Hitting Milestones: Weekly News Update from OpenMedia.ca

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Hi I'm Lindsey and this is your Weekly News Update from OpenMedia.ca

We've got lots of news today: a milestone, some Big Telecom ridiculousness, and a reason for the pro-Internet movement's members to be hopeful.

First, some good news! Since we last spoke, the StopTheTrap.net campaign hit its first major milestone. Not ten thousand, not fifty thousand, but one hundred thousand -strong against the TPP's Internet trap. That's right- so many of you have added your name and taken the crucial step of spreading the word that if each person who signed represented a meter in height, we'd technically be in space.

Anyway. Thanks so much to all of you who have gone above and beyond in ensuring that those in your network know about this secretive and extreme international agreement, and about how to take action. And a related thank you to those who have chipped in to make the campaign a success—I think you'll be excited by what you're helping us build. Let's keep going!

In other news, Big Telecom giant Rogers pushed forward in its attempts to get court approval to lie to Canadians. I'm not exaggerating. After being called out for making false claims in its ads, this industry giant is using its might to try to convince the Ontario Superior Court that its freedom of speech rights—which, may I mention, are for people, not Big Telecom—should allow them to put out misleading information. Classy, right?

As the Competition Bureau fights against Rogers to retain its right to impose financial penalties for..you know..lying, we also now know that the Bureau is looking into Bell's takeover of Astral Media. You can check out last week's update for details on that, but in short, this hike in concentration means fewer media and telecom choices, higher prices, and less opportunity for free speech. And it's a good thing it's going to get some scrutiny.

Finally, I'd like to wrap up this update on a positive, encouraging note. After a long battle, the global pro-Internet community saw a victory last week as the U.S. online spying bill CISPA was defeated on the Senate floor. Like Canada's online spying bill C-30, CISPA would give the U.S. government access to their residents' personal data with few restrictions or privacy safeguards.

We at OpenMedia.ca are incredibly proud to have helped the Canadian pro-Internet community be a part of this, and we're also insanely proud of our American cohorts who headed up the campaign down south, including the ACLU, the EFF, the Center for Democracy and Technology, DemandProgress, Fight for the Future, Free Press, and more. Clearly warrantless online spying is pretty unpopular.

Overall we do still have a long way to go before we've secured an open and surveillance-free Internet around the world, but the progress so far is truly remarkable.

For the Internet, this is Lindsey with OpenMedia.ca signing off.

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