Prog Blog’s Flickr Photostream Michael Geist: 2 out of 3 ain’t enough

Two of Canada’s biggest telecoms have done the right thing and publicly announced that they will not share subscribers’ private information without a warrant any more. It doesn’t seem like much to ask for, but Bell is still holding back. Add to the pressure at

Article by Michael Geist

In the aftermath of the Supreme Court of Canada’s Spencer decision, several leading Canadian ISPs have publicly announced that they have changed their practices on the disclosure of subscriber information (including basic subscriber information such as name and address) to law enforcement. For example, Rogers announced that it will (Read more…) Your Daily Digital Digest for Thursday, July 24, 2014

Your news links for today:

Why Has Bell Remained Silent on Its Subscriber Information Disclosure Practices? – Michael Geist CRTC to Hold Discussions with Telcos Over Charging Fees for Paper Billing – iPhone in Canada CRTC’s Weak Attempt to Settle Paper Bill Fees with Telcos Disrespects Consumers – PIAC Rogers crosses 8 million postpaid subs in Q2, but higher costs lead to fewer smartphone sales – Mobile Syrup Blacklisted: The Secret Government Rulebook For Labeling You a Terrorist – The Intercept Exclusive: High-Level NSA Whistleblower Says Blackmail Is a Huge – Unreported – Part of Mass Surveillance – Zero Hedge (Read more…) Reuters: Why our digital divide won’t be bridged any time soon

The government’s unambitious rural broadband plans will leave tens of thousands of Canadians stuck with last-century Internet speeds. Tell James Moore it’s time for Canada to finally start catching up with our global counterparts at The Star: You won’t believe how many times this government spied on Canadians

We knew that the government made over 1 million requests for Canadians’ private information in 2011. Now it turns out that they’ve been making scores of these requests going back to 2006, meaning millions of innocent Canadians have been spied on with no oversight or safeguards. Speak out now to put an end to this reckless spying at

Article by Sean Kilpatrick for The Star

Government authorities have been making millions of requests to telecommunications companies for Canadians’ personal information as far back as 2006, newly released documents show.

read more Your Daily Digital Digest for Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Your news links for today:

OECD Releases New Broadband Data: Canada Ranks in Bottom Third on Mobile Broadband Subscriptions – Michael Geist BCE to take regional unit Bell Aliant private in $4-billion deal – The Globe and Mail The View Up Here talks #TPP Trans Pacific Partnership – blogtalkradio Millions of police requests for Canadians’ data every year, documents show – Toronto Star Canada’s border agency had thousands of outdated lookout flags in system – CP24 Your Gmail account is fair game for cops or feds, says US judge – Naked Security The creepiest Internet tracking tool yet is ‘virtually (Read more…) Globe and Mail: Better late than never

Telcos’ decision to stop handing over subscriber information without a warrant is a step in the right direction, according to the Globe and Mail editors. Now it’s time to tell Peter MacKay to fix his broken privacy bill. Go to to help make it happen.

Article by The Globe and Mail

Last month, the Supreme Court of Canada made clear that the centuries-old search-warrant principle continues to apply in the electronic age. And now, Canada’s telecommunications companies, which had previously felt obligated to give the government and police warrantless access to customer records, are starting to change their (Read more…) A classic example of Big Telecom screwing over the Canadian public

With files and comments from OpenMedia’s Access volunteers Jean-Francois Mezei, Ben Klass, and Teresa Murphy.

It appears as though Big Telecom is mismanaging funds collected explicitly to deliver Internet services to rural and remote communities across Canada. In a letter to telecom giants, the CRTC has expressed concern that the companies will be unable to meet their August 2014 deadline for building new access to nearly 272 rural towns and cities across the country.

read more Industry Canada’s broadband plan will still leave rural Canadians struggling to catch up


This morning’s Industry Canada rural broadband announcement will still leave many Canadians struggling to catch up with our global counterparts when it comes to broadband access, reliability, and speed. That’s according to community-based, which is campaigning for every Canadian to have quality, affordable broadband.

