Prog Blog’s Flickr Photostream Motherboard: Many rural Canadians still living with dial-up

Our own Chris Malmo explains why rural Canadians have little to look forward to in the government’s recent Digital 150 broadband announcement.

Article by Chris Malmo for Motherboard

The Canadian government just announced the next step in its Digital Canada 150 plan to bring “high-speed internet to an additional 280,000 homes” in mostly rural area.

read more Your Daily Digital Digest for Friday, October 17, 2014

Your news links for today:

The Tories and the TV networks: Who is censoring whom? – Macleans Who Do Copyright Laws Really Protect? – The Tyee Latest TPP Leak Shows US Still Pushing Terrible DRM and Copyright Term Proposals—and New Threats Arise – EFF Leaked TPP Draft Reveals Tough Anti-Piracy Measures – TorrentFreak Canadians paying more for communications services: CRTC – Globe and Mail CRTC report shows cost of cable, telecom services increasing – CBC News We’re paying more for cable, wireless, Internet and phone – MoneySense Conservatives to give spy agency more powers to track terrorism suspects – Globe (Read more…) We’re taking your voice straight to an FCC Commissioner who could stop the Internet slow lane

We just found out we have a rare and unique opportunity to take your voice straight to decision-makers who have the power to stop Big Telecom’s Internet slow lane plan.

Our Founder and Executive Director, Steve Anderson, will be holding a one-on-one meeting with FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn at an international conference taking place in Ottawa next week. And want to know what you would like us to say to her.

read more Ask Glenn Greenwald Anything!

If you’ve been following this space, you might already know that OpenMedia is sponsoring a talk with Glenn Greenwald in Ottawa on October 25. Greenwald is the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author most famous for his ground-breaking reporting on the Edward Snowden documents that revealed the NSA’s mass digital surveillance of U.S. citizens. Glenn will be discussing privacy, state surveillance, and the impact of spying on Canadians in his talk, and will finish the evening with a question-and-answer session with audience members.

Tickets are still available, but if you can’t make it or don’t live in the area, (Read more…) New report from CRTC confirms Canadian telecom sector remains dominated by large conglomerates, keeping prices high and blocking Canadians from new affordable options


Despite promises from government to encourage greater choice and affordability, new report confirms Canadians are still being price-gouged by telecom giants

October 16, 2014 – On the heels of recent official confirmation that the Big Three are keeping wireless prices artificially high, the Canadian Radio-Television Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has released the annual Communications Monitoring Report for 2014, which provides an overview of the Canadian communications sector. The report confirms that Canadians have been hit with a year-to-year increase of 3.2% in costs for telecom services, despite government promises of lower prices.

The report shows Canada has a (Read more…) Leaked draft confirms TPP will censor Internet and stifle Free Expression worldwide


October 16, 2014 – This morning Wikileaks published a second leaked draft of the Intellectual Property chapter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The draft confirms people’s worst fears about Internet censorship. That’s according to community-based organization OpenMedia, which is leading a large international Fair Deal Coalition aimed at securing balanced copyright rules for the 21st Century.

“It is hugely disappointing to see that, yet again, Canadians – and members of the public worldwide – have to be informed about these critical issues through leaked drafts, instead of through democratic engagement on the part of governments and elected officials,” (Read more…) Your Daily Digital Digest for Thursday, October 16, 2014

Your news links for today:

Updated Secret Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) – IP Chapter (second publication) – WikiLeaks New TPP Leak: Canada Emerges as Leading Opponent of U.S. Intellectual Property Demands – Michael Geist Communications Monitoring Report 2014 – CRTC CSIS getting more powers to track suspected terrorists as details emerge of new federal anti-terror bill – National Post On Leak Prosecutions, Obama Takes it to 11. (Or Should We Say 526?) – American Civil Liberties Union NYFF: Edward Snowden Doc ‘Citizenfour’ Reveals Existence of Second NSA Whistleblower – Hollywood Reporter Copyright, the Internet and why it matters (Read more…) CBC: Big Telecom needs a lesson in statistics

Big Telecom tried to convince the CRTC that Canadians have the second-fastest mobile Internet speeds in the world. The problem? Those speeds were based on advertisements, not reality. When will Big Telecom get real and stop gouging and misleading Canadians?

