This Could Be Disastrous: Weekly Update from OpenMedia.ca
Here's Lindsey with your update:
Canada has just signed onto the secretive TPP agreement, putting our privacy rights, our free speech, and our online choice at risk. In short, this could be disastrous! But the international pro-Internet community is coming together, so act now here, and stay tuned for news on how you can do more.
For the Internet,
- The OpenMedia.ca Team
Yesterday, the government put Canada’s digital future at risk by signing on to the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP). This secretive international trade agreement will give Big Media conglomerates new powers to lock users out of our own content and services, provide new liabilities that might force ISPs to police our online activity, and give giant media companies even greater powers to shut down websites and remove content at will. To make matters worse these unpopular Internet restrictions will be cemented into place through international tribunals that circumvent domestic judicial systems.
The TPP agreement will lock down our Internet and shackle our democracy. The agreement will be hammered out through secret backroom meetings between industry lobbyists and un-elected “trade representatives”. Altogether, the TPP would fundamentally change the Internet, severely limit free expression, and hogtie innovators.
We’ve been hearing from Canadians and the pro-Internet community abroad that we should get involved to help everyone defend their digital rights. Canada’s pro-Internet community stopped a full-scale takeover of our Internet by Big Telecom giants, and together we’ve managed to force the government to put its online spying plan on hold. If we work together we can have an impact here too, but we’ll need your creative ideas to succeed. We want to know how you think we can best break the TPP’s shackle on our democracy and our Internet. Read more »
Pro-Internet group OpenMedia.ca warns that entry into TPP could force an “Internet lockdown” in Canada
June 19, 2012 – Canada has become the latest country to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a secretive international trade agreement that will include rules for copyright, trademarks, and patents that are far more restrictive than those currently required in Canada by existing treaties or regulations. But as Canada prepares to join the talks, digital rights advocates are expressing concerns that the TPP would extend Internet restrictions across the globe.
The TPP’s intellectual property measures would give large media conglomerates new powers to lock users out of their own content and services, provide new liabilities that might force ISPs to police online activity, and give giant media companies even greater powers to shut down websites and remove content at will. Read more »
Big Media’s lobbyists are still pushing hard for the lockdown of the Internet, and they are using flawed research to justify it. Their leading lobby group, the Canadian Intellectual Property Council (CIPC), released a report on World Anti Counterfeiting Day emphasizing the necessity for copyright law similar to the highly unpopular SOPA legislation that was recently defeated in the U.S. The report calls for the swift passing of Copyright Bill C-11, but says that this is only a step in the right direction and more action must be taken, including the implementation of the secretive international copyright agreement ACTA, and massive surveillance at the border.
Ottawa Law Professor Michael Geist wrote about the report in the Huffington Post, calling it “the most extremist [copyright] policy document ever released in Canada”. He asserts that the report bases its claims on flawed research, erroneous numbers, and overhyped and outdated threats. Read more »
We need to be especially vigilant as Minister Toews continues to attempt to install his warrantless online spying scheme, Bill C-30, and as Canada considers signing onto the secretive and controversial TPP agreement, which, among other things, would step up the restrictions from controversial copyright bill C-11 and expand Big Media's powers to lock down the Internet.
Together we stopped the worst of the C-11 restrictions that Big Media pushed for; now we may well need to scale up and join with the pro-Internet movement around the world as we fight against lockdowns and surveillance, for an open and affordable Internet.
Article by Steven Musil for CNET:
Google reports it has seen an "alarming" incidence in government requests to censor Internet content in the past six months. Read more »
Canada may soon be signing on to the secretive and controversial TPP agreement, reports the National Post. The TPP, which among other things would expand Big Media's powers to lock down the Internet, could be applied to Canada with little input from our citizens or our decision-makers: sources suggest Canada is being asked to sign up for sections of the agreement without having seen the text, and that Canada would be considered a "second-tier" negotiator overall.
