United States International Privacy Privacy Deficit Free & Open Internet

Leading Canadian surveillance expert Ron Deibert to speak at UBC event in Vancouver amidst growing privacy concerns

Professor Ron Deibert, now a best-selling author, has long track record of sounding alarm about blanket government surveillance of law-abiding citizens.

Over the last decade, the Citizen Lab has released numerous high profile reports documenting increasing threats to cyberspace from growing censorship, surveillance, and militarization practices worldwide. Deibert’s colleagues at Citizen Lab have just penned a letter sent to Canada’s largest telecom providers asking for a transparent accounting of their collusion with government surveillance.

OpenMedia.ca Executive Director Steve Anderson will be speaking at the event to set the context and to introduce Professor Deibert’s talk. OpenMedia.ca recently joined with the B.C. Civil Liberties Association to announce a major lawsuit aimed at stopping illegal government spying on Canadians. Both OpenMedia.ca and the BCCLA are working with over 45 major Canadian organizations from across the political spectrum in the Protect our Privacy Coalition to demand effective legal measures to protect Canadians’ privacy from government spies.

Professor Deibert said: "I'm looking forward to explaining how governments around the world, including here in Canada, are engaged in unchecked surveillance, possibly on their own citizens. I'll explain how the activities of the Citizen Lab and our global network of partners offer a model for what a counter-movement to these worrying trends would look like. It's important that citizens are informed about what their governments are up to, so that they can act as a check on the unaccountable power and authority of government spy agencies."

“This event couldn’t be more timely,” says OpenMedia.ca Executive Director Steve Anderson. “Citizens here in Canada and around the world are speaking up in their hundreds of thousands to stop government spying on our everyday lives. In recent months we’ve seen shocking revelations about blanket government surveillance over our everyday lives. The government has yet to answer simple questions about how many law-abiding Canadians have their sensitive information stored in giant government databases and why. Ron Deibert’s talk will surely be of interest to any Canadian who wants to be in the know about what is one of the most important issues of our time.”

CSEC was recently revealed to have partnered in a massive illegal spying operation on Canadian soil during the Toronto G-20 summit. The government is also pushing a costly revival of Vic Toews’ failed online spying bill that would give a range of authorities access to the private lives of almost any law-abiding Canadian without suspicion.

Over 27,000 Canadians have spoken out about government spying in recent months at: https://openmedia.ca/csec and http://OurPrivacy.ca

Media Availability

Professor Ron Deibert and OpenMedia.ca’s Steve Anderson are each available to speak with the media on Thursday 23 January.

To arrange an interview contact David Christopher at [email protected] / (778) 232-1858

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.

On October 10, 2013 OpenMedia.ca 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.

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

  • New Snowden docs show U.S. spied during G20 in Toronto. Source: CBC News
  • 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: CBC News.mail.com/news/politics/privacy-watchdog-on-spy-agencys-data-collection-we-want-to-find-out-more/article12459998/">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.

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