Open Media Opens Petition in Anticipation of Liberals War on the Internet

Open Media isn’t taking any chances. They created a petition in anticipation of Canada’s war on the Internet.

One by one, our predictions are coming true about the 2021 Canadian Federal election. First, we accurately predicted that it was going to be a Liberal minority government. Next, we accurately predicted that it was going to be a late night before a projection of a Liberal minority was called. Now, we are learning today that, despite surprisingly high early voting rates, this election was, indeed, a low voter turnout rate. The only thing we didn’t call was that it could be a historically low voter turnout rate, but hey, being more correct than we thought doesn’t hurt anything, right?

So, with an accuracy rate becoming rather uncanny in the typical Drew Wilson fashion, what is still forthcoming? Well, we are expecting a speech from the throne. Obviously, that is a gimme because that always comes after an election. We certainly see the possibility that references to this forthcoming war on the Internet to be referenced at the very least. We’re not entirely sure about it, but there is a very good chance of this happening. Sometime after this, we know the Liberals three prong war on the Internet is going to hit. After all, the Liberals did vow to carry out all three prongs within 100 days of their mandate.

Now we are learning that Open Media seems to be taking our cues and have pre-emptively started a petition to allow Canadians to speak out about this issue. Throughout the election, Canadians were effectively denied being able to discuss the war on the Internet. So, this may be the first method of legitimately having a say on matters. Yesterday, they issued a tweet about it:

URGENT: OpenMedia needs YOUR help rallying against a disastrous Surveil and Censor Plan for our Internet, now back on the agenda with @LPCBC
‘s win.

A short 🧵on what’s happening, what it will mean, and what the government should do instead. #cdnpoli 1/13

The tweet not only contains a thread, but also a link to the petition which is a great petition to sign if you care about these issues.

The tweet was retweeted by CIPPIC, another Canadian organization. What is also interesting is that American rights organization, Fight for the Future, issued a supporting tweet about the petition:

Canadian friends

Your digital rights are under attack: “These proposals are very likely to be used to police and harass already marginalized people on the Internet, not to protect and empower them.”

has an action to speak out:

A question might be is why American organizations are taking such interest. The simple answer is that they have effectively learned from the thinking I effectively helped pioneer in digital rights circles clear back in the 2000’s. A bad policy in one country can very easily spread to other countries. Indeed, people in those days thought I was crazy for thinking this way and, by extension, thought it was crazy that I was even bothering with stories outside of the United States. All these years later, it is pretty common knowledge and why it is, in fact, important to cover the big digital rights issues happening in other countries. I think that others employing this makes the community stronger and more resilient as a result, so it always puts a smile on my face whenever I see others adopting this defensive tactic.

At any rate, there is very real fear that if Canada adopts this three prong strategy for online policy, it will inspire lobbyists to push for similar laws in their own country. This ultimately helps no one whether you are outside of the country or inside the country. So, supporting Canadian opposition is both huge and a wise tactic to defend the open Internet.

As for the petition itself, we hope it is successful. The more Canadians sign petitions like that, the harder it is to ignore such opposition. The petition itself faces a very uphill battle. It’s going up against a party that is effectively ignoring the public on this front. Any opposition, in the eyes of the Liberals, is fake news and disinformation. As such, for them, it’s best to ignore it all. At the same time, headlines that say that over 1 million Canadians were ignored in the process is a very powerful thing indeed. It might not dissuade the Liberals, but we are also in a minority government. There is a very outside chance that the NDP might back down from their support of this. Slim, but not impossible.

As we’ve said before, things are going to be very bumpy on the digital rights front. From my perspective, it’s 2005 all over again. Those were very unpleasant years filled with a roller-coaster of emotion. Not something to look forward to, but we are already strapped in and ticking up the first incline already. So, we don’t exactly have much of a choice at this stage.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Facebook.

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