Press release

OpenMedia welcomes new CRTC Internet speed measurement program as a win for Canadians and an important step to protect net neutrality

OpenMedia welcomes new CRTC Internet speed measurement program as a win for Canadians and an important step to protect net neutrality

May 21, 2015This morning the CRTC announced a new Internet speed measurement program designed to “measure the performance of their home broadband Internet services,” and is inviting everyday Canadians to participate. Community-backed OpenMedia, which called for proactive audits of Internet performance in its crowdsourced Casting an Open Net report, hails the decision as a win for Canadians, and a key step toward protecting Net Neutrality.

Responding to the news, OpenMedia Campaigns Manager Josh Tabish had this to say:

“We’re thrilled to see the CRTC taking bold steps toward ensuring Canadians get the Internet speeds they are promised. Unfortunately, Canadians have long paid some of the highest prices in the industrialized world for what is widely recognized as slow service. By signing up households across Canada to the program, the data collected can be used to shape broadband policy to ensure all Canadians get faster, more affordable Internet.

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Breaking: CSE and Five Eyes revealed to be targeting popular mobile browsers and mobile App Stores - leaving millions at risk of having their private data hacked

News comes one day after OpenMedia releases crowdsourced report recommending new rules to ban Mass Surveillance and create greater oversight for agencies like CSE 

May 21, 2015Canadian spy agency CSE and its Five Eyes partners planned to compromise popular mobile App Stores to implant spyware on smartphones, and targeted a popular mobile web browser used by millions globally. Accordingly to reports published this morning by CBC News and The Intercept, CSE deliberately sought security vulnerabilities, but failed to inform companies or the public – leaving the private data of millions at risk.

The reports come just a day after OpenMedia released a pro-privacy action plan, crowdsourced from over 125,000 Canadians, that sets out strict new rules that would ban these kind of mass surveillance activities, place spy agencies like CSE under much tighter oversight, and ensure Canadian spy agencies comply with international human rights principles when it comes to privacy.

Responding to this morning’s news, OpenMedia’s communications manager David Christopher had this to say:

“Let’s be clear about one thing: CSE claims they will safeguard Canada’s security, but instead they deliberately left millions of innocent people at risk of having their private data hacked. These reckless activities weaken the Internet security Canadians rely on to conduct business and communicate online. CSE claims they don’t target Canadians, but there is no way they could have excluded Canadians from spying activities. Remember, they targeted people all around the world, including anybody who interacted with compromised devices.”

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Topics: Online Spying

As government prepares to ram C-51 through Senate, OpenMedia launches crowdsourced Privacy Action Plan to address Canada’s stark privacy deficit

Canada’s Privacy Plan is packed with proposals to restore privacy and roll back surveillance, based on ideas crowdsourced from over 125,000 Canadians

May 20, 2015 – OpenMedia is today launching a crowdsourced pro-privacy action plan, that aims to roll back out-of-control surveillance, and tackle Canada’s growing privacy deficit. Canada’s Privacy Plan is shaped by ideas and feedback from over 125,000 Canadians, and is launched as the government prepares to ram its unpopular privacy-undermining Bill C-51 through the Senate.

The crowdsourcing process that underpins the 96-page report identified three key privacy concerns that Canadians want to see addressed: i) warrantless access to personal information, ii) widespread dragnet surveillance of entire populations, and iii) insufficient oversight and accountability of surveillance activities. 94.1% of Canadians want a Parliamentary Committee to conduct a thorough review of existing oversight mechanisms.

“We wrote this report because privacy matters,” said OpenMedia’s David Christopher, the report’s lead author. “Canada’s growing privacy deficit has alarming consequences for democracy. We’re at a tipping point where we need to decide whether to continue evolving into a surveillance society, or whether to rein in the government’s spying apparatus. This report outlines common sense steps to strengthen privacy safeguards for all of us.”

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Topics: Online Spying

Federal Court of Appeal rejects Big Telecom’s efforts to delay implementation of wireless customer protection rules

Federal Court of Appeal rejects Big Telecom’s efforts to delay implementation of wireless customer protection rules

May 19, 2015The Federal Court of Appeal today has rejected Big Telecom’s efforts to delay the implementation of the Wireless Code of Conduct, stating that the CRTC “...has the right to make the Wireless Code applicable to contracts concluded before the Code came into effect.” The code contains significant customer protections for mobile phone and Internet users, including an end to 3-year contracts, and caps on roaming charges for data.

Community-backed OpenMedia, which represented Canadians throughout the court challenge with legal experts at CIPPIC, hails the decision as a victory. OpenMedia Campaigns Manager Josh Tabish had this to say:

“This is a major win! By standing together, Canadians fought back against telecom giants in court and won. It took over a year and a half, but today the court is clear: the customer protections that Canadians fought for in the Wireless Code of Conduct applies to all mobile phone and Internet users across the country. No ifs, ands, or buts about it.”

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OpenMedia calls for Conservative MP Laurie Hawn to apologize to business leaders immediately

The call comes in response to Laurie Hawn attacking and questioning the loyalty of some of Canada’s most accomplished business leaders who signed a letter criticizing controversial Bill C-51. Canadians are speaking out at #SaySorryLaurie

May 8, 2015Internet advocacy organization OpenMedia is calling for MP Laurie Hawn to retract and apologize for statements he made on May 6th that attack some of the most accomplished business leaders in Canada and the thousands of employees they work with.   Canadians are joining the call using the hashtag #SaySorryLaurie.

Hawn’s attack came in response to a letter OpenMedia jointly circulated with Canadian business leaders that pointed out the negative impact spying Bill C-51 would have on businesses. The letter was signed by more than 140 businesses, including some of the country’s most respected and accomplished entrepreneurs.  It was published April 20th in the National Post, and the NDP cited its concerns in the House of Commons.

In response to the letter, Conservative MP for Edmonton Laurie Hawn questioned the business leaders’ values and loyalty to Canada, including this statement: "[They] should seriously reconsider their business model and their lack of commitment to the values that bind us as Canadians." Hawn also insinuated that the businesses are “profiting” off of “horrific material.”  A video of exchange can be found on YouTube.

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Topics: Online Spying

#StopC51 campaigners vow to keep up the fight, after government uses majority to ram unpopular legislation through Commons after just two days of debate

The controversial Bill will now be considered by the Senate, as campaigners promise to turn Bill C-51 into a key election issue in October, if that’s what it takes to overturn the Bill

May 5, 2015: Privacy campaigners are vowing to keep up the fight against Bill C-51, after the government forced the unpopular spying Bill through the House of Commons. Conservative and Liberal MPs voted in favour, while 96 MPs from the NDP, the Green Party, the Bloc Quebecois, and Forces et Démocratie voted against. The Bill, opposed by 56% of Canadians and supported by just 33%, now moves on to the Senate.

Community-based OpenMedia, one of the groups leading the #StopC51 fight against the Bill, says the legislation will greatly exacerbate Canada’s privacy deficit, and that, if passed by the Senate, will become a major election issue. In the coming weeks, the citizen-backed group will launch a comprehensive pro-privacy action plan, based on ideas crowdsourced from Canadians, aimed at addressing Canada’s growing privacy deficit.

“The government and the Liberals may think today marks the end of this matter, but passing this reckless legislation will be an albatross around their neck moving into the election,” said OpenMedia’s communications manager David Christopher. “We hope the Senate will regain some of their lost legitimacy by killing this bill.”

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Topics: Online Spying

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