Prog Blog’s Flickr Photostream 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…) Your Daily Digital Digest for Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Your news links for today:

It’s Time to Be Honest: Netflix Will Not Mean the End of Canadian Television – Michael Geist Viacom threatens to pull channels from Canadian TV over pick-and-pay – The Globe and Mail Here’s the single biggest thing holding Google Fiber back – The Washington Post How Come My ISP Won’t Increase Internet Speed and Lower My Bill, Like They Do in Sweden? – Motley Fool SaskTel: “Very Little That We Can Do” on Accidental Roaming Charges Near U.S. Border – iPhone in Canada Apple’s iPhone Encryption Is a Godsend, Even if Cops Hate It (Read more…) Canada’s Big Media wants to get even bigger – will Canadians pay the price?

One of Canada’s newspaper giants, Postmedia, has announced plans to purchase 175 English language newspapers and their associated online assets from telecom and media giant Quebecor. But late last night, The Globe and Mail revealed that the acquisition is being financed by a U.S.-based hedge fund specializing in junk bonds, and will give control over 42.5% of Canada’s daily newspapers over to foreign owners.

The $316 million dollar deal could take months to go through, pending approval from the Competition Bureau. But if it does, its impact will certainly be felt by Canadians. In many English-language markets (Read more…) Guest blog from Jesse Brown: Support CANADALAND, an indie podcast about the Canadian media

Yesterday, the Canadian media got a whole lot smaller and a tiny bit bigger.

The massive PostMedia newspaper chain gobbled up the massive SUN newspaper chain, further concentrating and consolidating our news media.

read more Your Daily Digital Digest for Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Your news links for today:

Postmedia could soon own almost every English newspaper in Canada. What could possibly go wrong? – The Tyee Quebecor Selling Media Assets to Fund Wireless Plans, Possible Stake in WIND Mobile: Analyst – iPhone in Canada Remembering Canada’s Double Data Promos – Howard Forums NYC: Beacons in public phones discovered, but will be removed – BGR Is Encrypting Phones OK? – Tim Bray Surveillance drives South Koreans to encrypted messaging apps – The Verge Europe and Australia’s backward step towards a police state – GIS Blog Google’s Eric Schmidt rejects criticism from Julian Assange, FBI (Read more…) Penticton Western News: Access My Info tool user gets rude surprise

You won’t believe what this Access My Info tool user found out about his customer service records. Try for yourself at

Article by Joe Fries for The Penticton Western News

After reading through nearly four years’ worth of notes made by Shaw customer service agents following their dealings with me, I’m feeling just a little sheepish.

read more The amazing Canadian service Canadians can’t use

Co-Authored with OpenMedia volunteer Darcy Paterson

Get this: Ting, a mobile service provider based in Canada, can’t sell its services to Canadians because the Big Three (Rogers, Bell, and Telus) are blocking them from operating in their home country.

read more Your Daily Digital Digest for Monday, October 6, 2014

Your news links for today:

The Canadian Wireless Market and the Big 3: It’s Always Been a Matter of Trust – Michael Geist Videotron to CRTC: Lower Wholesale Roaming Costs Will Help Expand Service to Canadians – iPhone in Canada iPhone Encryption and the Return of the Crypto Wars – Schneier on Security Why Apple’s iPhone encryption won’t stop NSA (or any other intelligence agency) – Silicon Exposed Oops: Cops Distributing Spyware To Families As “Internet Safety” Tool – Consumerist Animation explains the dangers of Computercop, the malware that US police agencies distribute to the public – Boing Boing NSA (Read more…) The Globe and Mail: Streaming TV isn’t going anywhere, so why is the CRTC pretending it doesn’t exist?

Google Chairman to CRTC: stop trying to stifle innovative new online TV services and let Internet users decide.

Article by Omar El Akkad for The Globe and Mail

Eric Schmidt has a message for Canada’s government: Back off and let consumers decide how they want to watch television.

read more Huffington Post: Vast majority of Canadians don’t want more online spying

New poll puts Peter MacKay and the government squarely on the opposite side of the people when it comes to online privacy. If you’ve had enough of govt spying, speak out at

Article by Daniel Tencer for The Huffington Post

Fewer than one in four Canadians support expanding the ability of law enforcement to access information about individuals’ internet usage, according to a new poll from Ipsos Reid.

read more It’s time to Unblock Canada’s wireless choices

Big Telecom is up to its old tricks again, blocking Canadians from affordable, innovative mobile services. Our own Danielle Gannon tells us what’s at stake and what you can do to fight back. Speak out at

read more Your Daily Digital Digest for Friday, October 3, 2014

Your news links for today:

A fiendish question – Timothy Denton’s Blog BCE announces successful completion of Bell Aliant common share tender offer, transaction on track to close on or about October 31 – Canada News Wire Regional carriers ask CRTC to ‘fine tune’ wholesale roaming rates – Globe and Mail Why the Broadband Industry Is Secretly Furious With Verizon Over Net Neutrality – National Journal Police want back doors in smartphones, but you never know who else will open them – Washington Post Librarians won’t stay quiet about government surveillance – Washington Post A majority of Canadians oppose giving (Read more…) Outrageous roaming fees and remarkable concentration. Canada’s mobile market has a long ways to go.

