OpenMedia.ca in the News

Epoch Times: New privacy legislation fails to tackle Canadians’ central privacy concern: reckless & expensive govt surveillance

New privacy legislation does nothing to protect Canadians from out-of-control government spying. That's according to our own Steve Anderson, writing in today's edition of the @Epoch Times. Please SHARE this piece and speak out for real privacy protections at http://OurPrivacy.ca

This week, Industry Minister James Moore quietly tabled a new Digital Privacy Act in the Senate. The proposed legislation should safeguard Canadians’ privacy online but sadly does not. The proposal is likely to reinforce the feeling that the Conservatives are just bad on privacy issues despite privacy’s increasing importance to daily life and our digital economy.

While the proposal does include some positive measures concerning commercial privacy, it will do almost nothing to tackle the privacy concern foremost in most Canadians’ minds: the dragnet government surveillance of law-abiding citizens and widespread government breaches of our sensitive information. Read more »

Topics: Online Spying

OpenMedia Street Teams get active at a local level to fight online spying

Members the pro-Internet community are busily working with OpenMedia staff to get active at a local level, and standing up for your privacy by amplifying voices from our StopSpying.ca campaign. It's inspiring and it's working.

In case you missed it, check out this amazing coverage, and keep your eyes peeled for an upcoming report-back from the West Vancouver Street Team.

Article by Todd Coyne for North Shore Outlook

Activists protesting the controversial Bill C-30 ‘Internet surveillance act’ descended on Conservative MP John Weston’s riding office in West Vancouver Monday, armed with hundreds of constituent signatures opposing the bill. Read more »

Topics: Online Spying

CBC: Canada's largest ISP to stop throttling the open Internet

From CBC News

Bell internet customers will no longer have their file sharing uploads and downloads deliberately slowed down.

Bell Canada and Bell Aliant will stop using equipment to selectively slow down file sharing applications on their networks starting March 1, the companies said in a letter to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission on Monday.

That will affect both the companies' own retail internet customers and the customers of independent internet service providers who rent wholesale access to Bell's network in order to connect directly with customers' homes. Read more »

Huffington Post: Privacy law amendment foreshadows Lawful Access

From Huffington Post

It's not exactly Canada’s very own Patriot Act, but a Harper government amendment to the country's privacy law has some experts seeing shadows of the controversial U.S. legislation.

Industry Minister Christian Paradis tabled an amendment to the PIPEDA privacy law on Thursday, hailing it as a step forward towards greater protection of Canadians’ online privacy.

Among the amendment’s provisions are a new rule requiring organizations to report data security breaches to Canada’s privacy commissioner, as well as some exceptions to privacy rules designed to make it easier for companies to carry out day-to-day business. Read more »

History Repeating: 130 years later and still stuck in "Telephonmania"

Interestingly, Arstechnica points to questions that were raised 130 years ago regarding the telephone industry and its implementation of metered billing. Sound familiar? Like those who protested in 1886, the pro-Internet community is striving to encourage policy-makers to re-imagine the web. This article cleverly links the (once feared) universality of the telephone with our current concerns of advancing an open, accessible Internet. If we keep it up, we can be the history-makers of our time. Onward! Read more »

The Mark: What Lawful Access means for Canadian online security

By Alexander Ly and Adam Webb for The Mark

Canadian privacy online is about to be put at serious risk. As if internet malefactors and unruly privacy settings on major applications weren’t enough to dissuade Canadians from exercising their online liberties, a trio of invasive bills centred on “information disclosure, mandated surveillance technologies, and new police powers” is set to be fast-tracked through Parliament. Under the euphemism “lawful access,” Bills C-50, C-51, and C-52 aim to “modernize” the Criminal Code and the Competition Act and push the limits of state surveillance. Read more »

Coalition Members Talk Stop Online Spying on CBC Radio

Why is everybody freaking out about Lawful Access right now? Why is the "I've got nothing to hide" argument missing the point? And why are the experts (Privacy Commissioners, academics, and public interest organizations) so concerned?

Listen to Tamir Israel of the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC) on the CBC Tech Podcast to find out why. Read more »

Security risks of increased digital surveillance call for a closer look

As this CBC commentary from Dan Misener describes, despite its "unfortunate name," the Conservative government's "Lawful Access" legislation is anything but boring. Indeed, this invasive set of electronic surveillance bills present grave security risks for all Canadians. It's no wonder that many people representing a diverse range of interests -- from Canadian privacy commissioners to civil liberties associations to public interest organizations -- have stepped forward to voice their concerns about the proposed jeopardy of data security and the lack of oversight in handling this data.
Read more »

Hasiuk: Conservative "Lawful Access" bills would bring about unprecedented online powers

By Mark Hasiuk for Vancouver Courier

Cyberspace. The final frontier.

Back in 2003, Barrett Lyon, a computer scientist from California, embarked on the most ambitious cartography project since David Thompson. Using computer graphics, Lyon mapped the Internet, connecting network to network, power source to web server, in a human-created universe of infinite possibilities. At first glance the completed work, on display at Boston’s Museum of Science and New York’s Museum of Modern Art, resembles the Milky Way. Celestial. Divine. But like all things manmade, and every earthly frontier before it, the Internet courts corruption. Predictably, quests for money and power pose the greatest threats. Read more »

Geist: What is so undemocratic about allowing a few companies to control the Net?

