Category Archives: Sovereignty

Walkom, Thomas - Trudeau quietly agrees to share info on Canadians with U.S.- The Toronto Star 20160314

Walkom, Thomas - Trudeau quietly agrees to share info on Canadians with U.S.- The Toronto Star 20160314

For cross-border travelers, the odds of getting on one of those impossible-to-escape American security lists have just increased.

On Friday, Daniel Therrien, the current federal privacy commissioner, said he won’t comment on this week’s announcement about information sharing.

On Friday, Daniel Therrien, the current federal privacy commissioner, said he won’t comment on this week’s announcement about information sharing.

When the hyperbole is cleared away, Justin Trudeau’s pilgrimage to Washington has produced one clear result.

Canada’s new Liberal government says it will push through a long-delayed plan to share with Washington biographic and other information on Canadian citizens travelling overland to the U.S.

The Americans, in turn, will reciprocate.

Many of the other announcements made last week, such as the joint Canada-U.S. agreement to reduce methane gas emissions, may founder on the shoals of American politics.

There is no guarantee that U.S. President Barack Obama’s successor, whoever he or she may be, will have the same interest in battling climate change.

But in the U.S., national security is a touchstone that crosses party lines. And in national security terms, Canada is considered suspect.

Many prominent Americans, including Obama’s first homeland security chief, Janet Napolitano, have insisted — contrary to all factual evidence — that the 9/11 attackers came though Canada.

I doubt that any American politician would turn down Ottawa’s offer to give U.S. national security agencies more information on Canadians.

Perhaps appropriately, the announcement that both sides were pressing ahead with information sharing was made Thursday not by Canada’s prime minister but by Obama.

Is any of this a problem for Canadians? In the short run, the answer is probably no. The Canada Border Service Agency already gives its American counterpart information on third-country citizens and Canadian permanent residents travelling by land to the U.S.

But in most cases, according to the CBSA, the information includes only basic identifiers such as name, date of birth and port of entry.

In the longer run, as successive federal privacy commissioners have pointed out, information sharing can be more dangerous.

In 2011, then privacy commissioner Jennifer Stoddart pointed to the Maher Arar case, in which Canada’s sharing of faulty information with the U.S. led to the arrest, rendition and torture of an innocent Canadian citizen.

She also cited the cases of three other Muslim Canadians who had been subject to torture abroad in part because of Canada’s too-casual approach to sharing information.

On Friday, Daniel Therrien, the current federal privacy commissioner, said he won’t comment on this week’s announcement about information sharing until he sees what precisely the government is proposing.

The new system was to have been in place last July. But like much else in the Beyond the Border program, which was announced with much fanfare five years ago, it ran into delays.

Designed as a way to reconcile Canada’s economic needs with America’s national security preoccupations, Beyond the Border was an attempt to create a kind of wall around North America.

For Canada, the primary aim was to minimize delays at border crossings that might interfere with Canada-U.S. trade.

For the U.S., the primary aim was to secure its borders.

Among other measures, the two countries agreed to deploy joint law enforcement teams along the frontier.

But as the Canadian Press reported earlier this month, the plan kept running into practical problems. For instance, whose jurisdiction would apply if an American FBI agent shot and killed a suspect on Canadian soil?

More to the point, the two sides remain fundamentally at loggerheads over the very nature of the Canada-U.S. border.

Ottawa wants what it calls a thin border to allow easy passage of people and goods back and forth. As evidenced by last week’s announcement, it is willing to sacrifice some of the privacy of its citizenry in return for this.

Washington, however, wants a thick border that would make it harder for terrorists to enter the U.S.

So while it is happy to receive information from Ottawa and even give back some in return, it is not willing to substantially relax its guard.

For those Canadians still willing to travel to the U.S., the result promises to be the worst of both worlds — a greater chance of being mistakenly added to one of those impossible-to-escape American security lists, and a still difficult border.

Geist, Michael - Service interrupted: TPP intervenes in Canada's Internet governance - Rabble 20160126

Geist, Michael - Service interrupted: TPP intervenes in Canada's Internet governance - Rabble 20160126

Photo: flickr/ Martin Krolikowski

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Problems? Oh, the Trans-Pacific Partnership has a few! Readabout them all in the new seriesThe Trouble with the TPP.

The Trouble with the TPP series explores Internet-related issues this week, starting with the surprising inclusion of Internet governance in a trade deal.

