opensource1.jpg

A Notable Absence: Weekly News Update from OpenMedia.ca

See video

If you noticed some excitement in the air on Monday, it may have been because Parliament has just resumed for the fall! Already, the pro-Internet community has one thing to be proud of this time around: the Conservative Government's legislative agenda for the fall includes several bills, with one notable exclusion: online spying Bill C-30.

A quick refresher: this is the bill that would allow authorities to force ISPs to create giant, costly, unsecured data registries, and hand over the private information of any Canadian, at any time, without a warrant.

Its exclusion from this season's priority list is a neat little victory for the thousands of you who signed the StopSpying.ca petition, spread the word about the bill, or called on MPs to take a stand.

In other news, the CRTC's hearing about Bell's takeover of Astral media ended on Friday. It'll be a while yet before the CRTC decides whether to let Bell proceed—they're saying up to forty-five days—but thanks to those signing and sharing the petition at StopTheTakeover.ca, the Commission knows that Canadians are paying attention, and that they are expected to rule in the public interest.

A final twist came as the Competition Bureau stated on Monday that they had been watching the proceeding closely, and that they are (and I quote) "increasingly concerned about vertical integration and its effect on competition."

Like the CRTC, the Competition Bureau is in a position to block Bell's takeover. They could say yes; say yes, with amendments; or reject the merger outright.

However, Canada's Competition Commissioner Melanie Aitken—who has a history of standing up to Big Telecom, including slapping Bell, Rogers, and Telus with a lawsuit for "misleading advertising" about texting services just last week—completes her term on Friday. Though this could have implications for the Bureau's decision, Aitken assured the Globe and Mail that her departure won't keep the Bureau from examining of the takeover.

That's your update for this week. For the Internet, this is Lindsey with OpenMedia.ca signing off.

More in OpenSource

Our Best Plans: weekly news update from OpenMedia

Another round of negotiations around the Trans-Pacific Partnership or TPP—an international agreement that we're calling an "Internet trap"—finished in Singapore last week. Now many of you know that...

Stopping the internet meter: weekly news update from OpenMedia.ca

This past Thursday, the CRTC made their final decision in this Stop The Meter saga: people can now rest easy bout usage-based billing.

Canadians need more cell phone plan choices: update from OpenMedia.ca

Lack of competition in the Canadian market means that more big companies like Rogers can keep gouging customers with high fees.
Speak up about this article on Facebook or Twitter. Do this by liking Vancouver Observer on Facebook or following us @Vanobserver on Twitter. We'd love to hear from you.