Press release

Privacy Experts ask telecoms if they are helping the government spy on Canadians

Academic researchers and civil liberties groups send detailed request aimed at revealing full extent of government spying on Canadians through telecom providers

January 22, 2014 – A group of leading privacy experts and advocates have sent major Canadian telecom firms a letter requesting detailed information about the extent to which they pass on their customers’ private information to government officials.

The initiative is spearheaded by Toronto-based researcher Dr. Christopher Parsons, joined by a dozen other leading privacy academics from across Canada. Groups signing on to the letter include community-based, along with the B.C. Civil Liberties Association, the B.C. Freedom of Information and Privacy Association, the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic, and Pen Canada. Read more »

Topics: Online Spying

As Big Three aim to consolidate telecom dominance, Canadians come together to discuss new solutions to build a more ‘Connected Canada’

Citizen-backed is organizing a series of events across Canada to ensure the CRTC puts Canadians first when it comes to key digital policy decisions

January 16, 2014 – On the heels of independent provider Wind’s shocking withdrawal from a crucial auction of wireless assets, is pushing back against the dominance of a few big telecom companies by organizing a series of citizen-led events across Canada.

In 2014 regulators at the CRTC are set to make a series of key decisions that will affect the access and affordability of digital services. is hoping citizen input from the local gatherings ensures that decision makers put Canadians first when it comes to decisions about the future of digital services. Read more »

Last remaining national indie cell phone provider withdraws from crucial auction for wireless infrastructure, signalling consolidation of stranglehold by the Big Three

Wind Mobile has announced it will not participate in tomorrow’s wireless auction of assets crucial to the future of cell phone service in Canada. The move could spell the end to national independent cell phone service in Canada if government does not act.

JANUARY 13, 2014 - Responding to Wind’s just-announced withdrawal from a crucial auction of Canadian wireless resources starting tomorrow, is saying that while Industry Minister James Moore has made positive steps in recent months it appears now to have been too little too late. Read more »

Topics: Cell Phones

New cell phone service rules include welcome steps for increased choice but more action required to ensure Canadians can access affordable, independent wireless options

Industry Minister James Moore’s announcement contains positive steps but will leave Canadians disappointed at insufficient support for much-needed affordable options

January 10th, 2013 – Rules announced by Industry Canada this morning for a 2015 auction of vital wireless resources include positive steps but don’t go far enough to ensure greater wireless choice for Canadians. That’s according to citizen-backed, which is leading a sustained 70,000-strong nationwide campaign to demand lower prices and authentic wireless choice in Canada’s broken wireless market.

This morning, Industry Minister James Moore announced that an auction for vital 2500 MHz wireless spectrum will take place in April 2015, with a registration deadline of November 27, 2014. He also announced spectrum caps to boost competition - despite these caps, Big Telecom still look poised to take the lion’s share of available spectrum. The 2015 auction rules also feature a “use it or lose it” rule that has been pushing for years to achieve. Read more »

As the future of affordable Internet hangs in the balance, Canadians tell CRTC to ditch the deadweight of Big Telecom giants

With Big Telecom conglomerates threatening the future of affordable, independent ISPs, citizen-backed is enabling Canadians to take part in a crucial CRTC consultation

January 9, 2014 – is launching a campaign to enable Canadians to participate in a crucial CRTC public consultation to prevent Canada’s Big Telecom congomerates from blocking access to affordable new high-speed Internet service options. Independent ISPs currently provide Internet access to hundreds of thousands of Canadians, offering a more affordable option outside of Big Telecom providers.

According to citizen-backed, affordable high-speed Internet access is again being threatened by Big Telecom giants, which want to block Canadians from having affordable, independent access to high-speed, fibre-optic Internet networks. Read more »

Topics: Affordability

Government begins to rein in Big Telecom by putting in place caps on roaming and financial penalties to enforce customer protection rules - a good start but further action required, says

Government reacts to years of Canadians calling on officials to rein in Big Telecom’s power and control, says citizen-backed

December 18, 2013 – The government has taken its first clear steps to deliver on their promise to ensure Canadians enjoy greater wireless choice and lower prices for telecom services. That’s according to citizen-backed, which is welcoming this morning’s announcement that domestic roaming rates are to be capped, and that the CRTC, Canada’s telecom policy-maker, will be empowered to levy monetary fines on Big Telecom companies that break customer protection rules. has been campaigning since 2009 for tougher enforcement mechanisms and financial penalties for Big Telecom companies that break the rules. OpenMedia’s crowd-sourced Casting an Open Net and Time for an Upgrade reports both called for tough financial penalties for telecom giants who break the law.

This morning’s Industry Canada announcement will forbid Big Telecom from charging independent providers more than they charge their own customers for mobile voice, data, and text services. At present, Big Telecom charge indie providers more than 10 times what they charge their own customers to roam on their networks -- essentially blocking many Canadians from using independent providers. Read more »

Topics: Cell Phones

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