Category Archives: net neutrality

Cons Negotiating Secret Draconian ACTA Deal

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The Conservatives have been busy negotiating a secret with deal with ACTA (the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement).

For those who are not familiar with the ACTA, here’s a quick recap:

  1. The intended goal is to protect copyright materials.
  2. It forces ISPs to engage in warrant-free inspection of your online activities.
  3. Infringement of the conditions of the ACTA will result in removal of Internet access for up to three years.

What the ACTA represents is protection.  Protection for failed business models.  Protection for fascists that don’t want to provide reasons why they’re stripping Internet users of their right to access the world’s best invention since the wheel.  Protection of the right to cow people into submission.

People:  this pile of steaming hot turd for all Canadian Internet users must be resisted.  If you know of specific lobby actions, please post them in the comments below.

In the interim, here’s the full release from Charlie Angus, NDP MP from Timmins-James Bay (and another story here):

Please read below for the text of the press release from Charlie Angus, :

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

DECEMBER 1st, 2009

SECRET ACTA NEGOTIATIONS WOULD CRIMINALIZE CANADIAN INTERNET USE

New Democrats call on government to come clean on covert negotiations

OTTAWA – A secret agreement being negotiated by the Harper Conservatives would allow corporations to deny internet access to Canadian citizens if they are accused on three occasions of improper downloading, says New Democrat Digital Issues Critic Charlie Angus (Timmins-James Bay).

The “three strikes and you’re out” policy would criminalize thousands of everyday Canadians without justification and without anything being proved in court.

“The agreement, which is being hammered out by Canadian trade negotiators, would completely override Canada’s domestic copyright policies.  It reads like a wish list for the U.S. corporate lobby. It overrides any flexibility in WIPO implementation,” says Angus. “It guts domestic copyright protections and imposes a mandatory ‘three-strike’ policy that would rob thousands of average Canadians from access to the internet.”

Speaking in the House of Commons today during Question Period, Angus said the Anti-Counterfeiting and Trade Agreement (ACTA) negotiations make a mockery of the government’s public consultation process on establishing new copyright legislation.

“The EU has leaked details of Canada’s involvement in the secret ACTA treaty negotiations. And guess what?  It has exposed the Conservative government’s so-called public consultation process on new copyright policy as a total sham.”

“Canadians need a Minister who will stand up for Canadian interests, not a hand puppet for the U.S. Embassy and corporate lobby,” he said. “Will the Minister come clean with Canadians, table the ACTA negotiation mandate letter in the House and admit he is using a foreign treaty to strip this Parliament from a transparent process of balanced copyright reform?”

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For more information, please contact:

Marc-André Viau, press secretary, 613-295-9228 or viaumar@parl.gc.ca

POUR DIFFUSION IMMÉDIATE

LE 1er DÉCEMBRE 2009

NÉGOCIATIONS SECRÈTES SUR L’Accord commercial relatif à la contrefaçon (ACRC) OU COMMENT TRANSFORMER DES CITOYENS ORDIANIRES EN CRIMINELS

Le NPD demande au gouvernement de dévoiler ses secrets

OTTAWA – Le gouvernement de Stephen Harper négocie présentement une entente secrète pour permettre aux entreprises de refuser l’accès aux citoyens canadiens à Internet s’ils ont été accusés à trois reprises de téléchargement inadéquat, affirme le porte-parole du NPD en matière de questions numériques, Charlie Angus (Timmins-Baie James).

L’approche selon laquelle vous êtes retiré sur trois prises équivaut à traiter des milliers de Canadiens comme des criminels, le tout sans justification et sans preuve.

« L’entente, élaborée par des négociateurs commerciaux canadiens, aurait préséance sur les politiques canadiennes de droits d’auteur », a déclaré Charlie Angus. « Cette entente correspond aux demandes des lobbys américains. Elle compromet toute flexibilité dans la mise en œuvre des politiques de l’Organisation mondiale de la propriété intellectuelle (OMPI) », a souligné M. Angus. « Par ailleurs, l’entente secrète va à l’encontre des mesures de protection canadienne des droits d’auteur et impose une politique de « retrait sur trois prises » qui empêcherait des milliers de Canadiens d’avoir accès à Internet ».