As you may have heard earlier this week, the Competition Bureau has revealed that the Big Three mobile providers (Bell, Rogers, and Telus) are systematically blocking new affordable options for Canadians. While this news may come as a shock to some, it is no secret that Canadians’ choice in mobile services has been limited to the Big Three incumbent players offerings for far too long.

For example, roaming fees in this country are out of control. On average, Canadians are paying nearly 260% more to roam outside the country than their global counterparts. And data roaming fees are equally outrageous. (Read more…) Ben Klass: Canadians deserve much better from the CRTC

Telecom researcher and OpenMedia community member Ben Klass was at today’s crucial CRTC hearing on the future of our wireless market. He posted his take on Facebook earlier, and we wanted to share with you all:

I was in the room at the CRTC Wireless hearing today, a year and a half after this video was shot. Sadly, after listening to Bell, Telus, and Rogers argue that the retail market is already competitive, that the CRTC has no business protecting consumers, and that Canadians don’t want more choice in the wireless market, I have to say: not much has changed.

(Read more…) Say what, Big Telecom?

From our archives: Big Telecom says the darndest things.

read more Globe and Mail: Peter MacKay is beating a dead horse

Peter MacKay’s online spying Bill C-13 is not likely to pass constitutional muster and has drawn the ire of tens of thousands of Canadians for its privacy-invading implications. So why is MacKay pushing the Bill through Parliament?

Article by Josh Wingrove for The Globe and Mail

A federal cyberbullying bill that includes controversial new surveillance powers – and immunity for telecommunications companies that voluntarily hand over private data to police – has taken another step toward becoming law, despite a recent Supreme Court ruling that critics say is at odds with the bill.

read more Your Daily Digital Digest for Thursday, October 2, 2014

Your news links for today:

Rogers to CRTC: $28 Million Spent Weekly to Maintain Network; Market is Competitive – iPhone in Canada CRTC in ‘strange’ bind: Ottawa has already set roaming rate caps – Globe and Mail SaskTel releases 2013 transparency report – SaskTel Cyberbullying bill C-13 moves on despite Supreme Court decision – Globe and Mail Government Goes for the “Head in the Sand” Approach on Voluntary Warrantless Disclosures – Michael Geist CRTC should let consumers decide future of TV, Google’s Schmidt says – Globe and Mail The game’s over. Hands off my Netflix – Globe and Mail “The (Read more…) Canadians call on decision-makers at crucial public hearing to fix our broken wireless market and Unblock Canada


Tired of high wireless bills, Canadians want action from regulators to stop the Big Three blocking more affordable, independent wireless services

October 2, 2014 – Following official confirmation that the Big Three are keeping wireless prices artificially high, Canadians are pushing back against sky high wireless bills and want unfettered access to affordable alternatives. On Monday, the Competition Bureau told regulators that the Big Three cell phone giants are overcharging their independent rivals and using market power to distort prices. Telus responded by saying more choice and lower prices would be bad for cell phone customers and suggested (Read more…) Oh Peter, again with the spying? #forserious

So remember that time that the government tried to pass a law that would grant telecoms immunity for handing Canadians’ private information over to government agencies without a warrant?

And remember how tens of thousands of outraged Canadians spoke out against the Bill and told the government that they don’t want their privacy invaded?

And remember how even the government’s hand-picked Privacy Commissioner – whose impartiality on privacy issues was, frankly, questionable – told the government that they should split the Bill up to better review the constitutionality of the privacy clauses?

read more Big Telecom just can’t stop blocking choice in Canada’s wireless market

If we had a dollar for every ridiculous statement from Big Telecom PR reps, I’m quite sure OpenMedia wouldn’t ever need to fundraise again. Here’s the most recent example: at a public hearing, Telus reps actually said lower prices and more choice will be bad for Canadians.

Telecom giants are even threatening to make telecom services worse for rural Canadians if decision-makers stop them from blocking our access to indie providers.

read more Carpe Internet: creating the web we want

This June I joined the OpenMedia team as the Campaigns Coordinator for Free Expression. One of my first tasks was setting to work on the Our Digital Future report, a crowdsourced document for moving free expression forward in the 21st century. As the newest member of the troupe fighting Internet injustice, I was incredibly lucky to inherit a project with such amazing potential.

The Our Digital Future report comes straight from Internet users. It pulls together the input of over 40,000 people from 155 countries worldwide who told us they were concerned about both the future of how we share (Read more…)