Article by Sophia Harris for the CBC

Arguments by Telus against increased competition in the Canadian wireless sector include misleading statistics that don’t reflect reality, critics charge.

read more Government’s digital strategy props up Big Telecom giants at expense of rural Canadians


In response to this morning’s announcement by Industry Minister James Moore regarding funding for Internet service providers (ISPs) looking to expand broadband services into rural and remote parts of Canada, Campaigns Coordinator, Josh Tabish, said:

“While we welcome any measure that would improve Internet service for rural Canadians who have long suffered from poor service and sky-high prices, we are sad to see public funds continue to prop up Big Telecom providers who have been under-serving and over-charging Canadians for years. Simply handing over taxpayer money to these giants won’t solve our national digital deficit. (Read more…) Your Daily Digital Digest for Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Your news links for today:

Telus speed claims not based on real-world experience – CBC News Shaw’s solution to my slow internet: Just downgrade! – reddit Rogers tipped as a qualified bidder to takeover the day-to-day operations of the Ontario lottery business – Mobile Syrup Revealed: ISPs Already Violating Net Neutrality To Block Encryption And Make Everyone Less Safe Online – Techdirt Government Opens Door to Major Changes to Digital Privacy Bill – Michael Geist NSA agents may have infiltrated the global communications industry – Boing Boing Mass internet surveillance threatens international law, UN report claims – The Guardian Glenn (Read more…) This CEO wants Canada to know something about its mobile market

Top Canadian entrepreneur Elliot Noss has this message for the CRTC: “Everybody in the country is overpaying.” Help us Unblock Canada at

read more Global study finds citizens want balanced copyright rules that respect creators, prioritize free expression, and reject Internet censorship


OpenMedia launches report crowdsourced from over 300,000 people in 155 countries worldwide. The findings are a direct challenge to the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership where extreme proposals to censor the Internet are being created in near-total secrecy

October 15, 2014 – Citizens from across the globe want balanced copyright rules that are shaped democratically, respect creators, and prioritize free expression. That’s the message of Our Digital Future: A Crowdsourced Agenda for Free Expression, a new report launched today by community-based OpenMedia. The overall consultation process took place over 2 years engaging 300,000 people from Australia to Vietnam.

The (Read more…) Your Daily Digital Digest for Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Your news links for today:

Attack Ads, Copyright, and Collusion: Have Canada’s Major Broadcasters Violated the Competition Act? – Ariel Katz Much Ado About Copyright, Campaigns and Political Ads – Excess Copyright Broadcaster Copyright Misuse and Collusion?: Why Criticism Over the Government’s Political Ad Copyright Exception May Be Pointed in the Wrong Direction – Michael Geist Political Attack Ads May Be Noxious, but Copyright Isn’t the Right Tool to Stop Them – Michael Geist Cyberbullying bill inches closer to law despite privacy concerns – CBC News SaskTel’s 2013 Transparency Report Reveals 11,857 Information Requests from Authorities – iPhone in (Read more…) Globe and Mail: Cable giants stomping their feet at the CRTC

Rather than listening to Canadians, this American cable giant is throwing a hissy fit over the possibility of pick-and-pay TV coming to Canada.

Article by James Bradshaw for The Globe and Mail

American media giant Viacom Inc. is threatening to move its television stations off the dial and onto an online streaming service if the federal broadcast regulator forces cable and satellite companies to offer channels on a “pick-and-pay” basis.

read more CTV: The government wants to use news footage to create attack ads

This government has no problem with censorship when it comes in the form of massive, secretive trade agreements like the TPP, but when news agencies make it harder for them to create political attack ads, well, that’s just going too far. Anyone else see a problem here?

Article by CTV

Canada’s news agencies “should not have the ability to censor” political messaging, the federal government said Thursday, in response to questions about its plans to change this country’s copyright law.

read more Vancouver Sun: You won’t believe how much Canadians are spending on data

Canadians spend the second-highest amount of time on the Internet in the world. Increasingly, much of that time is spent on mobile devices, and Big Telecom is using that trend to gouge us on cellular data prices. Isn’t it time we caught a break?

Article by Michael Oliveira for The Vancouver Sun

Canadians are on the verge of passing a major mobile milestone, according to measurement firm comScore.

read more Together, we made President Obama speak out on the Internet slow lane

It looks like we did it. After our meeting with senior White House officials two weeks ago, U.S. President Barack Obama has spoken out against Big Telecom’s Internet slow lane plan, and voiced support for the open Internet and real net neutrality.

