David Christopher

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David Christopher is the Communications Manager of OpenMedia.ca and writes regularly for the organization. He's from the west of Ireland and holds a degree from Trinity College Dublin, where he studied History and Political Science. He worked in communications in New Zealand, Northern Ireland and Scotland before moving to Vancouver, Canada.
| January 14, 2017
Columnists

Why 2017 will be a make-or-break year for Internet freedom

Image: Anton Nordenfur/flickr

2017 is here, and it's clear it will be a make-or-break year for Internet freedom. Around the world, our digital rights are under threat as never before. Let's take a look at some of the big challenges ahead.

In Canada, the federal government will soon be publishing its response to the national security consultation that closed in December. It's abundantly clear that Canadians want the government to repeal Bill C-51 and deliver strong privacy rules to make us safe -- but will the government listen, especially against the backdrop of a full-on RCMP propaganda campaign calling for even more invasive spy powers?

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Columnists

Trump's election should prompt Canada to rethink its complicity with U.S. mass surveillance

Photo: picturenarrative/flickr

President-elect Donald Trump. It's still a phrase that takes some getting used to. Trump's pronouncements on issues of online privacy, surveillance and net neutrality -- among many other topics -- should send a shiver down the spine of anyone who cares about preserving basic democratic freedoms in a digital age.

For Canadians these concerns strike particularly close to home. Already, federal government ministers are grappling with the implications of the impending Trump presidency and, for Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale and Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould, these implications are especially profound.

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Is the government about to make the Internet even more expensive for all Canadians?

Photo: Lindsey Turner/flickr

At OpenMedia, we cover a wide range of digital rights issues, and so we've really seen the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly when it comes to policy proposals over the years. And this one's a doozy: Canadian Heritage Minister Melanie Joly is considering adding a new ISP tax to the monthly bills of Canada's Internet subscribers.

This new tax will make Internet access even more expensive, despite the fact that Canadians already pay among the highest prices in the industrialized world for this basic necessity. Indeed, fees are already so high that 44 per cent of low-income households do not have a home Internet connection, leaving vast numbers of Canadians excluded from our digital endowment.

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| October 12, 2016
Columnists

Despite flaws, the government's consultation finally gives us a real chance to repeal Bill C-51

Photo: Kent Lins/flickr

It's here. Almost a year into their mandate, the Liberal government has finally launched its long-awaited public consultation on Bill C-51, and a broad range of privacy and national security issues.

Speaking at the launch, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale and Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould said they had already identified a limited number of areas of Bill C-51 they wanted changed, and that they wanted to get Canadians' views on how to deal with the rest of the unpopular legislation.

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EU flag with copyright logo imposed
| September 14, 2016
| September 13, 2016
Columnists

Quebec's Bill 74 puts us all on a slippery slope toward Internet censorship

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Internet censorship. Website block lists. Stiff financial penalties for Internet providers who allow their customers to view sites forbidden by the government. This may the stuff of day-to-day life in authoritarian regimes, but it's certainly not the sort of thing you'd expect to see here in Canada.

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Columnists

Our last, best chance to restore our rights and repeal Bill C-51

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This is it, folks. Eighteen months after it was first introduced, and over a year since it was forced through Parliament by the Harper government, Canadians will soon have a chance to finally overturn Bill C-51.

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