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Leading digital rights organization throws support behind National Day of Action against the government’s Secret Police Bill C-51

OpenMedia is encouraging Internet users across Canada to support events in over 35 cities this Saturday March 14

“This bill encourages reckless sharing of our sensitive private information, dangerous new powers for CSIS, and offers zero accountability or oversight,” said Steve Anderson, OpenMedia Executive Director. “Everyone knows the Conservative government is bad on privacy issues, but Bill C-51 takes it to a whole new level.”

Anderson continued: “That’s why we’re joining with Canadians from across the political spectrum to take to the streets this Saturday. It’s not something we do very often, but C-51 is so reckless and dangerous it calls for all of us to do all that we can to speak out. There will be a steep political price to pay at election time for these reckless, dangerous, and ineffective privacy intrusions.”

When OpenMedia initially came out against Bill C-51, there were few standing up to oppose the proposed legislation. Now former prime Ministers, independent Conservative MPs, the government’s own privacy commissioner, a huge range of organizations, and even media outlets, have all come out against C-51.

Citizens are concerned that Bill C-51 would greatly expand the powers of CSIS, to the point where the Globe and Mail warns it will create a “secret police force”. If the bill passes, no fewer than 17 government agencies and even foreign governments will be granted access to Canadians’ sensitive private information.

OpenMedia’s core concerns are that Bill C-51 is:

  1. Reckless: It  turns CSIS into a ‘secret police’ force with little oversight or accountability.

  2. Dangerous: It opens the door for violations of our Charter Rights including censorship of free expression online.

  3. Ineffective: It will lead to dragnet surveillance and information sharing on innocent Canadians that even Stephen Harper has admitted is ineffective.

Canadians can learn more about Bill C-51 at They can also join or create their own local event at




David Christopher

Communications Manager, OpenMedia


[email protected]


About OpenMedia

OpenMedia is an award-winning community-based organization that safeguards the possibilities of the open Internet. We work toward informed and participatory digital policy by engaging hundreds of thousands of people in protecting our online rights

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

About OpenMedia’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.

Last October, joined with over 60 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) are working 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


  • Spy agency CSE is monitoring private online activities on a massive scale, with Canadians among the targets. Source

  • Canada casts global surveillance dragnet over file downloads. Source: The Intercept

  • OpenMedia is crowdsourcing policy recommendation to boost privacy safeguards at

  • Supreme Court of Canada R v. Spencer ruling

  • OpenMedia’s radio ad for Peter MacKay’s Central Nova riding

  • Hard-hitting video highlights how Bill C-13 would give immunity to telecom providers who hand over your information without a warrant. 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.

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. Take action now

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