[nSLUG] New Canadian Voice in Digital Rights Issues

Tony Abou-Assaleh taa at acm.org
Sat Dec 10 02:20:31 AST 2005

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* New Canadian Voice in Digital Rights Issues

Online Rights Canada Launches with EFF, CIPPIC Support

Toronto - Online Rights Canada (ORC) launched in Canada
Friday, giving Canadians a new voice in critical technology
and information policy issues.  The grassroots organization
is jointly supported by the Canadian Internet Policy &
Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC) and the Electronic Frontier
Foundation (EFF).

"Canadians are realizing in ever-greater numbers that the
online world offers tremendous opportunities for learning,
communicating, and innovating, but that those opportunities
are at risk as a result of corporate practices, government
policies and legal regimes that hinder online privacy and
free speech," said Philippa Lawson, Executive Director and
General Counsel of CIPPIC.  "Online Rights Canada provides
a home on the Internet for grassroots activism on digital
issues that are important to ordinary Canadians."

"With the Canadian government preparing for a January
election, all of last year's legislation is back on the
drawing board.  Canadians now have another chance to
present a public interest perspective on issues like
copyright reform and increased government surveillance,"
said Ren Bucholz, EFF's Policy Coordinator, Americas.  "We
are happy to be launching ORC at such a critical time."

One of ORC's first actions is a petition drive against
unwarranted surveillance law.  A bill proposed in
Parliament last month would have allowed law enforcement
agencies to obtain personal information without a warrant
and forced communications providers to build surveillance
backdoors into the hardware that routes phone calls and
Internet traffic.  The petition asks Canadian lawmakers to
protect citizens' privacy rights when the new government
convenes in 2006.  Other important issues for ORC will
include copyright law, access to information, and freedom
from censorship.

"Today, ORC focuses on digital copyright and lawful access.
But there is no reason to restrict the site to those two
issues," said CIPPIC Staff Counsel David Fewer.  "Our hope
is that ORC will evolve into the first place to go for
Canadians looking for opportunities to protect their online
rights.  Anyone can be an activist - Online Rights Canada
will give you the tools you need."

Online Rights Canada is the latest group to join the global
fight for digital rights.  Digital Rights Ireland launched
earlier this week, and the Open Rights Group launched in
the United Kingdom last month.

For Online Rights Canada:

For this release:

-- forwarded by ...

Tony Abou-Assaleh
Lecturer, Computer Science Department
Brock University, St. Catharines, ON, Canada, L2S 3A1
Office: MC J215
Tel:    +1(905)688-5550 ext. 5243
Fax:    +1(905)688-3255
Email:  taa at acm.org
WWW:    http://www.cosc.brocku.ca/~taa/
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