The debate over Internet governance for much of the past decade has often come down to a battle between ICANN and the ITU (a UN body), which in turn is characterized as a choice between a private-sector led, bottoms-up, consensus model (ICANN) or a governmental-controlled approach.

Canada (along with countries like the U.S. and Australia) have consistently sided with the ICANN-model, arguing for a multi-stakeholder approach with limited government intervention. In fact, at the 2014 NetMundial conference, the Canadian government stated:

pre>"The multistakeholder model of Internet governance has been a key driver in the success of the Internet to date. Canada firmly supports this model and believes it must continue to be the foundation for all discussions in order to preserve the Internet's open architecture. Canada firmly supports strengthening this model. Government centric approaches would stifle the innovation and dynamism associated with the Internet."

The Trouble with the TPP is that it contradicts Canada's longstanding policy on Internet governance. While Canada, the U.S. and other TPP countries urge the governments of the world to take a hands-off approach to the Internet, the TPP opens the door to country-code domain intervention (note that I am on the board of the Canadian Internet Registration Authority, which manages the dot-ca domain).

Article 18.28 on domain names requires each party to have a domain name dispute resolution system similar to the ICANN UDRP, to provide online public access to the WHOIS database that provides contact information for domain name registrants, and to have "appropriate remedies" for bad faith intent to profit from similar domains.

According to earlier leaks, Canada joined most of the TPP in opposing the provision requiring remedies for bad faith intent to profit, perhaps recognizing the implications of mandated domain name regulation. The U.S. demand for a provision prevailed, however, creating trade rules that effectively require governments to regulate their national domains.

The current Canadian rules likely meet the TPP requirements, but what if CIRA, acting as an independent manager of the dot-ca domain in consultation with its stakeholders, decided to amend its dispute resolution rules or to further restrict access to the WHOIS database?

If the new CIRA rules were inconsistent with the TPP, the Canadian government would either face the prospect of violating the trade agreement or compelling CIRA to amend its rules. It is not clear how it would do that -- perhaps a legislative act or an assertion of power over CIRA -- but however achieved, it would require the government to directly intervene within the Canadian Internet governance model.

That approach is what the government has long rejected, yet the TPP raises the possibility of abdicating those principles in order to meet the agreement's obligations.

Boutilier, Alex - Canadians’ Internet traffic at risk - Toronto Star 20151230

Canadians’ Internet traffic at risk

Canadian researchers find that a large amount of Canadians’ internet traffic is routed through the United States, making it vulnerable to interception.

Done any online shopping this holiday season? Paid any bills online? Maybe sent an email to your local MP about road salt?

If you answered yes to any of the above, there’s a good chance your data made its way through the United States. And that puts your personal information at risk of interception, new research by two Canadian academics shows.

Researchers Andrew Clement and Jonathan A. Obar call it the “boomerang effect.” Because most of the Internet’s infrastructure runs through the United States, even communications beginning and ending in Canada are often routed through America.

“When (data) passes through the United States . . . Canadians have no legal rights at all. We lose our constitutional rights, and under U.S. law Canadians are foreigners, so there’s no protection for our communications,” Clement said in an interview.

But before getting into the issues associated with the boomerang effect, we need to know a little bit more about that marvelous series of tubes called the Internet.

How the Internet actually works

Former U.S. senator Ted Stevens probably didn’t know it, but his description of the Internet as a “series of tubes” wasn’t all that far off. At least it’s a more accurate description than the current conception of the Internet as an amorphous “cloud” of data.

In the recently released book Law, Privacy and Surveillance in Canada in the Post-Snowden Era, Clement and Obar explain that all interactions on the Internet are data packets being transmitted between routers. (The book was edited by Michael Geist, a University of Ottawa professor who writes a weekly column for the Star.)

“They’re literally tubes of light, fiber optics,” Clement said. “And then in addition to the tubes, there’s the switching centres where packets get switched from one tube to another. And those are critically important.”

The Internet doesn’t work like an old landline, where a connection is established between two ends of the conversation. Instead, data can jump through multiple routers between its origin and destination.

For instance, an email sent from the University of Toronto to Queen’s Park doesn’t simply go across the street. In Clement and Obar’s experiment, that email began in Toronto, made its way to New York, then on to Chicago, finally arriving back in Toronto.

In fact, they found that 22 per cent of Canadian Internet traffic they monitored in their experiment was routed through at least one major city in the United States — even as far away as Miami, Fla.

