What are they up to in Bali?

This is from an email from OpenMedia:

In less than a week nearly 100,000 people have signed on to our letter to Stephen Harper and other leaders telling them not to ram through an Internet censorship plan when they meet in Bali.

But now the industry lobbyists behind the Internet censorship plan are ramping up the pressure by publicly urging leaders to not “soften” amidst the public outcry.1

Can you believe that?

We need your help to take the next step to expose this Internet censorship plan before our leaders buckle under the pressure. Can you contribute now so we can step up a multi-faceted citizen awareness campaign before it’s too late?

Once the public knows about the Internet Censorship in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), it will be almost impossible for political leaders to put this plan in place. We need to make sure Canadians know what’s at stake.

Here’s our plan to amplify your voice:

  • Unleash a massive and highly targeted social media campaign to overwhelm political leaders with citizen messages that they cannot ignore. We know the media and politicians pay attention to this.
  • Get the word out in communities across Canada with our powerful, easy-to-use “Letter to the Editor” tool, putting citizen voices in local newspapers, significantly amplifying your voices, and ramping up the pressure on decision makers.

We can only take this next step if you chip in right now. Any amount will help; are you able to pitch in today to make sure Harper gets the message?

With your support, we’ll be able to show Stephen Harper how unpopular this extreme Internet censorship plan is, and prove that there will be a price to pay for it at election time.

We can stop this extreme Internet censorship plan by standing together to send a clear message to our government. Your donations power our efforts to keep fighting against Internet censorship – we can’t move forward without your help now.

Together, we are going to stop the TPP’s Internet censorship from stifling Canada’s future and knocking people off the Internet.

Thank you for being a part of this,

Steve and Jason, on behalf of your team

PS Together, there are hundreds of thousands of us; if each of us gave just $3, we’d be able to send a message that our political leaders can’t ignore.



[1] “US Business groups warn against compromises in Pacific Rim trade talks”. Source: Financial Times (paywall) – “Among his key concerns, Mr Donohue said, were that the US would soften its push for strong intellectual property rules…” is a non-profit organization that relies on donations from people like you to operate. Our small but dedicated team ensures even the smallest contributions go a long way to make your voice heard. Please donate today.

We are an award-winning network of people and organizations working to safeguard the possibilities of the open Internet. We work toward informed and participatory digital policy. You can follow us on Twitter, and like us on Facebook.

Telecom giants and repressive regimes are teaming up to use a little-known UN agency to make the Internet more expensive, surveilled, and censored.

From OpenMedia:

Wow. Telecom giants and repressive regimes are teaming up to use a little-known UN agency to make the Internet more expensive,1 surveilled,2 and censored.3

We need you to take a stand as part of a global community right now.

Internet freedom means connection with loved ones, open innovation, and free expression without interference by Big Telecom or repressive governments. All this is under threat right now, but you can make a difference in just a few seconds.

You are part of what’s shaping up to be the largest movement in history, and the stakes couldn’t be higher.

We’re already working together globally to stop new Internet restrictions from being imposed through trade deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP),4 and we’ve taken massive strides in Canada to push back against Big Telecom’s price-gouging activities.5 This kind of success is unique and inspiring, and it’s something you should be proud of.

Please don’t let them take it away from you – raise your voice now.

Thank you so much for being a part of this,

Steve, on behalf of your OpenMedia Team

P.S. Whether it’s stopping Big Telecom price-gouging and online surveillance in Canada, or opening the secret negotiations of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) to citizen comments, we’re bringing the pro-Internet community together to amplify your voice. Our community can only continue to be successful with stable support; you can help by becoming an Ally.



[1] See our blog, ITU proposals threaten Internet freedom and access, or the Center for Democracy and Technology’s Two Page Memo on Telecom Operators Proposal for New Internet Charging Scheme [PDF]

[2] See our blog, UN proposals threaten the Internet as we know it, or the Wired magazine article, The Kremlin’s New Internet Surveillance Plan Goes Live Today

[3] See GigaOM: Is the UN the next big threat to Internet freedom?

