Press release

Media Advisory: June 3 is Cell Phone Freedom Day: new mobile phone customer protection rules come into effect for 2–4 million Canadians

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

 

Image credit: Mobile Phones And Abercrombie by Garry Knight (CC BY-NC 2.0) https://flic.kr/ps/8e5AR

WHO:

Josh Tabish, Campaigns Manager, OpenMedia

David Christopher, Communications Manager, OpenMedia

 

WHAT:

OpenMedia has dubbed June 3, 2015 “Cell Phone Freedom Day”, as new mobile phone customer protection rules will come into effect for 2 to 4 million customers through the CRTC’s Wireless Code of Conduct.  

As of June 3, all Canadians, including those who are currently stuck in three year contracts, will be able to benefit from the Code's protections. For example, customers who entered into a 3 year term commitment on June 3, 2013, would have the option of ending their term agreements, without penalty.

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Community-led rallies taking place in Ottawa and across Canada on Saturday as Senate prepares for crucial final vote on Bill C-51

Canadians will converge on Ottawa from across the country to protest the reckless, dangerous, and irresponsible legislation about to be voted on by the Senate

May 29, 2015 – Community-organized events are taking place across Canada on Saturday, as the Senate prepares to take its final vote on the government’s controversial and unpopular Bill C-51. The rallies take place following a months-long campaign that has seen over 230,000 people sign the StopC51.ca petition, with tens of thousands also taking action by emailing and tweeting at Senators and MPs, and writing letters in newspapers across the country.

Ottawa will be a key focal point, as Canadians from across the country gather in the nation’s capital for Saturday’s National Convergence against Bill C-51. Marchers will assemble at 2pm ET at the Canadian Tribute to Human Rights monument on Elgin Street. Other community-led events are taking place in towns and cities across Canada - a full listing of all events is available at StopC51.ca/May30

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Topics: Online Spying

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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