“Once again we see Industry Canada reheating previous announcements rather than making the dedicated investments and policy changes other countries are making,” says Executive Director Steve Anderson. “The government continues to flog their unambitious digital policy, while avoiding the bold action needed to connect Canadians to the cutting-edge digital (Read more…) Your Daily Digital Digest for Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Your news links for today:

Welcome to the Hotel California: ISPs Who Won’t Take No For An Answer – Michael Geist One-third of Netflix Inc users in Canada streaming from U.S. catalogue, poll finds – Financial Post Rogers cuts several hundred jobs, will ‘become a more nimble, agile organization’ – Mobile Syrup Telecoms tighten privacy rules after Supreme Court of Canada ruling – The Chronicle Herald One third of access to information requests take at least four months to release – Toronto Star CRA is auditing 50+ charities whose philosophies oppose numerous PMO policies… coincidence or oppression? – r/canada (Read more…) Michael Geist: Come Back With a Warrant: How Will the Canadian Government Respond to the Supreme Court?

Tens of thousands of Canadians have spoken out about how the government is obtaining our private information without a warrant. Following a recent pro-privacy Supreme Court ruling, the ball is in the government’s court. How do you think Peter MacKay will respond?

Article by Michael Geist

Canadian Internet and telecom providers have, for many years, disclosed basic subscriber information, including identifiers such as name, address, and IP address, to law enforcement without a warrant. The government has not only supported the practice, but actively encouraged it with legislative proposals designed to grant full civil and criminal immunity for voluntary disclosures (Read more…) The Star: Police chiefs call for presumed innocence in background checks

Hey guys, remember that whole “innocent until proven guilty” thing? Guys?

Article by David Cooper for The Star

Police forces across Ontario are being told to stop disclosing unproven allegations, withdrawn charges and 911 mental health calls in background checks shared with employers, volunteer organizations and U.S. border officials.

read more Your Daily Digital Digest for Monday, July 21, 2014

Your news links for today:

Come Back With a Warrant: How Will the Canadian Government Respond to the Supreme Court’s Reshaping of Privacy Law? – Michael Geist Security Backdoors and Surveillance Mechanisms Found in iOS Devices – iPhone in Canada Bell, Rogers Customers Claim To Be Billed After Cancelling Services – Huffington Post No One Is Paying Attention To The Way Wireless Companies Could Destroy Internet Freedom – Business insider All of a Sudden, Net Neutrality for Wireless is a Thing Now – Nonsense in Context Net neutrality in Europe: UK loses human rights in 2 days; why I research (Read more…) Ottawa Citizen: Good for privacy rights, good for business

Turns out being good for privacy is good for business too. Do you think this could get MacKay to rethink his online spying bill? Add to the pressure at

Article by the Ottawa Citizen Editorial Board

The change came late, and only after a Supreme Court ruling indicated which way the winds were blowing, but some of Canada’s largest telecommunications companies deserve praise for taking new steps to protect their customers’ privacy.

read more Motherboard: The Biggest Canadian Telecom Yet Is Forcing Police to Get a Warrant for Its Data

Thousands of Canadians spoke out after discovering that Big Telecom was routinely handing their private info over to government. Now, thanks to that pressure, two of Canada’s biggest Telecom companies are changing the way they handle your data.

Article by Ben Makuch for Motherboard

After revelations that Canadian authorities can access user data with little effort shook consumer confidence in internet service providers, one of Canada’s largest telecommunications companies has gone on the record saying it will no longer fork over user data to police without a warrant.

read more Gazette Vaudreuil-Soulanges Consumers and innovation are feeding local industry

This rural Quebec co-op is taking its technological future into its own hands. Do you think this model could be exported across Canada?

Article by Gazette Vaudreuil-Soulanges

Rigaud-based Coop CSUR began life as a grassroots alternative to major internet service providers who refused to provide high-speed internet access to rural sectors because of the infrastructure cost.

read more The Top 5 milestones in the fight to stop the Internet slow lane… this week.

Earlier this week, the United States Federal Communications Commission (or FCC) extended its deadline for initial comments on rules that would allow Big Telecom conglomerates to force all websites who can’t pay expensive fees for privileged access into an Internet slow lane. The reason for the delay? Internet users around the world spoke out in such great numbers that the FCC’s servers came crashing down.


Needless to say, it’s been a busy week in the fight for authentic net neutrality. So, to get us all up to speed on where the debate currently sits, we’ve summed up some of (Read more…)

. . . → Read More: The Top 5 milestones in the fight to stop the Internet slow lane… this week. “Dear Canada: Don’t do it! Love, Australia.”

