagues. You can even reserve one of those signatures as a way to break the ice with that cute guy or girl you’ve been meaning to talk to. If you’re super keen, the tool also allows you to push past the five minimum signatures and strive for petition drive glory, reaching the top of our Stop Online Spying leaderboards! We’ve put together an entire guide to help with breaking into petitioning here!
Pro-Privacy MPs and Pro-Internet candidates
As a post-partisan organization, OpenMedia.ca recognizes the importance of government in the fight for an open, affordable, and accessible Internet. We’re constantly contacting MPs and regulatory governing bodies to ensure that your voices are heard on issues ranging from online spying to cell phone price-gouging. During the 2011 federal election, we put together tools that advised Canadians about pro-Internet parties and candidates. Today, we have a special webpage that lists MPs who are publicly committing to work with Canadians to ensure that any online spying legislation (including Bill C-30) respects our privacy, our security, and our personal budgets. That list was developed in part by those members of the pro-Internet community who chose to take a stand against online spying by emailing their local Member of Parliament.
Make The Switch locator
So you’re a passionate supporter of a competitive and open telecommunications market, but can’t seem to find an independent service provider in your area to switch to? No sweat, because our Make The Switch locator tool does the busy work for you. Simply type in your postal code and we will give a list of nearby independent service providers, complete with links to their websites, who would be happy to help you sever ties with your existing Big Telecom providers. You can also browse indie ISPs through an interactive map of Canada! Now you have no excuse to continue fighting with your pricey, unfriendly, Big Telecom provider!
Tools to come
As we continue to approach 100,000 signatures on our StopTheTrap.net petition against the secretive TPP agreement, OpenMedia needs your help to continue development of online tools that make our campaigns so accessible and effective. By donating to OpenMedia.ca—even $5—we can fund the development of these tools and continue to expand our fight for an open, accessible and affordable Internet.
We’ve been so lucky to have your support in developing these pro-Internet tools to date. Together, we’ve been able to affect huge change, and truly and fully use the Internet to save the Internet. Thank you for all that you do.