Email traffic to Queen’s Park?

Yeah. So the policy implications should be pretty clear already.

These days, most government business is conducted online. Emails containing sensitive information is routinely bounced back and forth between politicians, their staffers, and bureaucrats over email.

The National Security Agency (NSA), the U.S.’s massive electronic spying agency, has reportedly installed “splitter” sites in major cities that would give them the ability to intercept data as it is transmitted through major cities. Clement and Obar write that Canadian data running through the U.S. has no protection, constitutionally or otherwise, regarding its interception and use by American intelligence services.

And before you chalk this up to the tinfoil hat crowd, the U.S. and Canada have conducted economic espionage on each other in the past. Canada’s signals intelligence agency, the Communications Security Establishment, reportedly spied on the U.S. to help secure a lucrative wheat deal with China in the 1980s — to name but one example we know about.

Sovereignty, network and otherwise

Clement and Obar argue the federal government should begin moving to a concept of “network sovereignty” — in other words, Canada should make sure that Canadian Internet traffic is routed domestically, rather than through the U.S.

While a new term, Clement and Obar argue, network sovereignty is quite an old concept.

Clement said that with relatively little investment, Canada could ensure that its citizens’ Internet communications could remain in Canada — and be subject to Canada’s privacy and data laws.

“These (investments) include, most notably, public Internet exchange points, where all carriers can freely hand traffic off to each other, as well as the high-capacity fibre optic trunk lines that connect them,” they write.

“The former are vital, as they enable the various local networks to reach communicants on other networks without having to depend on buying transit services from foreign carriers.”

If that sounds pricey, well, it probably is. But Clement and Obar note that the federal government has spent hundreds of millions — rightly, they say — on expanding Internet services to rural communities. The federal government has spent nowhere near that in building Canada’s Internet “backbone” capacity.

What’s the hold-up?

A few things. First, the issue of U.S. mass Internet surveillance wasn’t widely known until whistleblower Edward Snowden exposed some of the NSA’s largest programs. So the scope of the problem with routing Canadians’ communications through the U.S. wasn’t clear.

Second, Clement notes that the issue of “network sovereignty” has not really been widely discussed. If policy makers don’t know about the issue, it’s not likely it will see significant public investment or work its way onto the government’s priority list.

“Partly, it’s ignorance,” Clement said.

Finally, large telecommunications companies obviously have an incentive to control as much infrastructure as possible, forcing smaller companies to purchase transmission capacity from them.

“These big telecom companies don’t have an interest to make it easy for their smaller competitors to trade within Canada,” Clement said.

Avoiding the boomerang

Clement and Obar argue that investing in network sovereignty would increase Canada’s information security, but that’s not enough — Canada has its own electronic spying agency, after all.

But network sovereignty, Clement and Obar conclude, as well as promoting a free and open Internet, would go a long way to ensuring Canadians rights are respected.

And if Canada takes a leadership role on the issue, the effects could be felt beyond the country’s borders in this ever-increasingly connected world.

“Asserting national network sovereignty transparently and accountably in the pursuit of democratic ideals arguably provides one of the best bases for achieving similar ideals at a global scale,” they write.

Privacy and network sovereignty in Canada - Clement and Obar

Network sovereignty

 Clement, A and Obar, JA - Canadian Internet \"boomerang\" traffic and mass NSA surveillance: Responding to privacy and network sovereignty challenges - 2015

Clement, Andrew - Canada\'s bad dream - 2014

Experts Say Economics and Politics Hamper Efficient Routing of Internet Data - 201411

Clement, Andrew and Obar, Jonathan A - Keeping Internet Users in the Know or in the Dark: An Analysis of the Data Privacy Transparency of Canadian Internet Service Providers - 20140327 <download>

Obar, Jonathan A and Clement, Andrew - Internet Surveillance and Boomerang Routing: A Call for Canadian Network Sovereignty - 20130701 <download>

TEM 2013: Proceedings of the Technology & Emerging Media Track - Annual Conference of the Canadian Communication Association (Victoria, June 5-7, 2012)
Preliminary analysis of more than 25,000 traceroutes reveals a phenomenon we call ‘boomerang routing’ whereby internet transmissions originating and terminating in Canada are routinely routed through the United States. Canadian originated transmissions that travel to a destination in Canada via a U.S. switching centre or carrier are subject to U.S. law - including the USA Patriot Act and FISAA. As a result, these transmissions expose Canadians to potential U.S. surveillance activities – a violation of Canadian network sovereignty.

