Press release

As high-level TPP talks continue in Washington D.C., OpenMedia holds face-to-face meetings with key negotiators to demand end to secrecy

Demands grow to release full text of Trans-Pacific Partnership to enable public debate about proposals that would make the Internet more expensive, censored, and policed

Thursday December 11, 2014 As Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) talks continue in Washington, D.C., negotiators are set to feel the heat from public interest groups outraged at the secrecy surrounding the talks. The organizations say it’s past time for TPP negotiators to follow the example of the European Commission which recently released to the public the draft text of a similar Trans-Atlantic deal.

The TPP is an international deal being negotiated in near-total secrecy by 12 Pacific Rim nations including the U.S. and Canada. Based on what we know from leaked drafts, experts say the TPP contains extreme copyright rules that would make the Internet far more expensive, policed, and censored. A letter from a diverse group of 40 major organizations from 11 TPP nations demanding greater transparency will be delivered directly to key negotiators by Meghan Sali from Internet freedom group OpenMedia.

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OpenMedia takes detailed input from 30,000 Canadians to crucial CRTC hearing that will decide future of Internet access in Canada

Canadians are urging the CRTC to ensure access to affordable, independent Internet providers

December 1, 2014 – Canadians are sending a clear message to decision-makers at the CRTC today: protect our right to affordable, independent, high-speed Internet. That message is being delivered by community-based, who will be making a presentation to the CRTC’s Review of Wholesale Services hearing in Gatineau between 12 noon and 3pm ET today. OpenMedia’s presentation will reflect input crowdsourced from over 30,000 Canadians.

The crucial CRTC hearing will determine whether Canadians will have independent access to fibre Internet. At the moment large incumbent telecoms control the market for fibre Internet and control over 90% of slower broadband market. According to the OECD, just 3% of Canadian Internet users currently use ultra-fast fibre Internet, compared to nearly 70% in Japan.

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TODAY: Join our Privacy Town Hall at 4pm PT / 7pm ET, Tuesday Nov 25th

Calling all Canadians! Join us for our Facebook Town Hall on privacy issues, taking place on Facebook at 4pm PT / 7pm ET later today.

We'll have expert guests from the Protect our Privacy Coalition, including Tom Henheffer from Canadian Journalists for Free Expression, and OpenMedia's own Steve Anderson.

Canada is facing a privacy crisis: the government's spying bill C-13 and the activities of their spy agency CSEC threaten to undermine the privacy of all Canadians. It's never been more important to have a robust debate about how we address our stark privacy deficit.

Topics: Online Spying

Massive government privacy breach of famous Canadians shows urgent need for far stronger protections to safeguard Canadians’ data

High-profile figures including Margaret Atwood and Jean Chretien among the victims of latest in a long string of government privacy breaches affecting over 725,000 of us


November 25, 2014 – Highly personal information about the financial and tax affairs of hundreds of prominent Canadians was handed by the government to a CBC journalist, according to a CBC report out today.

High-profile figures including author Margaret Atwood and former prime minister Jean Chretien were among the victims. Responding to the news, says this underlines the need for far stronger safeguards to protect the private lives of all Canadians. communications manager David Christopher said: “If famous Canadians can have their senstive information leaked by the government then we all have reason to worry. It’s no wonder that everyday Canadians just don’t trust the government’s reckless approach to their privacy. Canadians entrust hugely sensitive and private information to the government, and they expect that trust to be respected. It is absolutely appalling that deeply revealing financial information can be handed to a journalist by the government’s tax agency.”

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Topics: Online Spying

Government’s Facebook mass spying plan will further erode privacy of law-abiding Canadians

Media reports this morning have revealed that the federal government is building an expansive Social Media Monitoring system to collect, store, and analyze what Canadians say on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

The report in Motherboard suggests this system will feature “real-time monitoring and analysis of social media content including Twitter, Facebook, blogs, chatrooms, message boards, social networks and video and image sharing websites”. Responding to the news, communications manager David Christopher said:

“When people post on Facebook they believe they’re sharing with their family and friends. They certainly don’t want everything they say to be tracked, stored, and analyzed by faceless government bureaucrats in Ottawa.” Read more »

Topics: Online Spying

President Obama's call for strong rules against Internet slow lanes a positive sign for Internet users around the world

OpenMedia commends Obama’s commitment to strong rules that would protect the open Internet, including Canadian Internet users and businesses.

November 10, 2014 – This morning U.S. President Barack Obama released a decisive statement urging the FCC to use the strongest measures possible to ensure strong net neutrality rules in the U.S. that would keep the Internet an open playing field, stating “no service should be stuck in a ‘slow lane’ because it does not pay a fee.”

OpenMedia welcomes this strong statement from the President, as recent rumors reported in the Wall Street Journal suggested that the FCC was still considering rules allowing slow lanes online. In his statement, President Obama directly refers to Title II reclassification, a strong and enforceable approach that Internet freedom advocates - including OpenMedia - have been fighting to implement for the past year, saying: “I'm asking the FCC to classify Internet services under Title II of the law known as the Telecommunications Act.”

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