A New Year | Weekly News Update from OpenMedia.ca

Hello and Happy New Year!

Here's Lindsey with your first update of 2013:

This week, we're looking ahead and thinking about the potential threats and future victories of 2013, and what growth the Internet freedom community will see this year. 

For the Internet, 

- The OpenMedia.ca Team

Recent News

Canadians caused change in Bill C-30 legislation

Your efforts to push back against the online spying bill C-30 through http://stopspying.ca stopped its passing in 2012. Bill C-30 is far from dead however, as discussions continue without input from Canadians.

"Under the legislation, Internet service providers would need to be able to monitor user activity in real time – a potentially expensive investment that telcos hope Ottawa [meaning your tax dollars ] will help fund."

In this new year, Canadians needs to continue to stand up and call for their MPs to make a firm pro-privacy stand at http://openmedia.ca/stand. Read more »


OpenMedia Street Teams get active at a local level to fight online spying

Members the pro-Internet community are busily working with OpenMedia staff to get active at a local level, and standing up for your privacy by amplifying voices from our StopSpying.ca campaign. It's inspiring and it's working.

In case you missed it, check out this amazing coverage, and keep your eyes peeled for an upcoming report-back from the West Vancouver Street Team.

Article by Todd Coyne for North Shore Outlook

Activists protesting the controversial Bill C-30 ‘Internet surveillance act’ descended on Conservative MP John Weston’s riding office in West Vancouver Monday, armed with hundreds of constituent signatures opposing the bill. Read more »


Privacy Commissioner to try to rework the online spying bill

We know that online spying bill C-30 is invasive, costly, and poorly thought-out. In fact, so many of us made our voices heard through http://StopSpying.ca/ and more that we've so far prevented this warrantless spying scheme.

Now Canada's Privacy Commissioner is working on a version of C-30 that would take our civil liberties into account. We don't yet know whether this will be enough to make the online spying bill acceptable to Canadians – but for now, it's clear we have to continue to stand against warrantless online spying. If you haven't already, tell your MP to stand with Canada: http://openmedia.ca/stand

Article by Jim Bronskill for the Canadian Press:

The federal privacy watchdog is trying to help the Conservative government find a compromise in its contentious bid to bolster Internet surveillance powers. Read more »


Twitter shuts down Rogers parody account

Twitter is now blocking an account that parodies Rogers, likely due to a complaint from the telecom giant. The account made humourous but critical comments about Rogers' cell phone price-gouging, poor customer service, and long-term contracts—issues that many Canadians are forced to deal with because of the lack of choice in our cell phone market. It's precisely because of this lack of choice that Rogers can deal with this critique most easily by going after the account, rather than by making an effort to meet the reasonable expectations of its customers.

You can help make Canada's cell phone market fairer by speaking out at http://cellphonehorrorstory.ca/ Read more »


OpenMedia's Reilly Yeo: A garden of online innovation

Check out this volunteer-made video of our own Reilly Yeo, who explains why the open Internet is so important. Spread it around to show why your involvement in Canada's digital future is crucial. Read more »


Geist: Milestones in 2012 from A to Z

Article by Michael Geist:

From the remarkable battle over the Stop Online Piracy Act to the massive public backlash against Internet surveillance in Canada, law and technology issues garnered headlines all year long. A look back at 2012 from A to Z:

A is for Astral, the Canadian broadcasting giant that was to be sold to Bell Media for over $3 billion. The CRTC blocked the sale on the grounds that the companies failed to demonstrate the transaction was in the public interest.

B is for Jean-Pierre Blais, the newly appointed chair of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission. Blais surprised the industry by adopting a strong pro-consumer approach during his first months on the job.


C is for the Copyright Modernization Act, the copyright reform bill that received royal assent in June 2012. Read more »

The Massive Stakes for Your Privacy in the Teksavvy Vs Voltage Case

I raised a lot of eyebrows on my last post regarding the Teksavvy vs. Voltage case, so I’d thought I’d follow up with this post. Questions on why I’m so passionate about privacy and copyright should be pretty much answered after this post, and why I’ve chosen to speak out on both of those issues.

Consumers sense of insecurity can have a lot more negative consequences on a much broader scale than just copyright allegations. Right or wrong, if you do any business in Canada you know that Canadian consumers have a reasonable expectation of privacy that is with the company they do business with, and also contracted as such in most cases. Read more »


Reviewing Canada's Victory Against Online Spying Bill C-30

Looking back at 2012 you should feel proud of what you've been part of. For example, our friends at Electronic Frontier Foundation put together this review of how you joined with people across the country to stop Vic Toews online spying bill C-30.

Toews will likely try to bring this plan back but it's not so often that citizens have such a clear victory. You can help maintain that victory by calling on your MP to make a public stand against warrantless spying at: http://openmedia.ca/stand - and by sharing this image. Read more »


Report back: Inside the TPP's Internet Trap

Thanks to support from Knowledge Ecology International (KEI) and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), I had a chance to attend the latest round of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations, from December 3rd to the 12th, in Auckland, New Zealand. I agreed to attend and make a presentation to the negotiators.

It’s clear to me that the TPP is extreme, and that its problematic secrecy is due to it being driven by industry lobbyists rather than citizens. While the entire process is illegitimate by any democratic standard, I hoped that through my presentation and presence, I could demonstrate that citizens are engaged and have a right to participate. I also wanted to make it clear that new restrictions on Internet freedom will not be tolerated.

I recount my experience below, but for a rundown of the major developments at this TPP negotiating round, be sure to check out this excellent piece by OpenMedia’s Catherine Hart. You can also find great reports from the EFF, KEI, and the Australian Digital Alliance. Read more »