Online Spying Hits Parliament: Weekly Update from


Here's Lindsey with your update:

The online spying bill (Bill C-30) was tabled in Parliament on Tuesday, sparking massive public outrcry across the country! Tell your MP you oppose warrantless online spying here and join the 90,000 other Canadians speaking out. As well, Bill C-11 is heading through Parliament, be sure to spread the word about No Internet Lock Down

You've probably seen us in the news the last couple of weeks, but we at have been run off our feet with media requests! There's so much going on right now—three imminent threats to the Internet—and we need to push back hard right now. Now's the time to act! So please consider helping us out at today. 

- The Team

Recent News:

Letter to Supporters: A massive public outcry

This is big. Powerful lobbyists, working with their allies in government, have put forward what amounts to an unavoidable choke point for your Internet use: two bills aimed at Internet users, and a government decision about the future of Internet access.

If we don’t stop this set-up, you’ll have to deal with bigger bills, widespread warrantless surveillance, and restricted choice.

By signing an petition, you helped push back against new Internet restrictions and Big Telecom price-gouging. But these new challenges require more resources than ever to fight. Will you donate today so we can defend your rights? Your donation will empower the fight for an open and affordable Internet. Read more »


Government Begins to Backpeddle on Online Spying as Petition reaches 93K

February 15, 2012 – The government is in hot water with 93,000 Canadians after introducing a bill that would allow warrantless online spying. Known as Lawful Access, this legislation was introduced in Parliament on Tuesday as Bill C-30.

Public interest group says that if passed unchanged, this bill will create a giant, unsecure, expensive data registry that collects the personal information of any Canadian at any time without a warrant.

Over 90,000 people to-date have signed a petition at to protest the online spying bill—a growth of 10,000 since Tuesday morning—and a survey from Canada’s Privacy Commissioner show that 83 percent of Canadians oppose warrantless surveillance measures. Read more »


The Globe and Mail: 'Snoop and spy' bill could be costly overreach

By Omar El Akkad for The Globe and Mail

Vic Toews, Canada’s Public Safety Minister, has framed any debate of the Conservative government's new lawful access bill in the simplest terms: Canadians can either stand with the government, or with child pornographers.

Of course, the dichotomy is false. It is possible to oppose this bill without supporting child pornography. The federal and provincial privacy commissioners who have already spoken out against the proposed law didn't do so because they've fallen under the lobbying spell of Big Paedophilia. Read more »


Our moment, our Internet

As you probably noticed, the Internet is under siege from all angles right now. Communications seem be at a crossroads in Canada, and indeed around the world. Will we live in a connected society that respects free expression, creativity, and innovation? Or will we live in a country with increasingly punitively expensive access to communications with widespread censorship and surveillance?

The latter scenario is a very real threat at this point. There are three core threads in progress that threaten our communications choice and affordability... Read more »


Warrantless Online Spying Bills Target all Canadians; Unpopular Legislation Tabled as Petition Tops 80,000 Signatures

Conservative Government Ignores 8 in 10 Canadians

February 14, 2011 – Warrantless online spying legislation (“Lawful Access”) was introduced in Parliament today, opening the door to needless invasions of privacy for law-abiding Canadians. The bills would force Internet service providers to surrender the personal information of any Canadian at any time to authorities without court oversight—a move that public interest groups, legal experts, and privacy advocates say will fundamentally reshape the Internet in Canada.

After the Conservative government made its election-time promise to introduce the online spying bills, pro-Internet organization joined with 42 other groups—including public interest organizations, online service providers, and independent media—to form the Stop Online Spying Coalition. Canada’s leading legal and privacy experts have also made their opposition to online spying clear in a mini-documentary about the bills. Read more »


National Post: Even officials from Public Safety Canada take issue with online spying

By Jesse Kline for the National Post:

For years, small-c conservatives have been arguing that the gun registry is a giant waste of money — not only because it went way over budget, but due to the fact that it serves to make criminals out of law abiding firearms owners. Meanwhile, those intent on committing crimes easily escape its grip. To their credit, the federal Tories are in the process of scrapping the registry. But while the government restores some of our freedoms with one hand, it simultaneously takes them away with the other.

Public Safety Minister Vic Toews has placed the Conservatives’ so-called “lawful access” legislation — which they’ve been trying to pass since 2009 — on the House of Commons Order Paper. If it becomes law, the bill will give the government unprecedented access to Canadians’ online activities, by allowing police to collect the personal information of Internet users — including names, addresses and phone numbers — without having to go through the cumbersome process of obtaining a warrant beforehand. Read more »


Calgary Herald: Online Spying Bill pushing through despite public outcry

By Jason Magder for The Calgary Herald

The Conservative government plans to introduce a law on Monday that will allow police to better monitor the web-surfing habits of Canadians.

