Everyone can help defend the internet


A Canadian organization never lacking in determination, OpenMedia confronts major issues like net neutrality and cyber surveillance.
OpenMedia Overview ‧ read
A web with no links? Save the Link
Just because Canadians have a reputation for being laid back doesn’t mean they aren’t ready to fight for their digital rights. Nor does it mean the Canadian government is too polite to spy on its citizens via the internet.

That’s why Vancouver-based internet rights advocate Steve Anderson founded OpenMedia in 2008. The organization has raised awareness for Canadian net neutrality, helped overturn metered internet usage in Canada, and actively campaigns against mass surveillance.

Recently OpenMedia has widened its scope with projects aimed at protecting the whole internet—not just for internet users in Canada. Here’s what you need to know about this tireless campaigner for online freedoms.

Safeguarding Canada’s internet

OpenMedia’s first campaign was a Canada-focused drive to defend net neutrality. Net neutrality is the principle that internet service providers (ISPs) must treat all data the same. Net neutrality means ISPs cannot create internet “fast lanes” for large companies who can afford to pay a premium fee and “slow lanes” for everyone else.

In 2011, Save The Net brought together a coalition of organizations that worked to safeguard the open internet. At the time, U.S. cable companies were lobbying to end net neutrality in America. Save The Net raised awareness about net neutrality in Canada to defend against similar threats north of the border.

The biggest online appeal in Canadian history

OpenMedia’s next campaign was its biggest yet. In fact, it was the biggest online appeal ever in Canada, attracting over 500,000 signatures. OpenMedia’s Stop the Meter campaign
The Stop The Meter campaign raised awareness about attempts by big Canadian telecoms to force metered internet usage on the whole of Canada. If they had succeeded, Canadian internet users would have been charged per megabyte to use the web, video services, and other online essentials.

That’s unthinkable today. Thanks to the Stop the Meter petition, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) and the Canadian government scrapped their plans.

#TellVicEverything: Fighting spy Bills C-30 and C-51

Long before Edward Snowden’s NSA revelations in 2013, OpenMedia was already fighting mass surveillance by the Canadian government.

In 2011, OpenMedia launched the Stop Spying campaign against Bill C-30, which would have allowed Canadian police to gather internet and phone data from all Canadians without a warrant. The campaign won over 100,000 signatures and Bill C-30 was shelved.

When Public Safety Minister Vic Toews launched surveillance Bill C-51 in 2012, OpenMedia got creative with a new campaign. Protesters used the hashtag #TellVicEverything to share mundane facts that C-51’s spying might reveal—and again, OpenMedia won the battle. Openmedia tweet

OpenMedia proves anyone can defend the internet

In recent years, OpenMedia has continues to campaign on important digital rights issues such as link censoring, the secrecy of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and new net neutrality threats in India and other developing nations. ExpressVPN is proud to support and sponsor OpenMedia’s successful Save the Link campaign, creating a tool to help people contact their MEP to stop link censoring. OpenMedia has also broadened its scope to cover international digital-rights issues as well as Canadian ones.