Canada Privacy Privacy Deficit Free & Open Internet

Canadians are working together to shape a pro-privacy action plan, to help address government’s stark privacy deficit

Launch of new pro-privacy crowdsourcing initiative comes just days after Peter MacKay’s online spying Bill C-13 passes House of Commons, and follows over a year of revelations about the activities of Canada’s spy agency CSEC

"This is the second time we've seen the government try to ram through their unpopular, heavy-handed, and invasive approach to privacy,” says communications manager David Christopher. “That's why it's more important than ever to come up with a positive, citizen-driven alternative - a crowdsourced vision that decision-makers will find impossible to ignore.”

Christopher continued: “We know from past experience that one of the most powerful ways to speak out is to have our own solution in hand. That’s why we’ve launched this new initiative this morning. We know that what this government is doing is hugely unpopular, even among their own grassroots supporters. Now every Canadian has an opportunity to make their voice heard, and identify the privacy priorities that matter most to them.”

Tom Henheffer, Executive Director of Canadian Journalists for Free Expression, said: “Mass government surveillance reeks of authoritarianism. If citizens can’t communicate without fear of government eavesdropping, they do not truly live in a free and open society. Unfortunately, we’re now at a point where Canadians must fight to stop the erosion of their right to privacy.”

Free Dominion’s Connie Fournier said: “As conservatives, we are utterly appalled by the direction our government has been taking with regard to privacy issues. There is no conservative principle that allows for this kind of dangerous control by government, and we strongly oppose their high-handed disregard for the will of the people and for the constitutional privacy rights of Canadians that were recently reaffirmed in the Spencer decision. We are pleased to partner with in their plan to address this frightening privacy deficit. It's time.”

Groups supporting the launch of the tool include: B.C. Freedom of Information and Privacy Association, Canadian Journalists for Free Expression, Free Dominion, the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group, and the Privacy and Access Council of Canada. Canadians can take part by using the crowdsourcing tool at



David Christopher
Communications Manager,
[email protected]

About’s privacy campaign led the successful campaign that forced the government to back down on its plans to introduce a costly, invasive, and warrantless online spying law (Bill C-30). Nearly 150,000 Canadians took part in the campaign. To learn more, see this infographic.

On October 10, 2013 collaborated with over 40 major organizations and over a dozen academic experts to form the Protect Our Privacy Coalition, which is the largest pro-privacy coalition in Canadian history. The Coalition is calling for effective legal measures to protect the privacy of every resident of Canada against intrusion by government entities. and the BC Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) have announced they will work together to put a stop to illegal government surveillance against law-abiding Canadians. has launched a national campaign encouraging Canadians to support a BCCLA legal action which aims to stop illegal spying by challenging the constitutionality of the government’s warrantless collection of data on Canadians’ everyday Internet use.


More Information

  • OpenMedia radio ad about Bill C-13 for Peter MacKay's Central Nova riding
  • Supreme Court’s historic decision on warrantless disclosures is huge win for Canadian privacy, places big question mark over constitutionality of govt’s Bill C-13. Source:
  • Bill C-13 would let authorities obtain private information without a warrant. Source: Michael Geist
  • Supposed “cyberbullying” legislation will erode the privacy of Canadians. Source:
  • Canada's Lawful Access Bill Appears to Have Contained a Provision to Enable PRISM-Style Surveillance Source: Michael Geist
  • Lawful Access back on the agenda this Fall? - Michael Geist.
  • Data breach protocols deficient in 9 federal departments, watchdog finds. - [Source: CBC News]
  • Internet Law expert Michael Geist on why Canadians should be concerned about government spying.
  • In this article, The Globe and Mail describes the revelations about Canadian government spying as “disturbing and unacceptable”
  • This document, obtained by The Globe through Access to Information, shows how Minister MacKay authorized a top secret program to data-mine global ‘metadata’ in 2011.

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