OpenMedia Explained: Weekly News Update from OpenMedia.ca

Hello, 

Here's Lindsey with your update:

This week, we're concerned with a proposal that threatens to systematically restrict Internet freedom on a global scale. It demonstrates why OpenMedia and the pro-Internet movement must continue to push forward! Watch and read on for more info. 

Thanks for your continued support, 

- The OpenMedia.ca Team


Recent News

RMR: 'Swab' Bell's takeover of Canadian media

Are you an independent entity or have you become a low-level subsidiary of Bell Media? Rick Mercer helps to show how you can swab the takeover to find out if Bell's expanding reach has taken its effect.

Join our StopTheTakeover.ca campaign and let your voice be heard. Together, let's tell our broadcast regulators that the side-effects of Bell's takeover are bad for Canadian choice. Read more »

 

RT News: TPP as the secretive trade agreement that could rewrite the Internet

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free-trade agreement is being negotiated by a number of Pacific Rim countries, including the United States, Canada and Australia. Hidden within the TPP text is a chapter concerning copyright laws that could drastically change your everyday use of the Internet.

Speak out at StopTheTrap.net and let your voice be heard alongside +110,000 members of the pro-Internet community. Read more »

 

Green Party endorses Internet freedom

As a post-partisan organization, we celebrate when any of our political parties take action to stand up for Internet freedom. The Green Parties of Canada, New Zealand and Australia are uniting in speaking out against the restricting Internet provisions within the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement. It's a statement that we hope to see become a continued dialogue for our government representatives.

Help speak out and spread the word at StopTheTrap.net. Let's ensure that governments worldwide are aware that we don't trust our Internet's future being signed away to a group of lobbyists and corporations.

Statement from Green Party of Canada:

The Green Party of Canada spoke out against the TPP’s Internet trap through a firm statement calling the TPP the “end of a free Internet”. We issued the statement with Green Parties of New Zealand, and Australia. Read more »

 

The McGill OpenMedia.ca campus club goes to the Bell/Astral hearing

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.

These clubs work on a variety of outreach, organizing, and public education activities—including speaking events, film screenings, hosting educational workshops—but this fall, OpenMedia McGill club started their semester with a bang: they sat in on a part of the CRTC hearing on Bell’s takeover of Astral Media. Here’s what they reported back: Read more »

 

CBC News: Yukon phone outage blamed on aging infrastructure

Bell has made it clear that should their takeover of Astral Media go through, they would use 'tangible benefits' (an owed tax on the $3.4B purchase) to fund the expansion of their subsidiary Northwestel. Having already received annual CRTC payments of $20M to invest in their aging infrastructure, Bell has been criticized for mismanaging funds that could have prevented last week's communications outage.

Speak out at StopTheTakeover.ca and help tell the CRTC that Bell's ascending vertical integration is bad for Canadians.

Article from CBC News

Yukon’s massive communications shutdown Thursday has some thinking it's time to upgrade the territory's aging telecommunications infrastructure.

Andrew Robulack, an IT analyst and blogger in Whitehorse, said the latest outage is disappointing but not surprising.

"We have a really strong dependency on a really weak infrastructure — single provider in most cases, single network links in or out of our region — and as the CRTC pointed out recently, the equipment is aging,” he said. Read more »

 

OpenMedia joins Freedom Not Fear in fighting surveillance measures that threaten Internet freedom

We at OpenMedia are proud, this year, to be a part of a coalition of more than 150 organizations that share a common goal: freedom, not fear.

Every September, the Freedom Not Fear Coalition meets in many different places around the world to reinforce the push for fundamental rights like privacy, free expression, due process, and democratic participation.

So how does that fit in with OpenMedia’s mandate to protect the open Internet? In short, as the Freedom Not Fear website puts it, because “we want freedom of speech in a digitalized world and a free and uncensored Internet to express ourselves”. Read more »

 

Geist: Setting the Stage for the Next Decade of Open Access

A group of researchers from around the world have been discussing a plan for 'open access'. Their goal is one that would remove barriers to obtaining educational materials online so that the worldwide community could benefit from shared research and knowledge.

Education is one of the many reasons that the pro-Internet community is coming together to campaign for access, transparency and accountability. What Internet possibilities are you fighting for?

Article by Michael Geist

Ten years ago, sixteen experts from around the world gathered in Budapest, Hungary to discuss the how the Internet was changing the way researchers could disseminate their work. The group hatched a plan to "accelerate research, enrich education, share the learning of the rich with the poor and the poor with the rich, make this literature as useful as it can be, and lay the foundation for uniting humanity in a common intellectual conversation and quest for knowledge." Read more »

 

EFF: How OpenMedia is using the Internet to save the Internet

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement continues to threaten our free speech, Internet privacy and due process. As negotiators behind the TPP continue to hide the text from public eyes, we've been taking to the Internet to voice our concerns.

With your support, we're raising awareness of our StopTheTrap.net campaign and pushing for an open dialogue surrounding Internet Freedom. Find out more about the campaign against the TPP – and how it could affect you – as our Executive Director Steve Anderson speaks with Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Interview and article by Carolina Rossini of EFF.org

While US Trade Representative Ron Kirk, who oversees the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (TPP), continues to declare that the trade negotiations are “the most open, transparent process ever,” we are confounded as to what he defines to be "open" or "transparent." They have yet to even provide the public — civil society organizations and policy makers — with any official documents relating to the text of the agreement. We are fighting for real transparency, which means access to the current draft documents or country proposals for provisions to into the agreement. Read more »

 

Reporting back: OpenTheTPP.net & the Virginia negotiations

Last week, negotiators and trade representatives behind the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement met in Virginia for another round of discussions. Once again, citizens of the pro-Internet community were left out of these secretive negotiations and public interest groups had their opportunities to speak out allocated in a series of 10-minute ‘stakeholder presentations’.

These presentations came with heavy criticism from our on-the-ground partners, with Public Knowledge even comparing the setup to a ‘science fair’ where stakeholders would have to compete in drawing attention to their booths and EFF noting that TPP officials refused to even comment on provisions in leaked TPP documents. The lack of a clearly defined mandate for the presentations resulted in much confusion and less opportunity to engage with negotiators. A member of Public Knowledge had this to say:

Often I saw negotiators and stakeholders watching from just outside the doorway of the rooms. Also, because the rooms were so close together and their doors were all open, the noise from other rooms or the hallway sometimes distracted from the presenters, who did not have microphones. Read more »