[4] See the successes with the campaign so far listed in this recent letter to supporters: It’s time to amplify our voice against the TPP’s Internet trap

[5] See our infographic about the famous campaign here, or learn more about how we recently pushed for (and won) transparency around Big Telecom’s costs here.

Support is a non-profit organization that relies on donations from people like you to operate. Our small but dedicated team ensures even the smallest contributions go a long way to make your voice heard. Please donate today.

From OpenMedia

This is from an email I received today from OpenMedia:

Imagine a world where you could be dragged to court and receive a large fine for simply clicking on the wrong link, where service providers would hand over information about your online activities without privacy safeguards, and where online content could be removed by big media conglomerates at will.

This scenario could become a reality before we know it. In just a few days1, a group of 600 lobbyist “advisors” and un-elected trade representatives are scheming behind closed doors 2 to decide how the Internet will be governed, including whether you could get fined for your Internet use.3 Instead of debating this openly, they’re meeting secretly to craft an Internet trap through an international agreement called the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).4 Our government just signed Canada onto this arrangement, without our consent.5

In short, it appears that it will be big-media lobbyists—not citizens—who get to decide whether Canadians will be fined as suspected copyright criminals. Please help us raise a loud call before it’s too late. Visit:

We know from leaked documents6 that industry lobbyists intend to blanket these new restrictions and laws around the world, without us having any say in the matter. How can they do this?

Instead of an open, public process, they’ll use international tribunals to go around domestic judicial systems.7 And once the trap is set, there’s no going back. That’s why and SumOfUs are launching this campaign today.

Here are the details—the TPP’s Internet trap would:

  1. Criminalize some of your everyday use of the Internet,8
  2. Force service providers to collect and hand over your private data without privacy safeguards9, and
  3. Give media conglomerates more power to fine you for Internet use, remove online content—including entire websites—and even terminate your access to the Internet.10

The TPP is secretive, it’s extreme, and it will criminalize your daily use of the Internet.
Don’t let Big Media lobbyists lure you into this Internet trap. Speak out now.

We deserve to know what will be blocked, and what we and our families will be fined for. If enough of us speak out now, we can prevent the Canadian government from slow-walking us into an Internet trap. Make your voice heard today.

For the possibilities of an open Internet,

Steve, Shea, Lindsey, and Reilly—your OpenMedia team

P.S. We’ve been through a lot together. Industry and government bureaucracies have tried to make Canada’s Internet more costly, controlled, and surveilled. We fought back together and successfully held the line. Now some of those same bureaucracies are going around our democratic processes to impose an Internet trap through this extreme and secretive trade agreement. Let’s take the next step to safeguard the open and affordable Internet together now.


[1] The next round of TPP negotiations will take place between July 2nd and July 9th 2012. The meetings remain controversially secretive without meaningful public participation while, according to U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, industry lobbyists from Big Media entities like Comcast and the Motion Picture Association of America are “made privy to details of the agreement”.

[2] The TPP suffers from a lack of transparency, public participation, and democratic accountability. In this letter, a number of U.S. civil society organizations detail and decry the opacity of the process.

[3] See the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s analysis to learn more about the ways the TPP increases the threat of litigation from Big Media. Under the TPP, Big Media could come after you in court even “without the need for a formal complaint by a private party or right holder”.

[4] Find our backgrounder on the TPP here, and our press release about Ottawa’s irresponsible participationhere.

[5] On Tuesday, June 19, 2012, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced that Canada would join the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

[6] Public interest groups have obtained the February 2011 draft of the TPP’s Intellectual Property Rights Chapter. In it, we can see that the TPP would drastically increase Internet surveillance, increase Big Media’s Internet lockdown powers, and criminalize content sharing in general, with a likelihood of harsher penalties.

[7] The recently leaked investment chapter of the TPP reveals that the TPP would establish a two-track legal system that gives foreign firms new rights to skirt domestic courts and laws, directly sue governments before foreign tribunals and demand compensation for laws they claim undermine their TPP privileges.

[8] In addition to the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s analysis, also see Public Knowledge’s run down of concerns with The TPP IP chapter’s criminalization of downloading.