This is a crucial development in the fight to safeguard the open Internet. Obama has the power to stop the slow lane plane, and we need to ensure he doesn’t buckle under pressure from Big Telecom lobbyists.

read more Even an ex-CRTC Commissioner thinks Big Telecom is out of control

Former CRTC Commissioner, Timothy Denton, is speaking his mind about a recent public hearing on the future of Canada’s wireless sector. In a recent blog post, the CRTC stalwart argued that it’s time for decision-makers to do the right thing, and rein in Big Telecom giants that are blocking our access to independent, affordable new providers.

In his post, he criticizes the immense power that the Big Three mobile providers – Bell, Rogers, and Telus – have over Canada’s wireless market, arguing that they essentially “…control every condition of the competitors’ businesses”. You can see our Executive Director, (Read more…) Your Daily Digital Digest for Friday, October 10, 2014

Your news links for today:

Statement by Industry Minister James Moore on the Consultation on Policy Changes in the 3500 MHz Band – Canada News Centre 4% of Canadian Internet users now only use mobile devices to go online: comScore – Vancouver Sun Government claims copyright law changes would be in ‘public interest’ – CTV News ‘Cord Shaving’ Results in Viewership Drop for Biggest Channels – DSL Reports States and corporations grab for reins of the Internet – One Neutrality Point Everyone Agrees on: There Will Be Lawsuits – DSL Reports Police Act Furious About Encrypted Phones But (Read more…) Michael Geist: Netflix and CanCon CAN get along

Will Netflix sound the death knell on Canadian content? This expert thinks not.

Article by Michael Geist

The Globe and Mail’s Simon Houpt ran a column over the weekend titled It’s Time to be Honest: Netflix is Parasitic. The piece received some positive commentary on Twitter, with some suggesting that it provided a counter-view to the Netflix support that has prevailed publicly and politically for several weeks in Canada. Houpt uses some effective imagery (Netflix as a Wal-Mart or Costco behemoth that will lay waste to Canadian film producers in the same way that the retail giants take out “mom (Read more…) Ben Klass to CRTC: Unblock Canada

Check out community member Ben Klass presenting to the CRTC about Big Telecom blocking affordable options for Canadians.

read more Every Canadian should benefit from sensible copyright rules, not just political parties


Responding to the government’s proposal to carve our copyright exemptions for political parties, Executive Director Steve Anderson said:

“Copyright laws should never be used to stifle free political expression. However, this government is shamefully trying to carve out a self-serving, narrow exception that would only benefit political parties, while excluding the free expression rights of everyday citizens. Every Canadian should benefit from sensible fair use rules that enable us to express our views freely.”

“It is also deeply hypocritical for the government to oppose copyright laws that undermine their narrow political interests, while at the (Read more…) Your Daily Digital Digest for Thursday, October 9, 2014

Your news links for today:

Fact sheet: Lawful access and online surveillance – Canadian Internet Forum PDF Google’s Schmidt: Government surveillance could kill the internet – The Inquirer The most important national-security secrets case you’ve never heard of – The Guardian FBI Pays Visit to Researcher Who Revealed Yahoo Hack – WIRED Adobe Spyware Reveals (Again) the Price of DRM: Your Privacy and Security – EFF Conservatives to change copyright law, allowing free use of news content in political ads – CTV News The Government’s Political Advertising Copyright Exception: Fine Print Shows Proposal Privileges Politicians’ Speech Rights Over the Public (Read more…) Georgia Straight: The popularity of Bitcoin continues to grow

Have you purchased your morning cuppa using Bitcoin yet? Let us know in the comments below!

Article by Stephen Hui for the Georgia Straight

Vancouver Entrepreneur Lisa Cheng goes out of her way to eat and shop at businesses that allow customers to pay with Bitcoin.

“Because I’ve been living off of Bitcoin for about a year, it’s way more easier for me to go and use Bitcoin at a place than having to convert it to Canadian cash or a debit card,” Cheng told the Georgia Straight over lunch at Bestie (105 East Pender Street), a German-inspired sausage parlour (Read more…) Geist: “Trust us, things are just fine,” says Big Telecom.

With the Big Three arguing that Canadians don’t need more wireless choice, expert Michael Geist looks at Big Telecom’s long history of broken promises. Who do you trust when it comes to the future of Canada’s cellphone market? You can speak out at

Article by Michael Geist

Fresh off the contentious hearing on the future of television regulation, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission jumped back into the fire last week with a hearing on the wireless market that focused on whether changes are needed to the wholesale market to improve competition.

The Big 3 – Bell, Telus, (Read more…)