Canadians kick off international coalition to fight new Internet restrictions proposed in TPP trade agreement
June 27, 2012 – OpenMedia.ca launched a campaign today, supported a by a group of organizations, to stand against the new Internet restrictions, including new content fines, that Internet users will be subject to through the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement. Read more »
Pro-Internet group OpenMedia.ca warns that entry into TPP could force an “Internet lockdown” in Canada
June 19, 2012 – Canada has become the latest country to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a secretive international trade agreement that will include rules for copyright, trademarks, and patents that are far more restrictive than those currently required in Canada by existing treaties or regulations. But as Canada prepares to join the talks, digital rights advocates are expressing concerns that the TPP would extend Internet restrictions across the globe.
The TPP’s intellectual property measures would give large media conglomerates new powers to lock users out of their own content and services, provide new liabilities that might force ISPs to police online activity, and give giant media companies even greater powers to shut down websites and remove content at will. Read more »
OpenMedia.ca has just released a tool that displays the names of the over sixty Members of Parliament—nearly two-thirds of opposition party members—who have signed up as Pro-Privacy MPs, and taken a stand against warrantless online spying legislation in Canada (Bill C-30). By adding their names, these politicians have publicly committed to work "with Canadians to ensure that any Lawful Access legislation respects our privacy, security, and personal budgets.” Read more »
Citizen-Made Video Launches After Millions Are Set Aside For Bill C-30
May 24, 2012 – OpenMedia.ca has launched a citizen-made online video educating Canadians about the true cost of the government’s online spying legislation C-30 and the threat it poses to personal privacy.
If passed, Bill C-30 will force Canadians to pay for a range of authorities to invasively access their private data, at any time, without a warrant.
Despite media coverage suggesting Bill C-30 has been shelved, last week, Public Safety Minister Vic Toews proclaimed that the government is still “intent on proceeding” with its unpopular, warrantless online spying bill. It has also been revealed that Toews has quietly set aside millions in taxpayer dollars to pay for this costly online spying plan (see links below for details). Read more »
April 12, 2012 – Today, the Ontario government announced plans to adopt measures to protect cell phone users.
Grassroots group OpenMedia.ca is lauding these measures, noting that with only three large companies controlling 94 percent of the cell phone market in Canada, there simply isn’t enough choice to ensure Canadians are getting a fair deal.
The bill, which includes measures originally introduced by MPP David Orazietti, would make contract terms clearer and cap cancellation fees, among other things. The details of the proposed bill can be found here.
The CRTC, Canada’s telecommunications regulator, also recently launched a consultation around the possibility of minimum national standards that would protect wireless customers. Through a form on the OpenMedia.ca website, Canadians are asking the CRTC to build on the proposed Ontario rules, as well as the protections in Manitoba and Quebec, in developing those standards. Read more »
Bell has announced that it will soon be in control of Astral Media, and the cellphone, Internet, land-line services, radio stations, and television holdings that come with it.
Concentration in Canada’s communications industry is extremely high by global standards, and more than twice as high as in the US. For instance, four large companies—Bell, Shaw, Rogers and QMI—control 86% of cable and satellite distribution, 70% of wireless revenues, and 54% of Internet Service Provider revenues.
Astral owns 22 television services and 84 radio stations, many of which currently compete with Bell's 30 specialty channels and 35 radio stations.
OpenMedia.ca, a grassroots organization that safeguards the possibilities of the open and affordable Internet, has concerns about Big Telecom companies that own both content and the methods of distributing it. Read more »