Your Stories in Action | Weekly News Update from OpenMedia.ca
Here's Lindsey with your update:
This week's update gives you a behind-the-scenes look at the progress of the Cell Phone Horror Story campaign. If you haven't already, be sure to send in your tale here.
For the Internet,
- The OpenMedia.ca Team
Last week, the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police had called on the government to revive the invasive Online Spying Bill C-30 – legislation that would grant them warrantless access into the private data of citizens.
Now, three of Canada's Information and Privacy Commissioners have spoken out in defence of Canadians' right to privacy online – stating that should law enforcement need additional powers, "they must come with appropriate judicial oversight and accountability".
Call on your MP to stand against the warrantless Online Spying Bill C-30. Read more on this response by the provincial Information and Privacy Commissioners at The Windsor Star. Read more »
In the midst of our push for Canadians to share their CellPhoneHorrorStory.ca to enact a new wireless code, we are reminded of the importance to have basic and affordable communications services available at all times to Canadians.
Big Telecom tends to disagree with this sentiment – threatening to remove pay phones entirely should their calls to increase rates not be met. Help speak out against these plans to disconnect Canadian communications and share our Action Plan for a Connected Canada.
Article by The Canadian Press for CBC News
The events of superstorm Sandy are raising questions about the importance of payphones in emergencies, even as two of Canada's largest telecom companies say they will tear out some public telephones unless they are allowed to sharply raise prices. Read more »
Over the past month, we've seen a number of decisions made by the CRTC that have resulted from Canadians speaking out against Big Telecom's unfair practice.
The CRTC has shown they are willing to listen to Canadians, so let's make ourselves be heard. Share your CellPhoneHorrorStory.ca and let's take the steps to fix our broken telecom market.
Article by Rita Trichur for The Globe and Mail
At first, Jean-Pierre Blais did not want the job.
When headhunters approached him late last winter, they sought his advice on who would be a suitable candidate to lead Ottawa’s watchdog on the telecommunications and broadcasting industries. Mr. Blais supplied them with some names. Then the headhunters came back.
“At one point they said: ‘Well, would you be interested?’ And that’s when I laughed them off because I knew how daunting a job this is,” said Mr. Blais. “Even back then, I knew that the public trust had disappeared, that technology was creating a stress on the system, that there was a lot of tension in the system because of the vigour of competition.”
But then came a change of heart. After weeks of reflection, he agreed to apply for the job – a decision that is now altering the course of the Canadian communications business. Read more »
Big Telecom's increased control has contributed to Canadians feeling 'cell-shocked' by our broken telecom market. But if you had the chance to change anything about your wireless services, what would it be?
Policy-makers at the CRTC are now opening up their decision-making process to Canadian input. Share your Cell Phone Horror Story at CellPhoneHorrorStory.ca and let's tell the CRTC to put public interest first.
Article by Laura Payton for CBC News
A consumer group worried that a bureaucratic hurdle could stop people from giving feedback about a code of conduct for cellphone companies is compiling complaints from Canadians.
Open Media, a watchdog group that fights to keep internet access cheap, says it wants to make it easier for consumers to tell their stories about battles with cellphone companies. The group has launched a website, CellPhoneHorrorStory.ca, to collect complaints about what they say is a "broken cellphone market." Read more »
After speaking out against Bell's $3.4-billion takeover of Astral Media, the CRTC made a decision to listen to Canadians and block the Big Telecom expansion of power. Naturally, Bell hasn't been so easy to give up on its power-grab – instead now taking on Canadians and the CRTC.
We need to stand by the CRTC decision that was made in our favour, telling our MPs to do the same. Sign and share our StopTheTakeover.ca campaign to help stop Bell's takeover for good.
Article by Simon Houpt for The Globe & Mail
It sounded at once alluring and kind of unseemly. At a roundtable chat here on Tuesday afternoon hosted by Larry King, Kevin Crull, the president of Bell Media, listened in admiration as his fellow panelists sketched out their utopian visions for how technology is making the world an infinitely better place.
One Kenyan entrepreneur talked about a game he had developed, in which players protect trees from illegal loggers, that helped change people’s views of the practice in the real world. Brian David Johnson, a futurist at Intel, marvelled: “The idea that people just carry the Internet in their pocket – they carry a gateway to global business, to global politics in their pocket – I think has just had a massive, massive effect on our society.” Read more »
As part of a larger campaign to spread awareness about communications issues in Canada, we at OpenMedia.ca have been encouraging students at universities and colleges across Canada to run OpenMedia.ca clubs on their campuses.
Previously, our campus club at OpenMedia McGill reported back on their trip to the Bell/Astral hearings in September. Now, they're sharing their insight into the CRTC decision that was made after Canadians spoke out to StopTheTakeover.ca. Read on for how Bell's takeover was stopped with your support, where the merger stands now and how you can help in speaking out further. Read more »
The number of cell phone complaints increased this year by 35% – a spike that can be attributed to Big Telecom's tightening grip over over our communications.
But there is good news, as Canada's communications policy makers at the CRTC have invited Canadian input in future decision-making. Speak out and share your cell phone horror story at CellPhoneHorrorStory.ca. Read more »
After last week's push to revive invasive Online Spying Bill C-30, police are now refusing to comment on whether they have accessed Canadians' cell phone data without a warrant.
Call on your MP to speak out against this intrusive expansion of surveillance powers at OpenMedia.ca/Stand.
Article by Andrew MacLeod for The Tyee
Police in three major Canadian departments have declined to confirm whether they have the technology to identify people in a crowd based on the unique identifiers on their cellphones.
"It reflects a massive invasion of privacy," said David Eby, the executive director of the B.C. Civil Liberties Association, speaking about the technology which can be used to capture the International Mobile Subscriber Identity or International Mobile Equipment Identity on cellphones and other devices.
Eby said the BCCLA became interested in whether the technology was being used here after reading about it in a British newspaper article. Read more »
As we encourage Canadians continue to share their CellPhoneHorrorStory.ca, your support has helped in getting the attention of policy makers and producing media coverage nationwide.
The CRTC is taking notice of what you have to say, so we're rallying your voices to get even louder. Share your horror stories and visit OpenMedia.ca/Halloween to face your cell phone service fears. Read more »