[9,10] See’s list of the TPP’s effects on the intellectual property law in Canada and Mexico for more information on penalties, privacy implications, and also Public Knowledge: What’s actually in the TPP?


OpenMedia: Who’s on your side?

From OpenMedia:

Canadians have been raising a loud national call for every MP to stand against costly and invasive online spying. Thanks to the pro-Internet community, the video at went viral and got national news coverage from CBC,1 among others.

The response so far has exceeded our expectations: Over sixty MPs have signed up as Pro-Privacy politicians through our online tool. We have a real opportunity right now to tip the scales in favour of our online rights.

We need to act quickly. Public Safety Minister Vic Toews, far from backing down, is pushing for a renewed multi-faceted scheme to erode Canadians’ online privacy rights: Toews has also quietly been working on a deal with the U.S. known as “Perimeter Security”, which could lead to the U.S. government having access to your private data.2

We have momentum now, with over sixty MPs—nearly two-thirds of opposition MPs—on our side. Let’s seize this crucial moment and turn up the heat on the government.

Tell your MP that you want them to speak out strongly about this issue by sending them a message now.

Thank you for all that you do to safeguard the open, affordable, surveillance-free Internet.


Steve and Lindsey, on behalf of your team

P.S. You can see exactly which MPs are on your side, and which are not, using our new Pro-Privacy MP display tool here:

P.P.S. We were only able to build this online Pro-Privacy MP tool for you because people from across the country chipped in to make it happen. Please help our small team continue to do this kind of work by making a contribution today.

[1] CBC News: Online surveillance bill opponents continue campaign
[2] Huffington Post: Canadians’ Online Habits Could Soon Be Available To U.S. Government Without Warrant, Critics Say

OpenMedia: Warrantless online spying is back on!

From an email from OpenMedia:

Instead of listening to you and the other 117,000 Canadians who demanded an end to the Online Spying bill, the government is going on the PR offensive with a one-two punch.

You won’t believe this: With one side of their mouth, they’ve leaked stories1 falsely suggesting that they are standing down. With the other, Public Safety Minister Vic Toews has shot back with op-eds2, misleading mass emails3, and speeches in Parliament that aggressively defend the bill4.

There’s only a small window of opportunity for MPs to put a stop to warrantless online spying.

Will you call on your MP to use our new tool to stand with Canadians today?

Over 117,000 Canadians from across the political spectrum have signed the Stop Online Spying petition, and many of you took to Twitter to raise your voices. Because of your efforts, the opposition parties and several Conservative MPs5 have come out against the costly online spying plan.

Yet Vic Toews has still not apologized for misleading Canadians; he’s even continued to use our children as political cover for this poorly thought-out legislation.

Let’s push back. Now is the time to tell your MP to stand with us against warrantless online spying—every action makes all of our voices louder.

We know from experience that MPs get the message when contacted by local constituents. It makes sense: they’re acutely aware that elections are won riding by riding. This means that together, as a wide-reaching grassroots community, we have power.

This can only work if we raise our voices together. Please take a second to tell your MP to stand with us as a Pro-Privacy politician.

Our efforts together have so far forced the government to delay their online spying plan. Let’s take the next step.

For the Internet,

Shea and Lindsey, on behalf of your team

P.S. Thanks to all of you who contributed when we asked for help in scaling up our campaign. The tools and actions we’re offering now are only possible because of your generous support. We’ll send all of you contributors a special report back soon to show what you made possible. If you haven’t chipped in yet, you can still do so here.



[1] See our press release, Government to Stall the Online Spying Bill
[2] Find one of Toews’ more recent op-eds, which he submitted to Postmedia News, here.
[3] See Mythbusting the mythbusting: Our response to Vic Toews’ email to Canadians
[4] Watch Vic Toews’ February 28th speech in the House of Commons here, and our video mash-up debunking his points here.
[5] Source: National Post. Conservative MPs who have expressed concerns with the online spying bill include New Brunswick MP John Williamson, Calgary MP Rob Anders, and Ontario MP David Tilson.