United States International Privacy Privacy Deficit Free & Open Internet

Meghan Sali from OpenMedia to provide crowdsourced testimony to Parliamentary committee about how Bill S-4 will undermine privacy and lead to widespread abuse of copyright system

Sali will amplify the voices of Canadians and experts worried about how Bill S-4 would massively expand the warrantless disclosure of personal information


Date: Thursday, March 12, 2015

Time: 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.



Meghan will be testifying at: Room 237-C, Centre Block, Ottawa, ON



OpenMedia’s Meghan Sali said: “If Bill S-4 is allowed to pass in its current form, Canadians could face an onslaught of threatening letters, phone calls, and abusive messages from foreign copyright trolls. And all this without any judicial oversight or due process. That’s why I’ll be appealing directly to MPs to listen to Canadians and revise this legislation before it’s too late.”



Clause 6(10) of Bill S-4 would expand unauthorized disclosure of sensitive personal information, notably by telecom providers, without a court order.  It would allow for service providers to hand over this information without the consent, and in many cases without even the knowledge of their customers.

For example, this clause would permit an Internet provider to disclose its customers’ private information, including name and address, to a third party private entity, such as a U.S. copyright trolling firm, without a court order and without any safeguards or due process.

This could potentially open up Canadians to widespread abuses of the copyright system. Already this year we have seen thousands of Canadians receive abusive and threatening copyright notices from U.S. firms.

Currently the U.S. firms do not have access to the names and addresses of the Canadians they are targeting - instead they are forced to send these notices via Internet providers, in a system called “Notice-and-Notice” that safeguards Canadians’ privacy. Under Bill S-4, they could easily gain access to the names, addresses, and other personal information of Canadians without any safeguards.



Experts are speaking up:

  • Federal Privacy Commissioner Daniel Therrien said: “We believe that the grounds for disclosing to another organization are overly broad and need to be circumscribed, for example, by defining or limiting the types of activities for which the personal information could be used.”

  • Copyright expert Prof. Michael Geistwarns: “As for the impact of S-4 on warrantless disclosures, the bill plainly expands the ability of organizations to voluntarily disclose personal information without a warrant or court oversight. While some organizations will decline to voluntarily disclose such information, when combined with Bill C-13′s grant of full immunity for voluntary disclosures, it seems likely that others will provide subscriber information without a warrant or court oversight.”



David Christopher

Communications Manager, OpenMedia.ca


[email protected]

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

View all campaigns
Take action now! Sign up to be in the loop Donate to support our work