#CyberFLASH: We’ve Got a Plan to Restore the Privacy Rights of Canadians

10712553For anyone who cares about privacy, the past few months have been one hell of a ride:We’ve seen startling leaked documents confirming that Canada’s spy agency CSE is monitoring our private online activities on a massive scale — and even spying on private emails Canadians send to their MPs. We’ve seen Peter MacKay’s online spying Bill C-13 become the law of the land, despite huge opposition from Canadians.

And, most famously, we’ve seen the government push forward Bill C-51, a reckless, dangerous, and ineffective piece of legislation that experts say will criminalize free expression, create a secret police force, and lead to widespread violations of our most basic Charter Rights.

But hold on to your hats — our community is about to make a significant intervention in this debate. Next Wednesday we’re launching a crowdsourced pro-privacy action plan packed with positive ideas from our community about how to stop out-of-control surveillance, roll back Bill C-51, and restore the privacy rights of every Canadian.

Even casual followers of current affairs will know from recent developments that Canada faces a stark privacy deficit. And anyone who’s been within hailing distance of OpenMedia these past months will know we’ve been pushing back hard against the way the government is shredding our privacy rights, working with groups like Leadnow.ca and the BCGEU to organize massive nationwide rallies, co-hosting a petition with over 225,000 people speaking out against Bill C-51, and all in all throwing ourselves with gusto into what’s become one of the largest political campaigns in Canadian history.

It’s absolutely crucial that we push back with everything we’ve got against these government plans. But saying no is not enough: Canadians deserve positive solutions, and a comprehensive approach to tackling our privacy deficit.

That’s why, late last year, we reached out to you, our community, to ask for your ideas on how we can turn our privacy situation around. Working with experts, we created an innovative crowdsourcing tool to let Canadians tell us their priorities when it comes to privacy — and we were blown away by the response.

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