News

  • – 2012-06-03 –
    Time is running short for those wishing to nominate individuals to sit on CIRA's Board of Directors. CIRA, which operates the .CA registry, operates under a mandate that includes a number of important Internet governance issues. CIRA Board members are resopnsible for setting CIRA's strategic direction, helping achieve CIRA's mandate and objectives, and working towards supporting Canada's Internet community. The deadline for Board nominations is June 8, 2012. More detalis on the nomination process can be found here. More details on the election process in general can be found here. Three board positions are open for nomination, and successfully elected board members will sit for three successive election periods.
  • – 2012-06-01 –
    If you're interested in learning more about Open Educational Resources (OER), copyright, and Creative Commons licenses, don't miss the opportunity to participate in the OER Foundation's upcoming online workshop, Open Content Licensing for Educators.  CIPPIC is helping facilitate this course along with numerous other knowledgable experts in the field.
     
    This workshop is entirely free and runs from June 20 to July 3.  Register online at http://www.wikieducator.org/OCL4ED.
  • – 2012-05-18 –

    CIPPIC has joined an international coalition of civil society organizations including CDT, EFF, IGP and EDRi in a letter of protest (Spanish) sent to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). The letter protests the secrecy and exclusivity surrounding its preparations for the World Conference on International Communications (WCIT). Slated for negotiation during WCIT-12 is a potential re-envisioning of the International Telecommunications Regulations (ITR), an international treaty that currently governs traditional telephone communications amongst the numerous countries who have signed on to it. While the current ITRs are limited in scope primarily to telephone systems, the renegotiated text (which will be up for discussion and adoption at WCIT-12) is rumoured to weigh in heavily on several aspects of Internet governance.

    We say 'rumoured' because all the preparatory documents for WCIT-12 are sealed and civil society has been excluded from the discussions. The current ITU framework does not allow for open participation. Further, the ITU's business model (premised on the dubious concept of selling access to documents and decision-makers to corporate associates at prohibitive rates) is a significant barrier to civil society participation. While perhaps workable for regulation of telephone lines, this approach is antithetical to the distributed, multi-stakeholder governance model that has made the Internet the engine for innovation and freedom that it is today. The letter calls on the ITU to open the WCIT-12 preparatory documents up to public debate and to ensure all stakeholders, including civil society, the technical community, governments, and corporate interests are able to participate on equal footing. 

  • – 2012-05-10 –

    CIPPIC recently intervened in A.B. v. Bragg Communications Inc., a case that puts at issue the amount of anonymity litigants can claim in judicial processes. A.B. was a 15 year old victim of an online cyberbullying campaign that included the creation of an allegedly fake Facebook profile of her that attributed to her licentious sexual preferences and attitudes. A.B. sued, but wished to proceed anonymously, claiming that proceeding  under her real name would defeat the very reason for the lawsuit by subjecting her to further ridicule from her peers. It would further impact on her privacy rights, implicating her right to be left alone and her dignity and self-worth.

    CIPPIC argued that, while care must be taken not to impact too heavily on freedom of expression and on the open court principle (which holds that justice must be seen to be done), conflicts between fundamental rights such as privacy and freedom of expression must be carefully weighed in context. In particular, the Court's historic aversion to permitting anonymous litigants except in isolated scenarios needs to be re-examined. In light of the growing permanence, accessibility and searchability of court judgments, the privacy concerns in such scenarios are heightened and must be carefully weighed against countervailing freedom of expression concerns, in context. Proceeding anonymoulsy, particularly in a civil lawsuit, will often impact only slightly on freedom of expression and the open court principle, as there will be little public interest in the identity of the specific individual.

  • – 2012-04-18 –

    CIPPIC, alongside a broad coalition of U.S. and Canadian civil society groups, is participating in a week long protest against online spying in the name of cybersecurity. 'Stop Cyber Spying Week' is a response to the impending legislative enactment of a U.S. cybersecurity strategy that is excessively overbroad and will have serious implications for online privacy and expression.

    The development of an invasive U.S. cybersecurity strategy will have direct implications for Canadian civil liberties. We have, for one thing, committed to a 'Beyond the Borders' Initiative that seeks to harmonize Canada-United States approaches to a number of security issues, including cybersecurity. This means that a U.S. cybersecurity strategy adopted today may well become a Canadian cybersecurity strategy tomorrow. A comprehensive report published by the Rideau Institute in late 2011 suggests that the 'Shared Vision' espoused by the Canada-United States Initiative is very likely to involve a compromise on Canadian privacy. A Resolution issued last week by all of Canada's Federal/Provincial Privacy Commissioners expressed similar concern that programs adopted under the Initiative will lead to an unnecessary and unjustifiable loss of privacy for Canadians. All this does not bode well for Canadian privacy (or sovereignty) in general, but at the same time it makes the current U.S. cybersecurity debate particularly relevant to Canadians!