Durant la période de questions à la Chambre des communes, M. Angus a souligné aujourd’hui que les négociations sur l’ACRC constituent un affront au processus gouvernemental de consultation publique concernant l’élaboration d’une nouvelle loi sur les droits d’auteur.

« L’Union européenne a laissé échapper des détails relatifs à la position du gouvernement lors des négociations secrètes du traité de l’ACRC. Et vous savez quoi ? Cette fuite a exposé le faux processus consultatif du gouvernement conservateur relatif à la nouvelle politique sur les droits d’auteur », a déclaré Charlie Angus à la Chambre des communes.

« Les Canadiens doivent avoir un ministre qui défendra leurs intérêts, pas un ministre qui sera une marionnette à la solde des lobbys et de l’Ambassade américaine », a dénoncé le député du NPD. « Le ministre aura-t-il l’honnêteté de déposer dans cette Chambre la lettre qui précise le mandat des négociateurs canadiens concernant l’ACRC ? Le gouvernement avouera-t-il qu’il utilise un traité étranger pour contourner le processus transparent et soutirer à ce Parlement le privilège de déterminer les règles d’une réforme équitable des droits d’auteur ? ».

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Pour obtenir de plus amples renseignements, veuillez communiquer avec :

Marc-André Viau, attaché de presse, 613-295-9228 ou viaumar@parl.gc.ca

CRTC Proves Again That It Is Useless

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Once again, the CRTC has proven that it is a useless organization, stuck in the dark ages.

The CRTC announced today that it will not support Net Neutrality proponents and WILL allow companies like Bell and Rogers to throttle Internet traffic.

This is a dark day for Canada’s future as a leader in the digital space.

More from the CRTC site and an opinion update from Charlie Angus, Canada’s first Parliamentarian that supported Net Neutrality.

As an action item, consider signing up with this cause:  Dissolve The CRTC.

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Net Neutrality Video – Please Share With Friends

A lot of Canadians are relatively unaware of the issues associated with what’s called ‘Net Neutrality’.  In the last election, the only party that even dared make it a modest political issue was the NDP.  If the Liberals are seeking ways to get Canadians on board with their new leader, this would be a great issue to support.  It’s a seemingly small issue, but it would differentiate themselves from the Conservatives, something they’ll desparately need in the coming months.  Universal support for Net Neutrality would also ensure that we take action against Canada’s largest media companies and their poor Internet management habits.

For those who are unfamiliar with the issue, this video explains a lot of the concerns raised by SaveOurNet.ca :

A neutral Internet acknowledges that the world of media and content creation has changed.  Significantly.

The last decade has seen a shift in the ability to influence the public.  We’ve seen mainstream media lose its grip on control of our ‘mindshare’ as individuals have gladly leveraged the tools at hand to create content and send messages to the public that are inconsistent with those of Bell, Rogers, Videotron and others.

With content creation (and ownership), comes the power to influence the markets through advertising and mass appeal.  Now that companies like Bell and Canwest no longer control the content – either from their own ‘pundits’ or from corporations selling us more ‘stuff’ – they no longer control the message either.  They have lost the ability to ‘massage’ people into following specific agendas and this is the central reason why net neutrality is so important to average Canadians (and people all over the planet, for that matter).

Another important element related to net neutrality is the notion of innovation and ecommerce.  It may sound like a severe statement, but the two will not survive without a neutral net.  Innovation – and a lot of new wealth creation – in the last decade or so has come in the form of new web sites selling unique products and services to Canadians.  Many of these sites and services help Canadians bypass inefficient structures like big box retailers and those that don’t believe in basic principles like fair trade and environmentally friendly product development.  For the same reason, the future of ecommerce in Canada relies on net neutrality.  Forcing Canadians into single channels of consumption (be it for content, products or anything else) is undemocratic to say the least, but more importantly, it strangles the ability of Canadians to launch their own businesses in the online environment.

