OpenMedia.ca says new NDP bill is a stepping stone in protecting Canadians’ online privacy rights
February 27, 2013 – Grassroots pro-Internet organization OpenMedia.ca is hopeful that NDP MP Charmaine Borg’s private member’s bill will act as a stepping stone towards protecting Canadians’ online privacy from government authorities. OpenMedia.ca is a non-partisan organization, but one which acknowledges politicians who listen to Canadians and take steps towards Internet openness, including online privacy, security, and affordability.
At a press conference Wednesday, Borg officially announced her intent to pass a Private Member’s Bill that would force companies to notify Canadians of any release of their private information, and would give the Privacy Commissioner enforcement powers to prevent non-compliance. Read more »
CRTC responds to Canadians after big telecom companies attempt a “backdoor price hike” using their control of digital infrastructure
February 21, 2013 – The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) released a decision today that could bring more affordable choices to Canada’s Internet service market. The decision responds to a grassroots movement of Canadians who believe big telecom companies have placed hidden fees on independent Internet service providers (ISPs) and made telecom bills more expensive for users across the country.
Overall, today’s CRTC decision appears to take small steps towards reining in those fees, bringing telecom costing closer to reality. This could give independent Internet service provider greater cost certainty and flexibility to offer Canadians more desirable and affordable rates. Read more »
Canadians are hopeful that a CRTC hearing this week will lead to the development of a Code of Conduct that ensures better deals for cell phones.
Public interest and consumer groups, academics, independent providers, and individuals appeared before the CRTC from Monday to Friday, pushing for measures that could safeguard against price-gouging and lead to more innovation and choice. However Canada’s “Big Three” telecom companies—Bell, Rogers, and Telus—which control nearly 94% of the market, also appeared, but were unwilling to take many of the steps that would fix what CRTC Chair Jean-Pierre Blais called a market that “is not working”. Read more »
During an interview with CBC News Network host Evan Solomon, Justice Minister Rob Nicholson suggested that the government is working on a revised version to the controversial online spying legislation Bill C-30. When pressed on the online spying plan Nicholson said, "We're looking at all aspects of that and when we have an announcement to make, we'll make it."
Internet freedom group OpenMedia.ca would like to see a simple and firm commitment to not put forward a plan that would permit authorities to access to private online information of law-abiding Canadians, at anytime, without a warrant. Despite silently withdrawing the bill in October 2012, the government has made no subsequent promises to protect Canadians' privacy or engage in cooperative consultation with Canadians on privacy matters. Read more »
Rogers accused of taking over public assets intended for wireless startup companies
January 28, 2013 – Grassroots group OpenMedia.ca is warning that a “backroom deal” between telecom conglomerates Shaw Communications Inc. and Rogers Communications Inc. will lead to less choice—and higher prices—for Canadians’ mobile Internet and phone service. The group is calling on Canadians to push Industry Minister Christian Paradis to block the deal at http://DemandChoice.ca.
The deal, valued at $700-million, would allow Rogers to acquire Shaw’s public airwave licenses that were supposed to be set aside for new cell phone market entrants. Read more »
By contrast, in the reporting quarter ending Dec. 30, 2011, the CRTC received a total of 41 ITMP-related complaints, and total of 67 were received in the two-year period between Oct. 1, 2009 and Sept. 30, 2011.
OpenMedia.ca, a grassroots group that promotes an open and affordable Internet, has long decried the CRTC’s lack of enforcement of Canada’s Internet openness rules—the consumer complaints process is the sole mechanism in place. Read more »