By Michael Geist

The second day of the CRTC hearing on usage based billing left the Commission with three fairly divergent views on Canadian networks, traffic management, and the wholesale tariff (coverage from the Globe, Cartt.ca, Wire Report). While Bell focused on network congestion in its presentation on the first day, the cable providers and independent ISPs provided a much different perspective, focusing instead on incentives to invest (cable) and competition (independent ISPs). Read more »

Edmonton Journal: Internet providers slow speeds, researcher says

By Jason Magder for Edmonton Journal

Canadian Internet providers have purposely or accidentally slowed down the speeds of its customers dozens of times in the last two years, and the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission has done little to stop this practice, an industry researcher has found. Read more »

iPolitics: Competing views on internet billing clash at CRTC

By Elizabeth Thompson for iPolitics

Conflicting views over how Canadians should pay for internet usage clashed before the CRTC Monday, as the commission heard a new round of arguments over how small internet service providers should be billed for the bandwidth use of their customers. Read more »

Telemanagement: CRTC begins usage-based billing hearings

By Anthony Gabryluk for Telemanagement

Consumer advocates have told the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) that big telecommunications companies should address the issue of internet congestion by investing more in their networks. Read more »

Ars Technica: Metered billing: it's a lack of competition, not congestion

By Matthew Lasar for Ars Technica

It looks like Canada's telecom regulators are showing some new-found skepticism about metered or "usage-based" billing (UBB). The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has been holding hearings over the last few days about its controversial (and for the moment suspended) move to let Bell Canada bill independent ISPs on a wholesale byte-by-byte basis. Read more »

Solomon: CRTC starts Internet wholesale pricing hearing

By Howard Solomon for itWorldCanada

The telecom regulator begins a hearing to hone its unpopular decision on usage-based billing and set wholesale pricing for independent Internet providers so they can offer high-speed access equal to big carriers. Read more »

Globe: BCE put on hot seat at hearing on Web pricing

By Iain Marlow for The Globe And Mail

The country’s telecom regulator has cast doubt on BCE Inc.’s (BCE-T38.240.491.30%)argument that fast-growing Web traffic requires new usage-based pricing measures, setting the tone for regulatory hearings that will help shape the future of Internet pricing in Canada. Read more »

Mediacaster: CRTC Hearings on Internet Pricing Begin in Ottawa

From Mediacaster

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission's public hearing into wholesale high-speed Internet access services began in Ottawa today. Read more »

Circle ID: Hot Legal Action in Canada!

By Neil Schwartzman for Circle ID

The best part is ... this isn't one of those 'now that I've got your attention' tricks, like one of those old "free beer" posters; there really is a ton of stuff happening above the 49th parallel this summer. Read more »

Toronto Sun: CRTC drills BCE on UBB

By Stefania Moretti for Toronto Sun

Regulators drilled BCE Inc. executives with questions Monday ahead of a decision on wholesale usage-based billing (UBB) amid criticism the whole process is a waste of time because it ignores the wider problem of retail data caps. Read more »

570 News: Internet usage-based billing hearings

From 570 News

The CRTC is holding hearings this week on internet usage-based billing, after the federal government forced the agency to go back to the drawing board on the issue. Read more »

Globe: Groups, regulators square off at CRTC hearings

By Iain Marlow for Globe and Mail

The second day of crucial CRTC hearings into the future of Internet pricing in Canada continued on Tuesday in Gatineau, Que., with a lively and at-times adversarial back-and-forth between two groups and the assembled regulators. Read more »

CBC: 'Big telecom' internet investment too low, consumer groups say

From CBC

Big telecommunications companies should tackle internet congestion by investing more in their networks, which would make usage-based billing unnecessary, consumer advocates say. Read more »

Fierce Telecom: Canada's CRTC to discuss usage based billing, broadband pricing

By Sean Buckley for Fierce Telecom

Canada's telecom regulator, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), will hold discussions with incumbents, competitive service providers and industry groups on usage based billing (UBB) and broadband service wholesale pricing issues. Read more »

Global: CRTC scrutinizes internet pricing

By Rebecca Lindell for Global

GATINEAU, Que. – Bell Canada is asking Canada’s federal telecommunications regulator to adopt a new usage-based billing plan in a process set to change the way Canadians pay for the internet. Read more »

Tech Vibes: 30 000 and counting aboard 'Stop Online Spying' campaign

By Bryce Tarling for Tech Vibes Read more »

Financial Post: Costly 'Lawful Access' Laws

By Jameson Berkow for Financial Post

Hidden deep within the federal government’s comprehensive bundle of crime legislation lies a bill that opponents claim will rob Canadians their right to online privacy as well as their cash. Read more »

CBC: Petition against internet 'lawful access' bills

From CBC News

Advocates for internet users and civil liberties groups have launched a petition against proposed laws that would give police in new powers to monitor and intercept internet communications in Canada. Read more »

News 1130: ISPs to surrender Canadians' personal information

By Andrea Macpherson for News 1130

Some are calling it "lawful" access while critics call it warrantless, invasive, costly, and poorly thought-out. There's now a plan to force phone and Internet providers to surrender our personal information to "authorities" without a warrant. Read more »

Georgia Straight: Online petition launched against "lawful access" bills

By Yolande Cole for Georgia Straight

An online petition has been launched in opposition to "lawful access" legislation expected to be reintroduced by the Conservative government this fall. OpenMedia.ca is organizing the petition against three bills that they say would violate civil liberties and translate to extra costs for Canadians. Read more »

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Times & Transcript: Fight against usage-based billing continues

From Times & Transcript

Perhaps the greatest change to rental services recently came through Netflix and online streaming of video content. Netflix Canada offers a wide selection of movies at $7.99 a month unlimited. While not all studios have signed on, consumers are largely embracing the method of renting. Read more »