We’re off to a great start! Just weeks after the launch of Canada’s largest-ever pro-privacy Coalition, it seems the whole country is demanding answers on the government’s out-of-control surveillance. With op-eds and news articles appearing in what seems like every major national publication, a powerful momentum is building that decision-makers will find impossible to ignore.

The Protect Our Privacy Coalition brings together over 35 major national organizations and over a dozen leading privacy experts. We’ve banded together to call for effective legal measures to protect the privacy of every resident of Canada against government intrusion.

Since the launch of the Coalition, thousands of Canadians have been speaking out in support on social media, with many more joining us online at OurPrivacy.ca. Within just hours of the launch, the Official Opposition’s Digital Issues critic Charmaine Borg MP weighed in, offering the NDP’s support for the Coalition. Liberal MPs Marc Garneau and Joyce Murray have also spoken out on government surveillance, asking “who’s watching our spies?”

And just two weeks ago, OpenMedia joined with Coalition member BC Civil Liberties Association to launch a ground-breaking constitutional challenge that aims to stop government spying against law-abiding Canadians. The response from Canadians was huge — in just 24 hours, over 10,000 Canadians stood up to pledge their support for the lawsuit.

We’ve also seen a number of new organizations join our rapidly growing Coalition in just the past few weeks — including the Canadian Access and Privacy Association, the CanTrust Housing Cooperative, the Canadian Institute of Access and Privacy Professionals, Isomer Design, Les Alter Citoyens, Knowledge Flow, and the Ontario Humanist Society. Our breadth is our strength, as privacy is an issue that brings together Canadians from all political perspectives. If you’re part of an organization you can join the coalition here.

Privacy issues have also been the subject of intense media coverage, focusing on both the Coalition itself — check out Daily Xtra and 24 hours — and on the wider issues about government surveillance that the Coalition is raising. Be sure to read Jesse Kline’s analysis of the shocking revelation that secretive government spy agency CSEC has been conducting invasive industrial espionage against Brazil, supposedly a close Canadian friend and ally. Also well worth a read is this piece by Andrew Mitrovica in the Ottawa Citizen, who takes on those who’d shrug their shoulders in the face of recent revelations, saying, “This stuff does matter, and we need to know about it.”

It’s so heartening to see so many Canadians from all political perspectives uniting to send the government a clear message that their blanket surveillance of law-abiding citizens has got to stop.

Here at OpenMedia we know from past successes that when Canadians speak up in numbers, decision-makers can be forced to change direction (Here’s how it works). That’s why it’s so important we continue to amplify the concerns of Canadians. You can help and here’s how:

– Join our growing Coalition at http://OurPrivacy.ca — and share the web address with your colleagues, friends, and family.
– Join the thousands who are speaking out against unlawful government spying at https://OpenMedia.ca/csec
– If you are on Facebook, click here to post the Coalition’s petition to your Wall
– If you have a Twitter account, click here to spread the word

We’ve thwarted government online spying before and we can do it again. Let’s keep going.

David Christopher

David Christopher

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...