Citizens left asking “what have they got to hide?” after major Canadian telecoms refuse to answer questions put to them by leading privacy researchers & civil liberties groups
March 6, 2014 – What have they got to hide? That’s the question many Canadians are asking after many major telecom firms failed to respond to a letter sent in January by leading privacy experts. The letter requested detailed information about the extent to which telecom companies are helping the government to spy on law-abiding citizens. Read more »
Canadians have come together from across the political spectrum to denounce Bill C-13, which would give a range of authorities access to the private lives of Canadians without a warrant
March 5, 2014 – The government’s online spying legislation, Bill C-13, will allow authorities access to the private lives of millions of law-abiding Canadians, even if they’re not suspected of wrong-doing. That’s the message of a hard-hitting viral video launched today by community-based OpenMedia.ca, which is spearheading a nationwide campaign against the spying bill.
Government must ensure more choice to save Canadians from price-gouging and disrespectful customer service
FEBRUARY 19, 2014 - Responding to today’s announcement of the results of a crucial auction of Canadian wireless resources, OpenMedia.ca is saying the prospect of new providers in some markets is a positive development but the government must do more to follow through on its promise to fix our dysfunctional cell phone market.
This afternoon’s announcement revealed that Quebecor could be set to expand its wireless business outside Quebec. They succeeded in purchasing spectrum in Southern Ontario, Alberta, and British Columbia, as well as in Quebec. However the Big Three (Bell, Rogers, Telus) purchased 89% of this vital resource across Canada, consolidating their stranglehold. Prior to this auction the Big Three held 85% of Canadian wireless spectrum. Spectrum is a scarce and vital resource that mobile devices need to communicate with each other. Read more »
Community-based OpenMedia.ca says $2bn investment and open access requirements needed to ensure rural Canadians have quality Internet service independent of the high costs and slow speeds offered by Canada’s Big Telecom giants
FEBRUARY 11, 2014 - Today’s announcement of $305m over 5 years in new government investment to improve rural broadband service is a welcome start, but more action is required to tackle the high prices and poor service faced by rural Canadians. That’s according to community-based OpenMedia.ca, which says $2 billion and open access requirements are needed to build an alternative to the slow and expensive Internet service delivered to rural Canadians by Big Telecom. Read more »
Budget Day Action will urge MPs to side with taxpayers against CSEC waste; group warns spying on innocent Canadians hurts democracy at home and Canada’s reputation abroad
February 11, 2014 – Over 50 major organizations and tens of thousands of Canadians are uniting today behind a new campaign to tell MPs to stop wasting billions on Canada’s hugely expensive online spying apparatus. The campaign is part of a worldwide day of action - the Day We Fight Back - against online spying and is being launched on federal Budget Day. It is expected that MPs will be asked to approve the rapidly growing annual budget for Canadian spy agency CSEC (Communications Security Establishment Canada).
CSEC is expected to cost taxpayers over $460 million this year, well above earlier forecasts of $420 million. CSEC’s inflation-adjusted annual budget has more than doubled over the past decade. Taxpayers are also on the hook for over $4 billion to build and operate a new CSEC headquarters, described as “the most expensive government building ever built” and as a “spy palace”. Read more »
Call comes in response to shocking revelation that CSEC spied and tracked movements of thousands of Canadian air travellers
January 30, 2014 – CSEC and other senior intelligence officials should testify under oath, at an important Senate committee hearing on Monday afternoon. That’s according to OpenMedia.ca, the B.C. Freedom of Information and Privacy Association (BC FIPA), and the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC), who have sent a letter making the request to Senate officials.