Entitled “an Act to enact the Investigating and Preventing Criminal Electronic Communications Act and to amend the Criminal Code and others Acts,” the law would require Internet service providers (ISPs) to install equipment that would allow them to monitor and preserve the Internet surfing activities of their customers. The providers could then be asked by police to collect and preserve surfing data of anyone suspected in engaging in criminal activity. Read more »


The Big Three’s spin on rural cell phone access

As you know, the Big Three cell phone giants—Bell, Telus, and Rogers, are trying to trick the government into shutting independent competitors out of the market. These large incumbent carriers already control almost 94% of the cell phone market, and they’ll spin just about anything to keep it.

The Big Three cell phone giants are lobbying hard so that they can gobble up all the spectrum—key infrastructure for cell phone companies—that is up for auction this year. They have gone before government officials and argued that it is only them, the incumbents, that would use the auctioned spectrum to extend cell phone service to the rural and remote areas that need it.

This, we know, is untrue. Read more »


Send Vic Toews a Valentine!

The proposed Online Spying legislation continues to threaten the future of the Internet as well as your privacy. Not surprisingly, Public Safety Minister Vic Toews refuses to acknowledge this fact in spite of the public criticism he has received from many a provincial Privacy Commissioner.

This month, send Hon. Vic Toews a Valentine informing him that you oppose the Online Spying legislation. Follow the link, print out the valentine, and send off your most intimate feelings regarding the legislation. No postage required! Read more »


CBC: C-11 heading to committee

By Kady O’Malley for CBC

As the Chamber prepares to shut down for the weekend, the time allocation hammer drops on the contentious C-11 -- the copyright bill, to its friends and foes -- which, by order of Government House Leader Peter Van Loan, will be dispatched to committee after one final day of second reading consideration. (Which, it being Friday, which means an early adjournment, works out to just two and a half hours of debate.)

To mark the occasion, has declared a Day of Action to rouse public awareness of (and, presumably, noisy objection to) the terms of the legislation, which they apparently fear could result in an "internet lock-down" that will cut users off from content "for no good reason", and deprive them of access to services for which they have paid. Read more »


Canadians Rally For Day Of Action Against Bill C-11 (Internet Lockdown)

Public Outcry Heats Up Against Legislation That Threatens Internet Freedom

February 10, 2012 – Today, public outcry will grow to new proportions for what many are calling “the Internet Lockdown.” People across Canada plan to come together online and offline to rally against Bill C-11, known as the Copyright Modernization Act.

The Canadian public outcry comes in the wake of the fervor surrounding SOPA—a hotly contested copyright bill that millions of Americans and make websites like Wikipedia and reddit successfully came together to defeat.

The grassroots group behind the No Internet Lockdown online petition,, is expressing its support for citizen actions today and encouraging Canadians to “make the Internet scream” by spreading the word online through social media. Read more »


Letter to Supporters: We didn't want to do this, but we have to

We really didn’t want to send you another email so soon, but we know you count on us to alert you about major threats to Internet choice and affordability. So here it is...

According to copyright experts, giant media conglomerates are lobbying for Internet lockdown powers allowing them to cut Internet access for no good reason, remove or hide vast swaths of the Internet, and lock users out of their own services.

Taken together, these new powers would fundamentally change the Internet, severely limit free expression, and hogtie innovators. And all to supposedly protect Big Media’s content assets. Read more »



Over the last month, OpenMedia has been raising awareness for the dangers of an Internet lock-down, after Canadians asked for new ways to take action.

Now another exciting chance for Canadians to fight Internet censorship and stand up for online rights is coming up. Digital freedom watchdog Access has declared this Saturday as International Day of Protest against ACTA. And on Friday and Saturday this week, people in communities across Canada will take to the streets in an unprecedented showing of solidarity against ACTA and Bill C-11. Read more »



By Peter Nowak for The Globe and Mail

Free speech is a great thing, but what happens when the powers that be don’t listen to what’s being said? Does that diminish the value of being able to say whatever you want?

It’s a question thousands of Canadians are asking themselves right now as the federal government will over the next few months push through new copyright legislation – Bill C-11 – that willfully ignores their concerns.

The chief issue with the legislation is a clause that would make it illegal to break digital locks on electronic content or devices. While C-11 introduces a raft of new beneficent rights for the ordinary person, such as making it explicitly legal to copy a CD onto an iPod or mash-up content into a YouTube video, many are worried that the lock provision will act as a negative “super-clause” that will trump all the other good stuff. Read more »

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