We Must Continue: Weekly News Update from OpenMedia.ca

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Hi I'm Lindsey and this is your weekly news update from OpenMedia.ca.

This week, a CRTC decision brings us a step closer to affordability and Big Telecom transparency. And we have an update about online spying bill C-30 ..no seriously, the thing just won't go away.

First, the newest pro-Internet decision from the CRTC will force Big Telecom to reveal more of its costing process to the public. What does that mean? Well when we've gone up against Big Telecom to push for more affordability and competition in the Internet service market, we've always been at a huge disadvantage because of the huge amount of information Big Telecom is allowed to keep secret.

My favourite example comes from the hearings on usage-based billing (also known as Internet metering), where public interest groups and indie ISPs weren't even allowed to know how much it costs Big Telecom to route a gigabyte of data – that is, how much Canadians and indie ISPs are really being price-gouged.

The CRTC's decision puts some of this formerly confidential, hugely useful information on the public record.

This comes after two other public-interest decisions from the CRTC: one to create national rules to protect cell phone users, and of course the blocking of Big Telecom company Bell's attempt to take over Astral media. Thanks to all of you—the pro-Internet community—we're seeing a fundamental shift in the CRTC's priorities, which puts citizens first. Yes indeed.

Unfortunately, in other news, it appears that not all authorities are as willing to recognize citizens' needs for a vibrant digital future.

Remember the bill that would allow for warrantless online spying on all Canadians? Remember how, together, we raised a ruckus through the StopSpying.ca petition, by calling our MPs to take a stand, by taking out ads in Public Safety Minister Vic Toews' riding asking him to do the right thing, by participating in the Twitter conversation using creative hashtags like #TellVicEverything, by sharing the opinions of Canada's leading legal and privacy experts, including every single privacy commissioner as they spoke out against this Bill C-30 ..I could go on.

Well we did all of that. We stated our case clearly: citizens oppose the creation of giant, expensive, unsecured data registries that collect the private information of any Canadian, at any time, without a warrant. And with that, the now-famously unpopular bill was stopped in its tracks.

Or so we thought. The bill, as you may know, is still in Parliamentary limbo— stuck between its First Reading and the Committee Stage—but still on the table. The government hasn't committed to scrapping or amending it. And now, this week, the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police--ignoring the battle that was already fought and the existing refutations to their points--came out in the media and renewed their support for this invasive, costly, poorly thought-out online spying bill.

If you haven't yet or haven't in a while, head on over to openmedia.ca/stand, and remind your MP that you want them to stand with Canada as a pro-privacy politician. As has been plainly shown by our effects so far, your voice matters.

With that, for the Internet, this is Lindsey with OpenMedia.ca signing off.

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