The call comes in response last night's shocking revelations that CSEC is monitoring travellers within Canada, and other instances of intelligence agencies being ‘economical with the truth’ when reporting on their activities. Read more »
OpenMedia.ca says Canadians deserve a transparent independent investigation and total overhaul of failed government spy agency CSEC’s oversight, following confirmation that the agency has been monitoring and tracking the precise movements of thousands of Canadians without cause
January 30, 2014 – Thousands of law-abiding Canadian air travellers had their private information spied on, and their movements monitored, by government spy agency CSEC. This stunning development, revealed by CBC News tonight, is sparking calls from community-based OpenMedia.ca for a thorough, transparent, independent investigation, and a total overhaul of failed CSEC oversight measures.
The revelations appear to fly in the face of government and CSEC assertions that Canadians are not targeted in spying activities. Ontario Privacy Commissioner Ann Cavoukian described the revelations as "unbelievable", "totalitarian", and said Canadians "have very good reason to worry". Privacy expert Ron Deibert told CBC News: "I can't see any circumstance in which this would not be unlawful." Read more »
Competition Bureau submission amounts to independent confirmation that the Big Three telecom giants are using their power and control to block Canadians from independent wireless options.
Responding to today's Competition Bureau submission to the CRTC consultation on domestic wireless roaming rates, OpenMedia.ca Executive Director Steve Anderson said:
"Today's Competition Bureau submission amounts to independent confirmation that the Big Three telecom giants are using their power and control to block Canadians from independent wireless options. This is keeping prices ridiculously high and holding back our economy and our country." Read more »
Professor Ron Deibert, now a best-selling author, has long track record of sounding alarm about blanket government surveillance of law-abiding citizens.
January 22, 2014 – Professor Ron Deibert, one of Canada and the world’s leading government surveillance experts, will be speaking at an event at Green College, University of British Columbia this Thursday January 23rd. Community-based OpenMedia.ca is a co-sponsor of the event, which has been organized by the Creative Writing Program and Green College at UBC. The event takes place at 5pm on January 23rd at Cecil Green Park House, 6251 Cecil Green Park Road, UBC, Vancouver.
Professor Deibert has a long track record of highlighting how governments are using new technologies to spy on the private online activities of Internet users, both here in Canada and around the world. He is the Director of the Citizen Lab and Canada Centre for Global Security Studies at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto, and the author of Black Code: Inside the Battle for Cyberspace. Read more »
Academic researchers and civil liberties groups send detailed request aimed at revealing full extent of government spying on Canadians through telecom providers
January 22, 2014 – A group of leading privacy experts and advocates have sent major Canadian telecom firms a letter requesting detailed information about the extent to which they pass on their customers’ private information to government officials.
The initiative is spearheaded by Toronto-based researcher Dr. Christopher Parsons, joined by a dozen other leading privacy academics from across Canada. Groups signing on to the letter include community-based OpenMedia.ca, along with the B.C. Civil Liberties Association, the B.C. Freedom of Information and Privacy Association, the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic, and Pen Canada. Read more »
Citizen-backed OpenMedia.ca is organizing a series of events across Canada to ensure the CRTC puts Canadians first when it comes to key digital policy decisions
January 16, 2014 – On the heels of independent provider Wind’s shocking withdrawal from a crucial auction of wireless assets, OpenMedia.ca is pushing back against the dominance of a few big telecom companies by organizing a series of citizen-led events across Canada.
In 2014 regulators at the CRTC are set to make a series of key decisions that will affect the access and affordability of digital services. OpenMedia.ca is hoping citizen input from the local gatherings ensures that decision makers put Canadians first when it comes to decisions about the future of digital services. Read more »
Wind Mobile has announced it will not participate in tomorrow’s wireless auction of assets crucial to the future of cell phone service in Canada. The move could spell the end to national independent cell phone service in Canada if government does not act.
