Your OpenMedia Quarterly Roundup: the amazing things our community pulled off in the past 3 months
It’s incredible what we achieve together.
There’s an old saying around the OpenMedia office, and it’s one that long-time supporters of ours will recognize: “It’s amazing what we can achieve when we work together!”
Rarely has that been more apparent than over the past three months: our community has been working flat out to keep our Internet open, affordable, and surveillance-free. Now that summer is here, and we have a chance to catch our breath, let’s look back at some of the highlights:
Our mobile billboard ramped up the pressure on Netflix’s VPN ban: Our rapidly growing global movement calling on Netflix to reverse its policy of blocking Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) recently took the campaign into the company’s backyard. With your support, we organized a mobile billboard to take our pro-privacy message straight to Netflix’s HQ in Los Gatos, California. Our campaign now has the support of almost 50,000 Internet users, and is getting global attention with nearly 50 media mentions in the span of a month from over a dozen countries. You can check out photos of our mobile billboard in action and add your voice in support of our campaign.
Delivering your voices where it matters: In Canada, we’ve been keeping the heat on the new federal government over Bill C-51, the reckless, dangerous, and ineffective anti-privacy bill passed last year. We met with Canada’s Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale, to hand him our HUGE petition against Bill C-51, and to discuss the government’s upcoming consultation on it and other privacy issues. For more, OpenMedia’s Laura Tribe has the lowdown.
Nearly 40,000 against Stingray Surveillance: We launched our newest international privacy campaign to Stop Stingray Surveillance at the end of March. In just 3 months, we’ve seen almost 40,000 people take action, from right across the world. Meanwhile, in Canada, the RCMP was recently revealed to be using the devices extensively, and indefinitely storing the private data they captured. Pushing back against these invasive surveillance devices will be a major priority for us over the months ahead.
On Free Expression:
Nothing says “No to the TPP!” like a Giant Jumbotron: We’ve been flat out rallying Internet users against the Trans-Pacific Partnership’s (TPP) Internet censorship plan. With your support, we hired an enormous Jumbotron TV screen to stream comments, videos, and memes submitted by our community outside crucial TPP hearings in Vancouver and Toronto (check out photos, video, and our amazing Jumbotron reel). We’ll also be collaborating with a huge network of US groups this summer as they put on a ‘TPP Roadshow’ with concerts in six major US cities including Denver, San Francisco, Seattle, Portland and more — watch this space!
Growing international recognition for our Save the Linkcampaign: Our Save The Link campaign received significant analysis from the European Commission, which recognized OpenMedia’s campaigning on their EU-wide copyright consultation in their recent synopsis. Experts from the Save The Link Network also recognized the significance of the European Commission’s detailed assessment and analysis of a grassroots campaign like this, which we believe is unprecedented. And that’s not all — our own Ruth Coustick-Deal met recently with top MEPs in Strasbourg to hand them your comments and to make clear just how opposed Internet users are to the Link Tax.
On Affordable Access:
Putting a stop to the Internet Slow Lane bill in the U.S. Congress: We’ve been working hard to collect signatures speaking out about the U.S. Congress’ Rate Regulation Bill. We partnered with our friends at Daily Kos to launch an action page and a petition against a bill that could take away the FCC’s teeth and their ability to enforce last year’s historic Open Internet Order that protected Net Neutrality.
Historic win for Affordable Fibre Internet: In Canada, we won one of the biggest victories in our organization’s history, when Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains rejected an attempt by telecom giant Bell to secure a monopoly over their fibre network. This win was no small feat, and only happened because over 80,000 of you banded together, signed petitions, donated, wrote to your elected officials, and made your voices heard. This decision will make a positive difference for Canadians in terms of ensuring affordable access to next-generation fibre Internet, while also setting a precedent for the rest of the world. (Our Katy Anderson has more on this historic win.)
Affordable Internet at a Fair Price! Also in Canada, a big priority for us has been making the case for every citizen, regardless of geographic location or income level, to have affordable access to reliable Internet services. In last April, we delivered our detailed submission to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC). After our presentation, CRTC chairman Jean-Pierre Blais thanked us for bringing a generational change to the hearing. Our documentary about residents of Bowen Island, who face major connectivity issues, despite being so close to one of Canada’s major centres, was also included in our submission and dominated the first 30 minutes of commissioners’ questions. Again, a win in Canada will set a great example for other countries wrestling with how to ensure affordable Internet for all.
And that’s not all! We also found time to…
Grow our community: Our community has grown by over 50,000 people since January — welcome to all our new supporters!
Amplify your voices in the media: We’ve had over 250 media hits since January, a 40 percent increase over the same period last year! There’s nothing like solid media coverage to help pressure decision-makers into doing the right thing.
Publish new crowdsourcing principles: The best ideas always come from the community, and we’re often asked by other organizations about how to crowdsource effectively. Check out Crowdsource This!, a blog by our Founder and Senior Strategist Steve Anderson for insight into our core crowdsourcing principles.
Finding new ways to better engage with you: Our new Community Engagement Specialist Soledad has hit the ground running, developing a brand-new engagement strategy that will greatly improve how we manage our talented team of volunteers and work with our supporters. Watch this space for our new ‘get involved’ website section with resources to help community members to take action and get organized!
That’s it for now — if you’ve read this far, it’s time to give yourself a hearty pat on the back, as our small team here just couldn’t pull off any of this without amazing supporters like you! And an extra special thanks to our monthly allies who ensure that we have the solid, grassroots-funded foundation necessary to keep doing this important work.