“Dear Canada: Don’t do it! Love, Australia.” Guest blog by Cynthia Khoo

Like a heavily copyrighted message in a bottle floating up to the shores of this week’s Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations in Ottawa, Australia’s warning tells tales: do not let giant U.S. conglomerates mess with your intellectual property rights (IPR). At least, not if you care about the Internet and the future of sharing and collaborating online, not to mention innovation and the future of the public domain.

read more Your Daily Digital Digest for Friday, July 18, 2014

Your news links for today:

Twitter account highlights history of Ottawa staffers making Wiki edits – CTV News Poll showing most Canadians want pot laws relaxed kept secret by Harper government – Metro Ontario police’s Big Data assigns secret guilt to people looking for jobs, crossing borders – Boing Boing Good for privacy rights, good for business – Ottawa Citizen Apple deluged by police demands to decrypt iPhones – CNET Snowden: NSA employees routinely pass around intercepted nude photos – Ars Technica Rogers, Telus will no longer hand customer info to police without a warrant – CityNews Notice the Difference: (Read more…) Five things you did this past month to stop the TPP’s Internet Censorship plan

Our pro-Internet community has been busy this past month, taking on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) on home turf and standing up to powerful interests who want to see the trade agreement finalized before the end of the year.

Internet citizens across the globe are justified in their concerns about the process of the negotiations, which has been kept deliberately inaccessible to stakeholders, including civil society groups and our own elected officials. Criticism is also widespread over the contents of the agreement, which we are familiar with only through a year-old leaked draft from WikiLeaks, exposing the terms of the Intellectual (Read more…) 4 Canadians who have had their lives turned upside down because of Peter MacKay’s privacy deficit

It’s been a busy few months on privacy issues here at OpenMedia. Our small team has been campaigning hard on your behalf to secure effective legal protections that safeguard the privacy of every resident of Canada.

Recently we’ve seen a number of disturbing stories come to light that underline just how important this campaign is. It can sometimes be difficult for everyday Canadians to see privacy as an issue that impacts their everyday lives – when in fact the human consequences of privacy breaches can be immense.

Here are just a few concrete examples of Canadians who’ve had their lives (Read more…) City News: Rogers, Telus will no longer hand customer info to police without a warrant

Under pressure from thousands of Canadians, two of Canada’s telecom giants have announced they’ll no longer hand your private information over to the government without a warrant. Way to go, Canada and thanks for speaking out at!

Article by Jim Bronskill for City News

Two major telecommunications firms — Rogers and Telus — say they will no longer routinely give basic customer information to police and security agencies without first seeing a warrant.

read more Your Daily Digital Digest for Thursday, July 17, 2014

Your news links for today:

The World’s Next Major Trade Agreement Will Make NSA Spying Even Easier – VICE Motherboard Australian bill would jail those who report on leaked spying operations – Engadget Meet CISA – Dianne Feinstein’s Latest Attack on Privacy, Civil Liberties and the Internet – Liberty Blitzkrieg UN to Five Eyes nations: Your mass surveillance is breaking the law – The Register UN Human Rights Report and the Turning Tide Against Mass Spying – EFF Meet Marsha Blackburn, Big Telecom’s Best Friend in Congress – VICE Motherboard Congressman Who Was Against Protecting Net Neutrality Flips Sides After (Read more…) Google, Netflix, and Facebook ask FCC to intervene in fight over Internet ‘congestion’

We’re at a critical point in the fight to preserve the innovative, open Internet. Check out where the next battle lines will be drawn and learn more at The top 5 unexpected allies in the fight against the Internet Slow Lane

What do websites devoted to frat-boy humor, handmade and vintage clothes, and saving the environment all have in common? They’re all passionate about saving the Internet from being forced into a slow lane. No, we’re not kidding.

The fight to save the open Internet as we know it has found allies in unexpected places. And your OpenMedia team isn’t the first to notice this. As Michael Masnick writing for TechDirt notes, “It’s also been fantastic to see that a number of innovative startups have decided to speak out on how important an open and free internet is (Read more…) Alphabeatic: Wireless data prices and the collective cost to our intelligence

Is your wireless bill making you dumber towards the end of the month?

Article by Peter Nowak for Alphabeatic

It dawned on me recently that I tend to be dumber at the end of the month than at the beginning. It actually has nothing to do with lunar cycles, but everything to do with billing cycles. Specifically, my cellphone bill.

read more