This morning, Industry Minister James Moore announced that an auction for vital 2500 MHz wireless spectrum will take place in April 2015, with a registration deadline of November 27, 2014. He also announced spectrum caps to boost competition - despite these caps, Big Telecom still look poised to take the lion’s share of available spectrum. The 2015 auction rules also feature a “use it or lose it” rule that OpenMedia.ca has been pushing for years to achieve. Read more »
With Big Telecom conglomerates threatening the future of affordable, independent ISPs, citizen-backed OpenMedia.ca is enabling Canadians to take part in a crucial CRTC consultation
January 9, 2014 – OpenMedia.ca is launching a campaign to enable Canadians to participate in a crucial CRTC public consultation to prevent Canada’s Big Telecom congomerates from blocking access to affordable new high-speed Internet service options. Independent ISPs currently provide Internet access to hundreds of thousands of Canadians, offering a more affordable option outside of Big Telecom providers.
According to citizen-backed OpenMedia.ca, affordable high-speed Internet access is again being threatened by Big Telecom giants, which want to block Canadians from having affordable, independent access to high-speed, fibre-optic Internet networks. Read more »
Government reacts to years of Canadians calling on officials to rein in Big Telecom’s power and control, says citizen-backed OpenMedia.ca
December 18, 2013 – The government has taken its first clear steps to deliver on their promise to ensure Canadians enjoy greater wireless choice and lower prices for telecom services. That’s according to citizen-backed OpenMedia.ca, which is welcoming this morning’s announcement that domestic roaming rates are to be capped, and that the CRTC, Canada’s telecom policy-maker, will be empowered to levy monetary fines on Big Telecom companies that break customer protection rules.
This morning’s Industry Canada announcement will forbid Big Telecom from charging independent providers more than they charge their own customers for mobile voice, data, and text services. At present, Big Telecom charge indie providers more than 10 times what they charge their own customers to roam on their networks -- essentially blocking many Canadians from using independent providers. Read more »
As parliamentarians return to their ridings for the winter holidays, citizens and groups from across the political spectrum are raising concerns about how Peter MacKay’s online spying Bill C-13 would undermine Canadians’ privacy
December 11, 2013 – Groups from across the political spectrum are speaking out to warn Canadians about how the government’s Online Spying Bill C-13 would give a range of authorities access to the private lives of almost any Canadian, even if they are not suspected of any wrong doing.
Bill C-13 was recently introduced by Justice Minister Peter MacKay, who claimed that it related to cyberbullying. However just a few pages of the bill cover that topic, while 65 pages were lifted from former Public Safety Minister Vic Toews’ failed online spying Bill C-30, which was withdrawn after over 150,000 Canadians spoke out against it. OpenMedia.ca led the successful nationwide campaign that defeated Bill C-30. Read more »
Citizen-backed OpenMedia.ca says the revelations show that spy agency CSEC is reckless, out-of-control, and not accountable to Canadians
December 9, 2013 – The CBC has tonight revealed that government spy agency CSEC (Communications Security Establishment Canada) has been spying on “approximately 20” of Canada’s trading partners at the behest of the U.S. NSA. Citizen-backed OpenMedia.ca is saying that revelations that our secretive spy agency is spending our tax dollars on activities designed to benefit U.S. interests is further evidence that CSEC is out-of-control and not accountable to Canadians.
Trade Ministers set to gather for crucial Singapore TPP talks with U.S. lobbyists aiming to strong-arm Canada into adopting Internet censorship rules that damaged the Australian economy
December 6, 2013 – Australian experts are warning Canada about the damaging economic fallout of adopting U.S.-driven Internet censorship rules under the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The warning comes as Trade Ministers, including Canada’s Ed Fast, prepare to gather in Singapore for a crucial round of TPP talks this weekend, with U.S. negotiators aiming to strong-arm Canada into adopting extreme rules that would make the Internet more expensive, censored, and policed.Read more »
Canadians are demanding action after shocking revelations show how out-of-control spy agency CSEC is damaging democracy at home and Canada’s relationships abroad
November 27, 2013 – In the wake of this evening’s bombshell revelations from journalist Glenn Greenwald, citizen-backed OpenMedia.ca is demanding the government rein in its secret spy agency CSEC (Communications Security Establishment Canada).
