Press release

Local tech leaders launch #StepUp4Net fundraising campaign for digital rights organization OpenMedia

Fundraising drive challenges tech community to step up and defend the free and open Internet with matching donations up to $50,000

December 11, 2014:  Leaders from the Vancouver tech community have launched a year-end fundraising #StepUp4Net campaign challenging people from the tech and business community to donate to non-profit digital rights organization OpenMedia.

The campaign can be found at:

Several organizations have agreed to provide matching funds of up to $50,000.

“Everyone has benefited from the expression, innovation, and business opportunities enabled by the open Internet,” said Executive Director Steve Anderson. “Sadly, the Internet as we know it is increasingly under threat. I'm grateful that leaders in the tech community have been generous enough to encourage support for our non-profit work.”

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Supreme Court ruling permitting warrantless cell phone searches underlines need for much stronger legal privacy safeguards, says

December 11, 2014: This morning, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled narrowly that police are permitted to conduct warrantless cell phone searches of people they arrest. Community-based OpenMedia, which has rallied a large pro-privacy coalition of over 60 organizations, says the ruling reinforces the need for much stronger legal protections to safeguard the privacy of Canadians.

“Sadly, today’s ruling looks like a real setback for the privacy of Canadians,” said’s communications manager David Christopher. “Our cell phones often store huge amounts of deeply revealing information about our private lives. Cell phone searches can be even more revealing than a police officer coming into somebody’s home and searching through their personal materials, which has long required a warrant. It’s very disappointing that the Supreme Court, albeit narrowly, decided to permit such intrusive warrantless searches.”

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Topics: Online Spying

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

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