  • – 2012-04-12 –

    CIPPIC has filed a Statement of Defense on behalf of its client, Geolytica, in response to a lawsuit filed by the Canada Post Corporation in the Federal Court of Canada (File No. T-519-12) claiming that it owns copyright in its database of postal codes and that Geolytica has infringed that copyright by "crowd-sourcing" data for its own database of postal codes mapped to street addresses.

    The case raises fundamental copyright issues, including the scope of protection afforded compilations of data, the subsistence of copyright in factual address identifiers such as postal codes, and the availability of defenses such as fair dealing to developers of research tools such as Geolytica's Canadian Postal Code Geocoded Dataset.  The case will have significant implications for downstream innovators and analysts looking at using datasets for research and to facilitate the research of others.

     
  • – 2012-03-23 –
    Today we’re pleased to announce that CIPPIC has joined together with Athabasca University and BCcampus to re-establish a CC affiliate team in Canada. All three organizations will take part in the official relaunch at the Creative Commons Salon Ottawa: Open Data on Friday, March 30.
     
    This is not a new affiliate so much as a re-ignition of the existing Canadian community. Since 2004, a number of volunteers, interns and affiliate leads have supported and promoted CC and the use of open licenses generally in a Canadian context. Our new team, representing three organizations spread across the geographic and cultural expanse of Canada, will help support and lead the CC activities of this community.
     
    Through public outreach, community building, tools, research, and resources our team will work with a network of open supporters to maximize digital creativity, sharing and innovation across Canada. The work of CC Canada is aligned with the overarching vision of Creative Commons — to help provide universal access to research and education, and full participation in culture to drive a new era of development, growth and productivity.
  • – 2012-03-14 –

    UPDATE: For the latest details on this event, please visit www.opendatasalon.ca.
    On March 30th, CIPPIC and the Creative Law Society will host a Creative Commons Salon on the theme of "Open Data". This event is free and everyone is invited to participate. We have an exciting line-up of speakers for you!

    With the Open Data movement exploding, this is an opportune time to find out more about it and discuss it. Most major cities in Canada now have open data portals where municipal governments openly and freely release public sector data, such as maps, statistics and other government documents. The federal government is making open data the central focus of is Open Government Initiative in order to increase transparency and citizen participation. Come join us to learn more about this movement!

  • – 2012-02-16 –

    After receiving immense public pressure to make amendments to new online surveillance legislation that the government re-introduced on Tuesday, Prime Minister Harper announced today that these proposals could change as the bill makes its way through Parliamentary debate. The legislation will be referred to legislative committee prior to second reading, leaving room for significant changes in principal as opposed to minor changes of a technical nature.

    The proposed legislation at issue is Bill C-30, An Act to enact the Investigating and Preventing Criminal Electronic Communications Act and to amend the Criminal Code and other Acts -- it is otherwise known as the "lawful access" legislation. If this name sounds familiar, it's likely because the government unsuccessfully tried to introduce similar legislation in 2009 and again in 2010. Heavily criticized by the federal and provincial privacy commissioners -- as well as by civil society and the public -- these past efforts never made their way to a legislative committee. Nevertheless, the new bill remains largely unchanged from these earlier attempts.

    Reprisals against this bill have been pouring out from across all party lines. However, we strongly encourage everyone to keep up the pressure. The government has not yet commited to any specific amendments or improvements.  We encourage you to talk to your M.P. and sign the StopSpying.ca petition now.

  • – 2012-02-10 –

    CIRA is hosting its second annual Canadian Internet Forum -- a venue to discuss pressing and upcoming issues in the digital world. CIF 2012 will bring together experts and individual Canadians from across the spectrum of stakeholders in order to discuss the pressing Internet governance issues of our day. Last year, issues ranged broadly, covering concerns over the need to enhance ditigal literacy in Canada,  challenges for innovative ventures in Canada, to the need to implement IPv6 and DNSSEC and to ensure Canada has world-class Internet infrastructure.

    The forum represents a unique opportunity for Canadians to voice their concerns on Internet governance and related issues. This is particularly salient following the apparent demise of the government's digital economy strategy. Only two days remain to provide into the agenda, so take a few minutes and fill out CIRA's online form and tell them what you would like to hear discussed at CIF 2012 (dealine for comments is February 12, 2012)!