Organizations spanning nearly every TPP nation calls for a new approach that respects broad interests not just that of old US media conglomerates
November 21, 2013: Today the Fair Deal Coalition has called on Governments involved in the TPP negotiations to reject copyright proposals that would limit the open Internet, access to knowledge, and curtail economic opportunity.
The Coalition, made up of Internet users, schools, universities, artists, libraries and archives, the visually-impaired, consumers, information technology firms and Internet businesses, has written an open letter to the Governments involved in the negotiations following the leaking of the chapter of the TPP relating to IP and copyright.Read more »
Legislation includes invasive elements of the government’s discredited online spying Bill C-30 that was canned earlier this year after 150,000 Canadians spoke out
November 20, 2013 – Today Justice Minister Peter MacKay introduced legislation that many hoped would focus on tackling the serious issue of cyberbullying. It appears that the vast majority of the legislation was simply lifted from part of the government’s failed online spying (“Lawful Access”) Bill C-30. That’s according to citizen-backed OpenMedia.ca, which led the successful campaign that defeated Bill C-30 earlier this year. Read more »
OpenMedia.ca joins with Manitoba resident Ben Klass to call on the CRTC to stop Big Telecom from making independent services more expensive for Canadians
November 20, 2013 – Today, researcher and OpenMedia.ca community member Ben Klass is filing an official complaint with the CRTC (Canada’s telecom regulator) revealing that Bell is stifling competing mobile services by giving its own content an unfair advantage.
Leading expert Carolina Rossini tells Vancouver audience that carefully crafted Canadian copyright laws could be overturned by extreme U.S.-driven proposals in Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement
November 19, 2013 – Carolina Rossini, a renowned U.S.-based expert on international Internet governance, told an audience in Vancouver last night that the U.S. government is trying to strong-arm Canada into adopting rules that would undermine free expression online and damage the Canadian economy. Over 120,000 people have spoken out about extreme Internet censorship rules revealed by a recent leak of a draft of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) by Wikileaks.
"The U.S. government is trying to force Canada into adopting economically damaging Internet censorship rules for the benefit of American media conglomerates,” said Carolina Rossini, who is Project Director at the New America Foundation. “Canada has proven to the world that a balanced copyright law that guarantees Internet freedoms, shaped with society's input, can be achieved. And now the TPP puts that at risk." Read more »
Proposed secret transnational Internet censorship courts would override Canadian law and restrict freedom of expression online.
November 13, 2013 – This morning WikiLeaks released secret documents that have confirmed an extreme Internet censorship plan is being pushed behind closed doors as part of the International Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement. Over 100,000 people from around the world have already spoken through an online campaign at http://openmedia.org/censorship
Internet freedom group OpenMedia reviewed the nearly 100 pages of highly classified documents released to the public to discover extreme Internet censorship provisions, including secret transnational censorship courts that would override national laws.
According to Internet law expert Michael Geist the US, "is demanding that Canada rollback its recent copyright reform legislation with a long list of draconian proposals. " Read more »
Citizen-backed OpenMedia.ca says Canadians will welcome moves to stop Big Telecom narrowing their wireless choices yet further, but action still needed to fix broken market
October 30, 2013 – New reports reveal that Industry Canada’s will block telecom giant Telus from taking over indie wireless provider Mobilicity. Citizen-backed OpenMedia.ca, which is campaigning to secure lower prices and greater choice for Canadian cell phone users, says the move will help prevent Big Telecom from narrowing the wireless choices of Canadians yet further.
According to media reports, Industry Canada has turned down a proposal for Mobilicity to be taken over by Telus. If approved the move would have resulted in Big Telecom taking over valuable wireless spectrum that the government promised would be set aside to ensure Canadians have wireless choices outside the Big Three. Spectrum is a scarce and vital public resource that wireless devices need to communicate. Read more »