A Win: Weekly News Update from OpenMedia.ca


Here's Lindsey with your update:

Because of you, we won big last week! Bell's takeover of Astral Media has been stopped by the CRTC.We're not done yet, but give yourselves a big pat on the back. Thank you so much for your ongoing support!

With hope, 

- The OpenMedia.ca Team

Recent News

Michael Geist: TPP copyright laws could dismantle Canadian content

While Canada has been formally included as a negotiating party in the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, more information from secretive texts and clauses is beginning to surface.

We've talked about how the TPP will restrict Internet access, criminalize and fine your actions online and collect your private data – but now it's been suggested that Canadian content rules could become overwritten to serve the corporate interests of Hollywood lobbyists.

Professor Michael Geist will be joining our ongoing Reddit discussion surrounding the TPP this afternoon until 7PM EST – we invite you to stop by and share your ideas with how to reach more Canadians with the crucial StopTheTrap.net campaign. Read more »


We're hosting a Reddit AMA - join us!

We're on Reddit today from 9AM - 7PM EST talking about Internet freedom, the Trans-Pacific Partnership and what comes next for our StopTheTrap.net campaign.

Throughout the day, we'll be joined by Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, Professor Michael Geist and various digital rights experts from Electronic Frontier Foundation, Public Knowledge, InternetNZ, Electronic Frontiers Australia, Public Citizen and more. See here for a full list of participants and a session schedule.

Join in the conversation and share your ideas on how we can reach more people with the crucial StopTheTrap.net campaign. Read more »


What's the Deal? Demand Transparency for the TPP

Canada has officially joined the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations, and has done so as a second-tier partner, meaning that we have had to accept, sight-unseen, the provisions that have already been negotiated. As Ottawa law professor Michael Geist put it in an interview with the Vancouver Sun, “just by entering into discussions we have effectively agreed to a number of conditions the government hasn’t even told us about”.

A while back, when we were raising awareness about the potential impact of the TPP on copyright legislation in Canada, we highlighted a great article from Infojustice.org that breaks down how exactly our long-fought-over copyright bill C-11 would be changed by our agreement to the treaty, according to a leaked TPP document. Read more »


Calgary Street Team: CryptoParties Go Viral

In the wake of governments introducing warrantless surveillance legislation, pro-privacy activists around the globe have begun to organize workshops to teach people how to use encryption to protect their privacy using. These workshops are called CryptoParties.

As a response to the warrantless surveillance here in Canada, the Calgary OpenMedia.ca Street Team has begun organizing CryptoParties as a collaborative effort with a local makerspace named Protospace. By regularly hosting these CryptoParties, we will raise awareness of Internet surveillance and give people the tools and knowledge they need to protect their privacy. These tools include software (such as Tor and Off-the-Record Messaging) that has been used in countries without Internet freedom, such as China and Iran. Read more »


Media Advisory: Bell plays hardball with Canadians, asks Cabinet to change broadcasting rules after public interest decision


Telecom giant Bell is trying to unilaterally change Canada’s broadcasting rules so it can take over Astral Media, one of Canada’s largest media companies. Bell has officially called on Cabinet to put forward a Broadcast Policy Direction that could force the CRTC to reconsider its recent, widely popular decision to block Bell’s takeover. Read more »


CRTC's Bell-Astral Decision Signals Welcome Shift Towards Transparency

Given that Canada’s media system is already one of the most highly concentrated in the industrialized world, the case has brought a lot of attention to the problems of vertical integration, and the negative impacts it can have on the availability of content, and the prices we pay.

As the CRTC noted in its ruling, Bell is “the largest Internet service provider in Canada, the second largest wireless service provider and the third largest television distributor”. When one company owns the medium and the message, there is a strong profit incentive to push content that it owns, or restrict access to other content it doesn’t control. Read more »


Get fired up and share your story

The CRTC decision on stopping Bell's takeover has shown that Canadians are being heard. Now let's continue to push forward in fixing our broken telecom market. Share your horror story at CellPhoneHorrorStory.ca and show the CRTC that Canadians are stuck in an unfair and expensive cell phone market. Read more »


Canadians are taking back the CRTC and our communications

Professor Michael Geist talks about how Canadians are taking back the CRTC and our communications system. To see the full interview, click here. Read more »


Bell's Takeover Goes to Ottawa?

After losing in its battle against Canadians before the CRTC, Bell announced it would try to get parliament to overturn the decision! Bell seemingly just can't respect the will of citizens in a democracy.

Despite Bell's sour grapes, the federal government has stated that it won't overturn yesterday's groundbreaking decision by the CRTC to stop Bell's takeover. Bell's dwindling options now reside with the Federal Court of Appeal. Let's stay vigilant in case they go that route. Read more »


Techvibes: CRTC blocks Bell's $3.4-billion takeover of Astral Media

Because of your support of the http://StopTheTakeover.ca/ campaign, Bell's takeover of Astral Media has been stopped by the CRTC. Had the deal been approved, Bell would have been given an overwhelming market share of Canada's communications – effectively allowing them to price-gouge Canadians and restrict access to the open Internet.

We're now taking steps to fix our broken telecom market. Simply put: THANK YOU.

Article by Knowlton Thomas for Techvibes

Earlier this year Bell acquired Astral Media for a whopping $3.4 billion. But the deal was too big to happen easily—the merger acquired a deep investigation from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission.

Today, the CRTC finalized a decision. And it shocked many. Read more »


Canadians moved the CRTC

The beginning

It started with Stop The Meter. The CRTC’s 2011 decision to allow Big Telecom to impose punitive extra fees across the entire Internet service market was the breaking point for hundreds of thousands of Canadians who have been price-gouged and bullied by their ISPs. In a short time, half-a-million pro-Internet citizens added their names to the petition at http://StopTheMeter.ca, and the fight for an open and affordable Internet started to snowball.

If you followed Stop The Meter, you know that the public outcry pushed the government—which at the time was headed toward an election—to send the CRTC back to the drawing board. And as the election approached, Canadians pledged to vote for the Internet and over one hundred federal candidates committed to being “Pro-Internet Candidates”.

The pro-Internet community has continued to grow since then, pushing not only for Internet openness and affordability but also for access, choice, diversity, and innovation for Canada’s digital future. Read more »


Your Cell Phone Horror Stories

Andrew from Whitehorse:

On September 16, 2012, my Bell mobile phone suddenly stopped working. When my friends and family called my phone number, a stranger answered.

I contacted the person who now had my phone number and she explained that she'd just had a new phone activated with Bell that day. She had previously been a Solo customer. Read more »


Thanks to you—We won.

Because of you, we've been heard loud and clear – and Bell's takeover has been stopped. Read more about the CRTC's decision in our Press Release.