Canadians who have called on the government to stop online spying have been labelled as confused and distracted. Reminiscent of Big Telecom's attempts to portray us as misinformed, we, as pro-Internet Canadians, now face a new hurdle on our path to an open and fair internet: a presumptuous government.
Suggesting that we are confused, muffles our voices-if only a misled few oppose online spying, embedding it into our Criminal Code is a much less troublesome political manoeuvre. Through an irresponsible PR campaign, and countless on-the-record disclosers, the Government has done their best to obfuscate the online spying bills, despite the 8-in-10 Canadians who oppose warrantless surveillance in general, and the now 75,000+ who have signed the Stop Online Spying petition so far.
The powers-that-be underestimate the savvy, pro-Internet community, and our understanding of the issues we face. Those who made videos, wrote to their MPs, and joined the discussions on our Facebook Page (among other places) are intelligent, highly engaged citizens who should not be discounted.
From the start of the campaign, Canadians have had their eyes on bills C-50, C-51, and C-52. By reading the talking points we provide, many have spread the word and have evaluated the sweeping generalities of the bills. Clause 16 of Bill C-52 is becoming infamous; it clearly shows that the online spying bills allow for electronic surveillance that is invasive and excessive:
"16. (1) Every telecommunications service provider must provide a person designated under subsection (3), on his or her written request, with any information in the service provider's possession or control respecting the name, address, telephone number and electronic mail address of any subscriber to any of the service provider's telecommunications services and the Internet protocol address, mobile identification number, electronic serial number, local service provider identifier, international mobile equipment identity number, international mobile subscriber identity number and subscriber identity module card number that are associated with the subscriber's service and equipment."
As part of our public education campaign, OpenMedia.ca has put out a wide range of materials from engaging and accessible PSAs to a high-level comprehensive mini-documentary where Canada's leading legal and privacy experts speak out.
Thankfully, many Canadians have become educated about the Government's troubling agenda, and have voiced their disapproval by signing the Stop Online Spying petition. Let's continue until we stop this invasive legislation.
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