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Canadians join nearly 300 organizations and thousands of citizens around the world to call for United Nations and world governments to respect our right to privacy

Move comes following confirmation that U.S. spy agencies have been spying on citizens of allied nations.

Today’s move comes in the context of shocking revelations about how government surveillance activities have undermined citizens’ privacy rights. In recent months we’ve learned how government surveillance agencies capture our phone calls, track our location, peer into our address books, and analyze our emails. They do this often in secret, without adequate public oversight, and in violation of our human rights. Most recently it was revealed that the NSA deliberately infected 50,000 networks around the world with malicious software designed to steal private information.

“Government surveillance of law-abiding citizens is clearly invasive, expensive, and out of control,” says OpenMedia.ca Executive Director Steve Anderson. “That’s why we’re working with partners here in Canada and across the globe to put a stop to illegal spying and to protect our fundamental human right to privacy.

Mr Anderson continued: “We’re calling on people around the world to speak up now to protect our privacy rights. We’ll be presenting this petition to the United Nations and to world governments - so it’s important that we each take time to show our support, and to spread the word to our friends and family. Here at OpenMedia we know from experience that when citizens speak up to demand change, it really does make a difference - we’ll build a pro-privacy momentum decision-makers can’t ignore.”

The 13 International Principles on the Application of Human Rights to Communications Surveillance make clear that:

  1. States must recognize that mass surveillance threatens the human right to privacy, freedom of expression, and association, and they must place these Principles at the heart of their communications surveillance legal frameworks.
  2. States must commit to ensuring that advances in technology do not lead to disproportionate increases in the State’s capacity to interfere with the private lives of individuals.
  3. Transparency and rigorous adversarial oversight is needed to ensure changes in surveillance activities benefit from public debate and judicial scrutiny, this includes effective protections for whistleblowers.
  4. Just as modern surveillance transcends borders, so must privacy protections.

Organizations partnering with OpenMedia on this initiative include: Access, Chaos Computer Club, Center for Internet & Society-India, Center for Technology and Society at Fundação Getulio Vargas, Digitale Gesellschaft, Digital Courage, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Open Rights Group, Fundacion Karisma, Samuelson-Glushko Canadian Internet Policy & Public Interest Clinic, SHARE Foundation and Privacy International.

Citizens can show their support for these principles by adding their name at: https://en.necessaryandproportionate.org/take-action/openmedia

Canada’s OurPrivacy.ca coalition can be found at: http://ourprivacy.ca

About OpenMedia.ca

OpenMedia.ca is a network of people and organizations working to safeguard the possibilities of the open Internet. We work toward informed and participatory digital policy.

Through campaigns such as StopTheMeter.ca and StopSpying.ca, OpenMedia.ca has engaged over half-a-million Canadians, and has influenced public policy and federal law.

About OpenMedia.ca’s privacy campaign

OpenMedia.ca led the successful StopSpying.ca 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.

Earlier this year, OpenMedia.ca launched its Secret Spying campaign, to demand answers and immediate action from the government after it was revealed that a secretive government agency has been spying on the telephone and Internet activities of individuals, including law-abiding Canadians.

On October 10, 2013 OpenMedia.ca collaborated with over 35 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.

OpenMedia.ca and the BC Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) recently announced they will work together to put a stop to illegal government surveillance against law-abiding Canadians. OpenMedia.ca 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.



David Christopher
Communications Manager, OpenMedia.ca
[email protected]

More Information

Five highlights from the Canada-Brazil spying revelations. [Source: The Globe and Mail]
Privacy watchdog on spy agency’s data collection: ‘We want to find out more’. [Source: The Globe And Mail]
Canada’s spy agency may have illegally targeted Canadians: watchdog. [Source: National Post]
Inside Canada's top-secret billion-dollar spy palace. [Source: CBC News.]
Data breach protocols deficient in 9 federal departments, watchdog finds. - [Source: CBC News]
Lawful Access back on the agenda this Fall? - Michael Geist.
The secretive CSEC agency has a staff of more than 2,000 and a budget of about $400 million. [Source: CBC News]
Surveillance expert Ron Deibert on the threat spy agencies pose for citizens.
Internet Law expert Michael Geist on why Canadians should be concerned about government spying.
Privacy commissioner Jennifer Stoddart says there are significant concerns about the scope of information that CSEC are reported to collect. [Source: CBC News]
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.

OpenMedia works to keep the Internet open, affordable, and surveillance-free. We create community-driven campaigns to engage, educate, and empower people to safeguard the Internet.

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