OpenMedia joins Freedom Not Fear in fighting surveillance measures that threaten Internet freedom
We at OpenMedia are proud, this year, to be a part of a coalition of more than 150 organizations that share a common goal: freedom, not fear. Every September, the Freedom Not Fear Coalition meets in many different places around the world to reinforce the push for fundamental rights like privacy, free expression, due process, and democratic participation. So how does that fit in with OpenMedia’s mandate to protect the open Internet? In short, as the Freedom Not Fear website puts it, because “we want freedom of speech in a digitalized world and a free and uncensored Internet to express ourselves”.
This is something that needs to be fought for. In Canada, the government still has a bill on the table—stalled for now, but with no promise from politicians that it won’t be pushed through—that threatens to degrade our open Internet, and transform it into a closed and paranoid space. This is Bill C-30, otherwise known as “Lawful Access” or perhaps more commonly as the online spying bill. It would provide authorities with warrantless access to Canadians’ online data, invading our privacy by requiring ISPs to maintain giant registries of our personal information, and forcing us to foot the bill. Canadians have been pushing back against the bill—inspiringly successfully so far—through online actions such as calling on MPs to take a stand.
Another threat to the Internet comes from lobbyists pushing a secretive multi-nation trade agreement called the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Among other things, the TPP would force service providers to collect and hand over your private data without privacy safeguards, allowing Big Media to effectively conduct their own intellectual property policing, and to slap potential “violators” with lawsuits or fines. The TPP could also create a parallel legal system of international tribunals that would allow conglomerates to sue countries for laws that infringe on their profits; this could extend to the privacy laws that give Internet users control over their personal information. Citizens around the world are speaking out against the TPP’s Internet trap by signing the petition at http://StopTheTrap.net, and submitting comments at http://OpenTheTPP.net.
Together with the Freedom Not Fear Coalition, we’re working to call attention to the pervasive global surveillance measures like these that threaten our communication freedom. You can learn more about the initiative from our long-time collaborator, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), or by visiting the Freedom Not Fear website.