February 16, 2012
OpenMedia original article
Letter to Supporters: A massive public outcry
Working with their allies in government, powerful lobbyists are pushing a set of initiatives designed to create bigger bills, widespread surveillance, and restricted online choice.
This is big. Powerful lobbyists, working with their allies in government, have put forward what amounts to an unavoidable choke point for your Internet use: two bills aimed at Internet users, and a government decision about the future of Internet access.
If we don’t stop this set-up, you’ll have to deal with bigger bills, widespread warrantless surveillance, and restricted choice.
By signing an OpenMedia.ca petition, you helped push back against new Internet restrictions and Big Telecom price-gouging. But these new challenges require more resources than ever to fight. Will you donate today so we can defend your rights? Your donation will empower the fight for an open and affordable Internet.
These three imminent threats will create an Internet choke point for Canadians, and they’re unfolding right now:
- Online Spying: The government has tabled their invasive spying plan (Bill C-30) to mandate that every Internet provider must hand "authorities" access to the private information of any Canadian, at any time, without a warrant1. Despite appearances the contrary, they are still pushing this through parliament.
- The Internet Lockdown: Through Bill C-11, Big Media lobbyists are seeking the power2 to compel telecom providers (who will now have surveillance capabilities) to cut Internet access for no good reason, remove or hide vast swaths of the Internet, and lock users out of their own services.
- The Cell Phone Squeeze: Big Telecom giants are lobbying the government to turn over control of mobile communications—which experts say are the future of Internet access—to just three giant companies3. This will lead to rising prices, even worse customer service, and more easily controlled surveillance.
With your help, we can put together an airtight, multifaceted plan that will turn government heads. Here’s what we’ll do with your support:
- Launch a damning viral video that will turn up the heat on government.
- Run pro-Internet ads targeting conservative politicians in swing ridings.
- Unleash local, on-the-ground pressure, especially in major ridings.
This approach works. Two MPs have broken ranks4 already; now, we just need to nudge a few more over the fence. But we can’t do it without you.
Steve and Lindsey, on behalf of your OpenMedia.ca Team
P.S. We created a media sensation this week and your petition signature helped start it all! Your team here at OpenMedia.ca has been run off our feet with media requests! Please chip in so we can keep up the pressure. We’ll report back on our progress to everyone that contributes.
 The Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario has written that the online spying bills could “undercut the future of freedom, innovation and privacy”
 Big Media is pushing for C-11 to include the power for courts to issue injunctions ordering ISPs to block access to websites. Many proposed amendments also include rules that mean accused (i.e. not necessarily convicted) “repeat infringers” could have their Internet connections terminated. The “enabler provision” may also be expanded in such a way that could be used to target legitimate websites that host user generated content. Those websites—including YouTube—could be penalized for hosting content that Big Media controls.
 Montreal Gazette: Spectrum auction called a threat to new entrants
 Conservative supporters, including some conservative MPs, have denounced the online spying bills.