In the face of this unregulated surveillance of Canadians, the Federal government and internet service providers should re-assert our national network sovereignty and better protect Canadian civil liberties. In what follows, we present boomerang route findings and discuss U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) tracking concerns. We then offer a plan for strengthening Canadian network sovereignty, including: 1) strengthening and enforcement of Canadian privacy law (e.g. PIPEDA), and 2) repatriation of Canadian internet traffic by building more internet exchange points.

Clement, Andrew and Obar, Jonathan A - Keeping Internet Users in the Know or in the Dark: An Analysis of the Data Privacy Transparency of Canadian Internet Service Providers - 20140327 <download>

In the wake of the Snowden revelations about NSA surveillance, recent calls for greater data privacy recommend that internet service providers (ISPs) be more forthcoming about their handling of our personal information. Responding to this concern as well as in keeping with the transparency, openness and accountability principles fundamental to Canadian privacy law, this report evaluates the data privacy transparency of twenty of the most prominent ISPs (aka carriers) currently serving the Canadian public. We award ISPs up to ten ‘stars’ based on the public availability of the following information: 1. A public commitment to PIPEDA compliance. 2. A public commitment to inform users about all third party data requests. 3. Transparency about frequency of third party data requests and disclosures. 4. Transparency about conditions for third party data disclosures. 5. An explicitly inclusive definition of ‘personal information’. 6. The normal retention period for personal information. 7. Transparency about where personal information is stored. 8. Transparency about where personal information is routed. 9. Publicly visible steps to avoid U.S. routing of Canadian data. 10. Open advocacy for user privacy rights (such as in court and/or legislatively).

Stars are awarded based on careful examination of each ISP’s corporate website. We selected the 20 ISPs in our sample based on their prevalence among the approximately 6000 internet traceroutes in the database (out of 25,000 in total) that correspond to intra-Canadian routes – i.e. with origin and destination in Canada.

ISPs earn very few stars – 1.5/10 on average. The highest scoring carrier overall is TekSavvy, earning 3.5 stars in aggregate based on full or half stars across five criteria. The large foreign carriers Cogent and AboveNet (Zayo) receive no stars. Slightly more than half of the ISPs (11 of 20), all operating primarily in Canada, state a commitment to adhere to the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), which governs the handling of personal information in commercial transactions. None of the foreign-based ISPs that carry significant amounts of intra-Canadian traffic indicate any explicit compliance with Canadian privacy law. At the time of writing, no Canadian ISP had yet published a transparency report along the lines of AT&T, Verizon, Google, Facebook or Twitter, each of which have begun to report standardized statistics concerning law enforcement access requests.

Without proactive public reporting on the part of ISPs in the key areas identified above, it is very difficult for Canadians to protect their personal privacy online nor hold these important organizations to account. To remedy this situation, we provide a number of policy recommendations specific to the various groups involved.


Clement, Andrew - Mapping Internet Backbone Traffic for Understanding Communication Policy Issues: Surveillance and Network Sovereignty in a North American Context- 20120331

Abstract (only):

Objectives: There is much attention to internet policy issues but this is mainly focused on activities at the ‘edges’ of the internet. Furthermore, understanding internet traffic routing and storage issues and their associated policy implications is made more difficult by how the ‘cloud’ metaphor obscure the ‘hard’ structures, jurisdictional boundaries and dynamic processes of internet routing.

This paper reports on research aimed at rendering more visible and amenable to public policy treatment the relatively hidden aspects of backbone routing. By mapping the routes packets take across the North America, this research seeks to shed light on two phenomena in particular: internet surveillance conducted by security and law enforcement agencies (eg NSA, CSE); and ‘boomerang routing’, where packets originating and terminating in the same country are routed via one or more other countries where they may be subject to surveillance or delay. These have implications for privacy and ‘network sovereignty.’

Methods: There are several steps in the analysis and mapping of internet routing: 1) crowdsourced generation of traceroutes - user installed traceroute generation software which automatically ‘pings’ a series of predefined destination URLs and uploads results to central IXmaps database; 2) geo-location of IP addresses produced in 1) assigning lat/long to IP addresses via a combination of three techniques: traceroute-landmark; hostname parsing; and comparative hop latency; 3) background research on the carriers, data centers and exchange points referenced in traceroutes; 4) combining data from previous steps by mapping traceroutes and intermediate sites in Google Earth.