It’s this latter notion that should inspire ALL Canadian entrpreneurs that rely on the Internet for their web sites, their blogs and their online stores to support a cause like SaveOurNet.ca.  If you profit from the web, please consider giving a small portion of that profit to SaveOurNet.ca (I’m not sure if similar organizations exist in Canada – this is the main one that I’m familiar with).

With so many people balking at the notion of leaving regulation and control to the government – which is at the very least elected by the people of this country – I’m always stunned to see that the alternative is to leave our future in the hands of a select few that only want to shout at us and sell more crap.

Rex Murphy: Where to Spend?

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Rex Murphy, host of the national CBC show called "Cross Country Checkup", is asking Canadians tonight where they should spend their money.

You can all hang up.  I have the top 10 answers.

  1. Stop spending any more money on fossil fuels or things that burn fossil fuels.  It’s stupid.
  2. Understand that we have an opportunity to institute structural change:  invest in green and invest lots.  Renewable fuels & energy.  Solar retrofits & geothermal installs.
  3. Infrastructure, but think in terms of "downtown" and the future.  Light rail transit.  Bike lanes in green spaces.  Fewer roads outside of the core.  And for the city of London (where I am), several over/underpasses so the city doesn’t get choked off by trains.
  4. Cut spending on defense to balance any potential deficit spending.  The $500 billion that is planned by the Harper government has never come into question and should.  Why do we spend that money on enterprises that, in large part, aren’t even Canadian?  Because we’re stupid and we’ve bought into the ‘feat factory’.
  5. Spend a minimum fixed dollar amount on every single city with a population that’s greater than 100,000 people.  I suggest $100,000,000. Those that have been spending their money wisely can invest in new projects or reducing property taxes.  Those that don’t can at least avoid slashing desparately needed social programs and public infrastructure.
  6. Spend a pro-rata amount for cities larger than 100,000 people.  The more people, particularly that are in your downtown core, the more money you get.
  7. Stop insisting that projects be given to the private sector first.  It’s a sure way to add 20-30% to the bottom line and cost of new projects and it’s a waste of public money.
  8. Make a massive public investment in the communications network.  Bell Canada is doing a very poor job of running it, so Canada should have a new and exceptionally efficient public pipe that anyone can use without being throttled or facing lack of net neutrality.
  9. Create a massive public investment in co-ops, non-profits and socially responsible organizations that are committed to the future of this planet.  If it’s not part of their mandate, they don’t get a cent!
  10. Fire at least 18 Senators.

There.  Easy.  Now go to it, Jim!

Organizing a Bell / Rogers Media Boycott

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The CRTC recently announced that it will not take action against Bell Canada and Rogers as they throttle users of the Canadian Internet.  They have failed Canadian consumers and the thousands of small businesses and technology concerns that rely on the Internet for their success.

And this article goes so far as to question whether or not Canada’s newly emerging social media network will be able to survive such tactics.

I like to think we are beyond the tipping point and that we WILL be able to overcome this myopic view of the Internet as a cash-cow for Bell and Rogers and not a tool for the wide array of people and organizations that are actively seeking social change.

This issue requires action on behalf of all of us:

  1. Make a donation to SaveOurNet.ca
  2. Contact your MP or Finckenstein at the CRTC
  3. Track efforts to throttle your connection (a wonderful application of the social web)
  4. Update the Canadian Wiki which tracks throttling efforts
  5. Boycott any Bell or Rogers products

It’s the last option that I would like to talk about.

Bell, Rogers and other media companies don’t just deliver Internet, but they also own a wide array of publications and web sites that represent a critical source of revenue for them.

With that in mind, we all have to him them where it will really hurt:  the bottom line.

Eliminating Sympatico, TSN, CTV, MSN, Rogers magazine sites (eg. Chatelaine.com), Yahoo Canada and other affiliated sites is an easy and painless maneuvre and will send a very clear signal that we are very pissed off about this nonsense.  If you’re a buyer or planner and make decisionsof this nature, it’s as easy as deleting a line from your Excel spreadsheet.

Let’s start with this blog, but post your suggestions about the following:

  1. A full list of media properties that these companies control
  2. Products and services that you can cancel
  3. Social actions that will have the greatest impact

Thanks for your help.