Press release

Expert Report reveals which telecom companies have your back when it comes to being transparent about protecting privacy

Report provides Canadians with an at-a-glance tool to rate their Internet provider’s transparency around privacy safeguards. Indie ISP Teksavvy “stands out” as the best of the 10 major retailers measured.

March 12, 2015A report published this morning has revealed that Canadian Internet providers are still falling short when it comes to being transparent about how they protect their customers’ privacy. The report found that all telecom companies need to do more to keep customers informed about how they safeguard privacy. Independent ISP Teksavvy performed best of the 10 major retailers, with telecom giant Shaw and Quebec-based Videotron languishing at the bottom.

The report, entitled Keeping Internet Users in the Know or in the Dark?, is released by IXmaps.ca and New Transparency Projects as part of a project spearheaded by Prof. Andrew Clement at the Faculty of Information, University of Toronto and Dr. Jonathan Obar, Faculty of Social Science and Humanities, University of Ontario Institute of Technology, with the assistance of a group of law students at UofT. They examined the data privacy transparency policies of 43 large and small companies that provide internet services to Canadians. Some of these companies are well-known Canadian Internet retailers, while others, some operating from the U.S. and elsewhere, work behind the scenes to route Canadian Internet traffic.

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OpenMedia’s Meghan Sali to provide crowdsourced testimony to Parliamentary committee about how Bill S-4 will undermine privacy and lead to widespread abuse of copyright system

Sali will amplify the voices of Canadians and experts worried about how Bill S-4 would massively expand the warrantless disclosure of personal information

On Thursday, OpenMedia’s Meghan Sali will testify before key Members of Parliament on the Industry, Science and Technology Committee about Bill S-4, the Digital Privacy Act.

She will focus on how the bill would expand unauthorized disclosure of sensitive personal information, notably by telecom providers, without a court order. This would undermine privacy and lead to widespread abuse of Canada’s copyright system.

Meghan will testify on behalf of Canadians, having crowdsourced her presentation from people across the country.

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Topics: Copyright

Leading digital rights organization throws support behind National Day of Action against the government’s Secret Police Bill C-51

OpenMedia is encouraging Internet users across Canada to support events in over 35 cities this Saturday March 14

March 10, 2015 – Digital rights group OpenMedia is throwing its support behind a massive National Day of Action against Bill C-51 this Saturday March 14. Sparked by concerned citizens on social media platforms Facebook, and reddit, events are being organized right across Canada, from Victoria to Halifax. OpenMedia is supporting the day of action by launching an online action platform to empower those speaking out against C-51 at http://StopC51.ca

Public opinion is rapidly turning against the bill, with a recent EKOS opinion poll revealing that only 29% of Canadians would give up personal privacy safeguards in order to boost spy agency powers. Over 75,000 people have already spoken out online in recent weeks calling on Prime Minister Harper to rein in the unaccountable powers and violations of our civil liberties contained in Bill C-51.

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Topics: Online Spying

Canadian group plays pivotal role in Historic Win for Internet, as U.S. FCC announces strong new rules to save Net Neutrality

Year-long campaign ends in victory, after massive global coalition unites to stop telecom conglomerates’ plan to force millions of websites into an Internet slow lane.

February 26, 2015 – The U.S. Federal Communications Commission has just announced strong new Net Neutrality rules. Experts say the new rules will entrench net neutrality and prevent telecom conglomerates from creating ‘slow lanes’ on the Internet.

The rules came after a massive, year-long grassroots campaign involving over 5 million people from across Canada, the U.S. and the globe. The campaign was organized by an inspiring coalition of open Internet groups, grassroots groups, civil rights organizations and web companies.

Vancouver-based Internet freedom organization OpenMedia, which yesterday parked a giant Jumbotron opposite the FCC to stream citizen comments, is hailing the FCC’s announcement as a historic victory for Internet users everywhere that will have positive implications for Canadians. The group helped spearhead international efforts to defend net neutrality.

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Latest CSE spying revelations underline need for independent, democratic oversight, and raise huge questions around Bill C-51

February 25, 2015: Canadian spy agency CSE is collecting and storing millions of private emails that Canadians send to the government, including emails sent to Members of Parliament. The content of the emails are being stored for months, with deeply revealing metadata about them held for years. That’s according to reports this morning on CBC News and The Intercept, sourced from documents provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Responding to the news, OpenMedia’s communications manager David Christopher said: “These fresh revelations are further proof of how CSE recklessly disregards the privacy of Canadians. While government cybersecurity is important, there is clearly no cybersecurity need to retain people’s private information for months or even years.”

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Topics: Online Spying

One Giant Jumbotron, Millions of Voices: Today the Internet comes together to defend Net Neutrality

With historic Net Neutrality decision imminent, OpenMedia and huge coalition park Jumbotron opposite FCC HQ in Washington D.C., to stream images, messages, and videos submitted by tens of thousands of Internet users

February 25, 2015 – When staff at the FCC look out the window today, they’ll see the Internet looking right back at them. In advance of tomorrow’s crucial FCC Net Neutrality decision, OpenMedia and a huge Internet freedom coalition are parking a giant Jumbotron opposite the agency’s headquarters in Washington D.C. The Jumbotron will be streaming images, messages, videos, and memes submitted by tens of thousands of Internet users via an online tool at StopTheSlowdown.net.

The FCC is poised to decide whether to allow telecom companies to create slow lanes on the Internet. The Jumbotron will be part of a range of activity outside the FCC building, as Internet freedom advocates gather from all over the U.S. and the globe. Over five million people, including President Obama, have called on the FCC to defend real Net Neutrality. Comments made by FCC chair Tom Wheeler earlier this month prompted cautious optimism from open Internet advocates.

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