Data: So far our database contains over 14,000 individual traceroutes spanning North America, based on 92 originating addresses, over 1,700 destination URLs: 1722 and includes more than 13,000 unique IP Addresses, half of which have been geo-located to the city level or better.

Novelty: Prior work in mapping internet traffic typically shows aggregate flows between major switching centers from the perspective of the carriers. The mapping of individual routes between user selected origins and destination provides for a much finer grained analysis and more specific policy insights. eg. We show that a significant portion of intra-Canadian traffic transits via the US. Furthermore, it enables a nuanced account for why particular routes cross borders or pass through surveillance sites, as well as suggesting remedial responses such as the siting of backbone facilities and jurisdictional regulation.

Clement, Andrew and Obar, Jonathan A - Internet Boomerang Routing: Surveillance, Privacy and Network Sovereignty in a North American Context - 20130331

Abstract (only):

Due to technical and political economic choices made principally by private corporations, worldwide internet traffic is often routed through the United States. For example, in 2005 it was estimated that 94 percent of internet traffic routed between Latin America and Asia or Latin America and Europe passed through switches in the U.S. (Bamford, 2009). Packets originating and terminating in the same country may also travel via the U.S. - a process we refer to as ‘boomerang routing’.

Beyond the economic and network performance issues of increased latency, boomerang routing raises several policy concerns, many emanating from the alleged surveillance practices of U.S. government agencies, most notably the National Security Agency (NSA). Unchecked surveillance of foreign internet traffic, a practice protected and engendered by the U.S. Patriot Act, threatens national network sovereignty, or the concept that a nation should have control over the routing, maintenance and protection of its internet traffic. A loss of network sovereignty threatens civil liberties as users become subject to the laws and policies of foreign governments, corporations and others engaging in surveillance.

It is worth noting that the prospect of NSA surveillance may also be damaging to the reputation of the U.S. government and its ISPs, painting the American government as a ‘surveillance state’ that cannot be trusted. The outcomes of this potential shift in reputation could include the political economic consequences of physical layer circumvention efforts by would-be sovereign nations protecting traffic from interception.

This paper describes ongoing research aimed at rendering more visible and amenable to public policy treatment the relatively hidden aspects of backbone routing. By mapping the routes packets take across North America, we seek to shed light on the phenomenon of ‘boomerang routing’ from several policy perspectives. Taking Canadian boomerang routing as a case study, we show its extent and recurring patterns. In particular, we examine how relations between different classes and nationalities of carriers, as well as the availability of local public peering points affects whether data is routed internally within Canada or whether it transits the U.S.

This research draws on our IXmaps database (see:, which contains over 22,000 individual traceroutes spanning North America. About 2500 of these originate and terminate in Canada. Well over a third are boomerang routes, initiated from public and private locations in Canada that transit the United States before ending at similarly public and private locations in Canada. Nearly all of this boomerang traffic passes through cities where the NSA is strongly suspected of having installed splitter operations.

We will highlight implications of this research for ongoing internet governance negotiations, such as the recent ‘failed’ World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT-12), as well as how nations whose internet traffic is often routed via the U.S. may advance their network sovereignty. In particular we will discuss the prospect for governments and internet businesses to promote the establishment of national public internet exchanges that can help reduce congestion, enhance network performance and keep personal data under national privacy jurisdiction.

Works Cited
Bamford, J. (2009). The shadow factory: The ultra-secret NSA from 9/11 to the eavesdropping on America. New York: Doubleday.




Expert report reveals Internet providers should be more transparent about how they handle our private information

Report lifts the curtain on how Internet providers protect privacy, giving Canadians an at-a-glance tool to rate their provider’s transparency compared with others

March 27, 2014 – A new report by leading privacy experts has revealed that Canadian Internet providers need to be much more transparent about how they protect their customers’ private information.

The report found that while all providers had room for improvement, smaller independent providers tend to be more transparent overall than their larger counterparts. Smaller providers also got credit for being more transparent about their user privacy protection and for more visibly keeping domestic Canadian Internet traffic within Canada.

The report, entitled Keeping Internet Users in the Know or in the Dark, is being released today and New Transparency Projects. The report offers Canadians an in-depth look at the Data Privacy Transparency of Canadian Internet Service Providers (ISPs). The authors have also released an at-a-glance ‘Star Table’ rating ISPs according to 10 transparency criteria. Canadians can use this chart to see how their provider compares with others. The ISP ‘star ratings can also be seen in relation to one’s personal internet traffic using the Explore feature of the internet mapping tool.

