Press release

Huge Coalition unites to demand end to Spy Agency Cash Grab - MPs should stop wasting billions spying on law-abiding Canadians

Budget Day Action will urge MPs to side with taxpayers against CSEC waste; group warns spying on innocent Canadians hurts democracy at home and Canada’s reputation abroad

February 11, 2014 – Over 50 major organizations and tens of thousands of Canadians are uniting today behind a new campaign to tell MPs to stop wasting billions on Canada’s hugely expensive online spying apparatus. The campaign is part of a worldwide day of action - the Day We Fight Back - against online spying and is being launched on federal Budget Day. It is expected that MPs will be asked to approve the rapidly growing annual budget for Canadian spy agency CSEC (Communications Security Establishment Canada).

CSEC is expected to cost taxpayers over $460 million this year, well above earlier forecasts of $420 million. CSEC’s inflation-adjusted annual budget has more than doubled over the past decade. Taxpayers are also on the hook for over $4 billion to build and operate a new CSEC headquarters, described as “the most expensive government building ever built” and as a “spy palace”. Read more »

Topics: Online Spying

OpenMedia.ca joins with BC FIPA and CIPPIC to call for senior intelligence officials to testify under oath at Monday Senate hearing

Call comes in response to shocking revelation that CSEC spied and tracked movements of thousands of Canadian air travellers

January 30, 2014 – CSEC and other senior intelligence officials should testify under oath, at an important Senate committee hearing on Monday afternoon. That’s according to OpenMedia.ca, the B.C. Freedom of Information and Privacy Association (BC FIPA), and the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC), who have sent a letter making the request to Senate officials.

The call comes in response last night's shocking revelations that CSEC is monitoring travellers within Canada, and other instances of intelligence agencies being ‘economical with the truth’ when reporting on their activities. Read more »

Topics: Online Spying

Thousands of innocent Canadian air travellers monitored and spied on by the government - full independent inquiry urgently needed, says OpenMedia.ca

OpenMedia.ca says Canadians deserve a transparent independent investigation and total overhaul of failed government spy agency CSEC’s oversight, following confirmation that the agency has been monitoring and tracking the precise movements of thousands of Canadians without cause

January 30, 2014 – Thousands of law-abiding Canadian air travellers had their private information spied on, and their movements monitored, by government spy agency CSEC. This stunning development, revealed by CBC News tonight, is sparking calls from community-based OpenMedia.ca for a thorough, transparent, independent investigation, and a total overhaul of failed CSEC oversight measures.

The revelations appear to fly in the face of government and CSEC assertions that Canadians are not targeted in spying activities. Ontario Privacy Commissioner Ann Cavoukian described the revelations as "unbelievable", "totalitarian", and said Canadians "have very good reason to worry". Privacy expert Ron Deibert told CBC News: "I can't see any circumstance in which this would not be unlawful." Read more »

Topics: Online Spying

Competition Bureau confirms Big Three blocking Canadians from affordable wireless options

Competition Bureau submission amounts to independent confirmation that the Big Three telecom giants are using their power and control to block Canadians from independent wireless options.

Responding to today's Competition Bureau submission to the CRTC consultation on domestic wireless roaming rates, OpenMedia.ca Executive Director Steve Anderson said:

"Today's Competition Bureau submission amounts to independent confirmation that the Big Three telecom giants are using their power and control to block Canadians from independent wireless options. This is keeping prices ridiculously high and holding back our economy and our country." Read more »


Government must act immediately to implement Privacy Commissioner’s new recommendations to safeguard Canadians’ privacy from spy agency CSEC

Government should immediately implement Privacy Commissioner’s report as step toward greater spy agency transparency and accountability, says OpenMedia.ca

January 28, 2014 – This morning’s Federal Privacy Commissioner’s report contains welcome new recommendations to help safeguard Canadians’ privacy from rampant online spying. Read more »

Topics: Online Spying

Leading Canadian surveillance expert Ron Deibert to speak at UBC event in Vancouver amidst growing privacy concerns

Professor Ron Deibert, now a best-selling author, has long track record of sounding alarm about blanket government surveillance of law-abiding citizens.

January 22, 2014 – Professor Ron Deibert, one of Canada and the world’s leading government surveillance experts, will be speaking at an event at Green College, University of British Columbia this Thursday January 23rd. Community-based OpenMedia.ca is a co-sponsor of the event, which has been organized by the Creative Writing Program and Green College at UBC. The event takes place at 5pm on January 23rd at Cecil Green Park House, 6251 Cecil Green Park Road, UBC, Vancouver.

Professor Deibert has a long track record of highlighting how governments are using new technologies to spy on the private online activities of Internet users, both here in Canada and around the world. He is the Director of the Citizen Lab and Canada Centre for Global Security Studies at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto, and the author of Black Code: Inside the Battle for Cyberspace. Read more »

Topics: Online Spying

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