Press release

OpenMedia criticizes police push for warrantless access to private Internet subscriber data

OpenMedia criticizes police push for warrantless access to private Internet subscriber data

OpenMedia is extremely concerned by the proposal put forward by the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police that would make it far easier for police to access Canadians’ online records without a warrant. The police proposal flies in the face of a landmark pro-privacy ruling by the Supreme Court of Canada last year.

Yesterday it was reported that police want expedited warrantless access to Canadians’ private Internet subscriber data, proposing three different options that would see them receive information about any Canadian from their telecommunications companies without judicial oversight or accountability.

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Topics: Online Spying

New TPP leak shows Canada would be required to massively overhaul copyright, damaging free expression and censoring Internet

Trans-Pacific Partnership text reveals that U.S. pressure could result in new rules for Canadians that allow for website blocking, and new criminal penalties for copyright infringement

August 5, 2015 – Recently leaked documents from the Intellectual Property chapter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) reveal that the secretive trade agreement would require Canada to make drastic changes to its copyright law, causing significant damage to free expression and restricting access to knowledge. The TPP is already shaping up as a major issue in the recently launched federal election.

Under the TPP, Canada’s copyright system, which underwent a review as recently as 2012, would be amended with no public consultation. Today’s leaks reveal how the TPP would lengthen copyright terms, propose new criminal penalties for circumventing ‘digital locks’, and introduce site-blocking rules at the behest of U.S. media giants.

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New video sets out action plan to tackle Canadian privacy deficit, as hundreds of thousands continue to speak up against Bill C-51

Plan lays out tangible steps for federal government to take to restore Canadians’ digital privacy

July 23, 2015 – Today OpenMedia released a new online video, based on input from over 125,000 Canadians, which outlines a clear plan to address Canada’s stark privacy deficit. With Bill C-51, warrantless spying, thousands of privacy breaches, and a multi-billion dollar government spy palace, Canadians have serious reasons to be concerned about their privacy rights — and have stepped up to build a solution.

Watch the video here:

The video sets out three key priorities for how Parliament should strengthen Canada’s privacy safeguards, by 1) requiring a warrant to spy on Canadians’ personal lives, 2) ending mass surveillance, and 3) embracing accountability for Canada’s spy agencies. It’s all part of Canada’s Privacy Plan, which found that over 80% of Canadians support wide-ranging pro-privacy reforms, and over 94% want a comprehensive parliamentary review of surveillance oversight mechanisms.

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In a win for Canadians, CRTC promises fair rules to increase independent choice and affordability for fiber Internet access

New rules ensure that Canadians will be able to access an affordable range of services from a variety of providers outside Canada’s telecom giants

July 22, 2015A major ruling today from the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) signals a significant step forward for Canadians’ ability to access affordable Internet options independent of Canada’s large telecom providers, says

In late 2014, OpenMedia delivered crowdsourced input from over 30,000 Canadians as part of the hearing that informed today’s decision–and is claiming victory.

The ruling is the first step towards ensuring small independent ISPs are able to sell fibre Internet in Canada, which should expand access and affordability for users. Canada currently lags behind most developed countries when it comes to fibre access. Canada’s Big Telecom operators currently control 92% of the Internet market and Canadians face some of the highest prices for Internet in the industrialized world.

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European Parliament rejects ‘Link Tax’ proposal, in big win for Internet users

75,000-strong Save The Link Campaign welcomes the rejection of proposal that could have resulted in severe repercussions for free speech online

July 9, 2015 Today the European Parliament firmly rejected a proposal that could have resulted in a new EU-wide ‘Link Tax’ with costly implications for Internet users across Europe and the world. A similar ‘Link Tax’ was introduced in Spain last December, where it forced Google News to shut operations, and resulted in web traffic to Spanish news sites plunging.

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Topics: Copyright

Canadian cell phone users won't be satisfied with Rogers/Mobilicity deal

Rogers $440 million takeover of Mobilicity will mean fewer choices for Canadian cell phone subscribers when wireless prices are already increasing at 3 times the rate of inflation


Update: Since this release was issued Industry Canada has released additional details about the Rogers/Mobilicity deal, which can be found here. OpenMedia has updated this release and statement with consideration of these new details.  [June 24, 2015: 12:22PM pst]

June 24, 2015 – Mobilicity has accepted a $440 million takeover from Rogers, Inc., according to documents filed with the Ontario Superior Court. The deal, approved by Industry Canada, appears to conflict with the government’s promises to increase mobile provider choice and affordability. The deal will see some of Mobilicity’s AWS-1 spectrum acquired by Wind Mobile, while a substantial amount of spectrum previously set aside for new entrants will go to Rogers.

Community-backed OpenMedia prefers for all spectrum set aside for new entrants to remain outside of the hands of the Big Three. The government previously promised it would not approve any spectrum transfers that decrease competition in the wireless market. However, the takeover still requires approval from the Competition Bureau. Responding to today’s news, OpenMedia Campaigns Manager Josh Tabish had this to say:

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