The study found that there was plenty of room for improvement among the 20 ISPs covered by the report. However smaller, independent Canadian carriers scored better overall than larger incumbents. Independent provider TekSavvy earned more stars across more categories than other ISPs. Canadian ISPs were overall more transparent than the foreign carriers that handle domestic Canadian internet traffic. They generally don’t even acknowledge their compliance with Canadian privacy law, notably the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA).

The project was spearheaded by Prof. Andrew Clement and Dr. Jonathan Obar at the Faculty of Information, University of Toronto. Professor Clement explains that: “We’ve just seen that in 99% of Canadian Border Services Agency’s requests for subscriber information, telecom companies have turned this sensitive data over without a warrant. Internet providers must be accountable to the Canadian public for how they handle our personal information. ISPs that proactively demonstrate transparency can show leadership in the global battle for data privacy protection and bringing state surveillance under democratic governance.”, a community-based organization leading a 34,000-strong nationwide pro-privacy campaign, says the report has revealed that Canadians need better accountability from their ISPs, especially from the telecom giants.

“Canadians deserve to know whether their telecom provider has their back when it comes to how they protect your privacy,” says Executive Director Steve Anderson. “Today’s report will make it easier for Canadians to make informed choices about which Internet provider to trust with their personal information. It’s clear from these detailed findings that smaller providers are more transparent about the measures they take to protect customer privacy - information customers need to assess which Internet provider is best for them.”

Anderson continued: “Nevertheless, all Internet providers have plenty of room for improvement. With so much of our private information now online, every Internet provider has a duty to safeguard Canadians from mass government surveillance - foreign and Canadian. They also need to be much more transparent about the extent of their cooperation with warrantless government spying - Canadians deserve to know exactly how often the government tries to invade their privacy, and exactly what their ISP is doing to protect them.”

The report makes a number of policy recommendations aimed at improving ISP transparency:

  • ISPs should make public detailed information about their commitment to being transparent about when, why, and how they transfer private customer information to the state and other third parties.
  • The federal Privacy Commissioner and CRTC should more closely oversee ISPs to ensure their data privacy transparency, and in particular that they only hand off Internet traffic to carriers with comparable privacy protections as those in Canadian privacy law.
  • Legislators should reform privacy laws to include robust transparency norms.

The research has been supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada. The views expressed are those of the authors alone., Professor Andrew Clement and Dr. Jonathan Obar are part of the Protect our Privacy Coalition, which is calling for effective legal measures to protect the privacy of every resident of Canada against intrusion by government entities.

Over 34,000 Canadians have spoken out about government spying in recent months at: and

About the research project:

Since 2008, the project has worked to help internet users “see where your data packets go”, with the aim of raising public awareness of the privacy implications of internet data packet routing. In particular, the project has mapped the sites of likely NSA interception in the US, enabling users to see whether their internet traffic may have been captured. It has also documented the extensive Canadian “boomerang traffic” - Internet communication that starts in Canada and ends in Canada, but which passes through the US where it is subject to NSA surveillance. The project has received funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada and is affiliated with the New Transparency Project and the Information Policy Research Program at the Faculty of Information, University of Toronto.

About is a network of people and organizations working to safeguard the possibilities of the open Internet. We work toward informed and participatory digital policy.

Through campaigns such as and, has engaged over half-a-million Canadians, and has influenced public policy and federal law.

About’s privacy campaign led the successful campaign that forced the government to back down on its plans to introduce a costly, invasive, and warrantless online spying law (Bill C-30). Nearly 150,000 Canadians took part in the campaign. To learn more, see this infographic.

On October 10, 2013 collaborated with over 40 major organizations and over a dozen academic experts to form the Protect Our Privacy Coalition, which is the largest pro-privacy coalition in Canadian history. The Coalition is calling for effective legal measures to protect the privacy of every resident of Canada against intrusion by government entities. and the BC Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) recently announced they will work together to put a stop to illegal government surveillance against law-abiding Canadians. has launched a national campaign encouraging Canadians to support a BCCLA legal action which aims to stop illegal spying by challenging the constitutionality of the government’s warrantless collection of data on Canadians’ everyday Internet use.


David Christopher
Communications Manager,

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