Press release

Big Telecom customer mistreatment is still running rampant, as official report confirms 11,340 complaints in just 12 months

CCTS Annual Report reveals sharp 74% rise in complaints about misleading wireless contracts. Bell and its subsidiaries accounted for over 40% of all telecom complaints.

November 4, 2014 – Mistreatment of Canadian telecom customers is still running rampant, according to official figures released today by the Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications Services (CCTS). The CCTS Annual Report revealed that unhappy Canadians complained 11,340 times last year about their telecom service, the 2nd highest total of the past five years.

The Big Three - Bell, Rogers, and Telus, along with their subsidiaries - accounted for 77% of all complaints, with Bell alone accounting for over 40% of the total. Independent providers received considerably fewer complaints - the largest, Wind Mobile, accounted for just 4.5% of all complaints.

“It’s ridiculous that Canadians are still at the receiving end of such appalling mistreatment from the telecom giants,” said Executive Director Steve Anderson. “This report makes clear that despite our sky high prices, Canadians are still experiencing some of the worst wireless service in the industrialized world.” Read more »

MPs should listen to Canadians and support Liberal bill to make spy agency CSEC more transparent and accountable to citizens

Privacy advocates hail Joyce Murray’s Private Members Bill as a step forward to boost transparency, oversight, and accountability for secretive spy agency CSEC

October 30, 2014 – Today, Members of Parliament will have an historic opportunity to start reining in Canada’s secretive spy agency CSEC (Communications Security Establishment Canada). Community-based is calling on MPs from all parties to throw their support behind a Private Members Bill proposed by Liberal MP Joyce Murray.

MPs are set to debate the bill in the House of Commons later today. Calls for reform have been growing since it was revealed earlier this year that CSEC had spied on thousands of law-abiding Canadian air travellers and tracked their precise movements around the world.

The CSEC Accountability and Transparency Act would give MPs stronger powers of oversight and review over CSEC’s activities. It would also improve CSEC’s public reporting obligations, and require the Minister responsible for CSEC to obtain a Federal Court order whenever there is a reasonable expectation that CSEC might collect the protected information of Canadians at home or abroad. Read more »

Topics: Online Spying

As the Government announces new CSIS spy powers, Canadians have begun working together to set out their own pro-privacy plan for 21st century technology

Responding to the government’s tabling in Parliament of Bill C-44, which proposes new powers for spy agency CSIS (Canadian Security Intelligence Service), OpenMedia executive director Steve Anderson said:

“Canadians don’t want to see last Wednesday’s tragic events to make us lose sight of the democratic values we all cherish. It’s never been more important to strike a balanced approach that safeguards the rights and freedoms we hold dear. That’s why we’ll be working with experts to analyse the potential privacy implications of this bill. We’re also very concerned about reports the government is preparing draconian new laws that could criminalize what Canadians say online.”

Anderson continued: “Sadly, given this government’s terrible track record on privacy, it’s never been more important for Canadians to stand together to ensure our freedoms are upheld. Our organization is working with thousands of everyday Canadians to help shape a positive, pro-privacy plan for sensible privacy safeguards that work for all of us in the 21st century. This is a far better way forward than proposing new spying powers without even consulting Canadians first.” Read more »

Topics: Online Spying builds definitive case for opening Canada’s wireless networks to lower prices for all Canadians

Following official confirmation from the Competition Bureau that the Big Three are artificially keeping prices high, OpenMedia and CIPPIC's joint submission to the CRTC sets out common sense steps for fixing Canada’s broken wireless market

October 24, 2014: Bold measures are required to reduce cell phone bills, rein in the Big Three, and fix Canada’s broken wireless market. That’s the message of a detailed policy submission to the CRTC by CIPPIC and community-based, which is running a nationwide Unblock Canada campaign aimed at lowering prices and improving wireless choice for Canadians.

  • Download the submission (PDF)
  • The launch of the plan follows official confirmation from the Competition Bureau that the Big Three are blocking smaller operators in order to keep wireless prices artificially high. Read more »

    Topics: Cell Phones

    Canadians are working together to shape a pro-privacy action plan, to help address government’s stark privacy deficit

    Launch of new pro-privacy crowdsourcing initiative comes just days after Peter MacKay’s online spying Bill C-13 passes House of Commons, and follows over a year of revelations about the activities of Canada’s spy agency CSEC

    October 22, 2014 – Canadians are working together to shape a new pro-privacy action plan to help address the government’s privacy deficit. That’s the message of a new crowdsourcing initiative that aims to gather the views of everyday Canadians and Internet users about priorities for privacy online. The project is led by community-based, which is leading a diverse national pro-privacy coalition supported by over 60 organizations and 40,000 Canadians.

    The new crowdsourcing tool includes a drag-and-drop feature enabling Canadians to set out their priorities when it comes to privacy, and also seeks citizen input on a wide range of privacy issues. Feedback from the tool will be analyzed and used to shape a crowdsourced set of key policy recommendations for decision-makers early next year, with input from privacy experts across the country. The launch of the tool comes just days after Peter MacKay’s spying legislation Bill C-13 passed the House of Commons on Monday, and follows over a year of revelations about how Canada’s spy agency CSEC has monitored law-abiding Canadians. Read more »

    Topics: Online Spying

    Fight against Online Spying Bill C-13 will continue, as government prepares to ram unpopular legislation through House of Commons today

    Controversial bill is opposed by huge majority of Canadians, with even the government’s own supporters opposing it by over 2.5:1

    October 20, 2014 - The government looks set to pass its unpopular online spying legislation, Bill C-13, through the House of Commons later today. The House is due to vote on the controversial legislation sometime after 6.30pm ET.

    The vote comes after the government recently used a time allocation motion to cut short debate and prevent MPs from fully discussing the implications of the Supreme Court’s landmark R. v. Spencer ruling that renders C-13’s controversial warrantless spying provisions unconstitutional. Community-based, which is leading a nationwide campaign against online spying, says the fight against C-13 will continue as focus now shifts to the Senate. Read more »

    Topics: Online Spying

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