What can you do? Start by taking a stand for the Internet by signing up as part of the global pro-Internet community.
Article by John Ivison for the National Post:
Stephen Harper is expected to announce a huge step toward Canada’s entry into the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade talks at the G20 meeting in Los Cabos, Mexico, Tuesday. Read more »
Parliament will break for the summer at the end of this week, but before it does, MPs will are scheduled to vote on controversial Copyright Bill C-11 today, then send it on to pass through the the Senate.
While this isn't the end of the copyright debate by any means, this is a critical day for Canadians to have our say: the government needs to know that we're engaged and that we're watching. Tell your MP that we say no to an Internet lockdown and spread the word.
Article by Althia Raj for the Huffington Post:
Before the end of the summer, breaking a lock on a CD you legitimately purchased to upload songs to your iPhone will be illegal.
Opposition MPs, researchers, artists and even merchants have told the Conservative government the digital locks provisions in its copyright bill make little sense, but the Tories have so far refused to listen.
Monday, MPs are scheduled to vote on the Copyright Modernization Act before sending it to the Senate where it is expected to pass before the summer holidays. Read more »
We were successful in stopping the push for website blocking and Internet termination powers, but now it’s clear why the government refuses to listen to Canadians in regards to restrictive "digital locks" in Copyright Bill C-11.
MPs count the emails they get on these issues. Please share our http://openmedia.ca/SayNo MP-messaging tool on Facebook with this link and find more ways to amplify your voice here.
Article by Michael Geist:
Over the past few years, the Motion Picture Association - Canada, the Canadian arm of the MPAA, has recorded nearly 100 meetings with government ministers, MPs, and senior officials. While their lobbying effort will not come as a surprise, last October there were several meetings that fell outside the norm. On October 18, 2011, MPA-Canada reports meeting with Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore, Foreign Minister John Baird, and Industry Canada Senior Associate Deputy Minister Simon Kennedy, all on the same day. These meetings occured less than three weeks after the introduction of Bill C-11 and the decision to sign ACTA, and only eight days before SOPA was launched in the U.S. Read more »
Hey pro-Internet community!
Last month, you provided key feedback when we asked for input on t-shirts and other OpenMedia.ca gear. Because of your help, the OpenMedia.ca Store—complete with t-shirts, buttons, and laptop stickers for the pro-Internet community—is up and running. And we want you to take the first peek!
Grab something in the next few days using the code “OpenMediaTee” and get 10% off!
We at OpenMedia.ca know that engaging a grassroots pro-Internet community is integral to the pro-Internet movement’s mission, and that providing new ways to develop our community is an effective way to amplify our voices. What’s more, participation and collaboration from people like you is what makes this community what it is. In the last month, we’ve taken your suggestions on the catalogue and made your gear better. Thanks for the input. Read more »
The U.K., which is already a hotbed of surveillance, is looking to expand their online spying regime in a way that's very similar to what we may be facing here in Canada. As intrepid academic Christopher Parsons has noted, the U.K.'s invasive surveillance system comes riddled with communication errors and breeches, and an ever-increasing use of monitoring, especially for minor offences (employees arriving late to work, for example). The U.K. also suffers from "a continuing failure…to demonstrate that less intrusive methods have been considered", according to their Information Commissioner.
The online spying regime that's is active and ever-worsening in the U.K could be reflected in Canada if online spying bill C-30 is passed. That is, unless we all take a stand.
Article by Jesse Kline for the National Post:
In the 2005 movie V for Vendetta (based on the comic book of the same name), the Conservative Party in the U.K. cements its hold on power following a terrorist attack, which turns out to be an inside job. In order to maintain control, the government institutes strict censorship laws and sends secret police — known as “Fingermen” — out to patrol streets in surveillance vans that allow them to listen in on the private conversations taking place within people’s homes. Apparently, British Prime Minister David Cameron saw this work as a policy document, rather than dystopian science fiction. Read more »