interweb freedom

(formerly Stop Usage Based Billing)

Posts Tagged ‘Georgia Straight’

Meet CISPA, Son of SOPA

Posted by Laurel L. Russwurm on April 17, 2012

The EU is fighting the secret ACTA trade agreement, while India seeks to pass an Internet Censorship law. Surprised?

SOPA isn’t dead, just redesigned. Meet CISPA, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, which picks up where SOPA left off. Similar legislation is being rushed into law by countries all over the world, including Canada, Belarus. have produced an infographic which explains CISPA:

It doesn’t matter who you are or where you are: you need to tell your government “No.”

As this infographic points out, when corporate interests diverge from citizen interests, we’re on our own. We have some great online resources, and many outspoken Internet freedom fighters, but we can no longer expect right to triumph just because its right. Because the other side can afford to hire lobbyists.

If we want right to triumph we have to speak up for it.

Make a phone call, send a letter or an email.

Alt Text for the InfoGraphic:


While protesters were occupied with SOPA, a new cybersecurity bill snuck its way into congressional consideration. Introducing CISPA: What it is, where it came from, and why it makes SOPA look like amateur hour.



CISPA = Cyber Intelligence Sharing & Protection Act

It allows both private businesses and the government to share information about cyberthreats.

That doesn’t sound so bad.

But what’s a cyberthreat?

According to CISPA:

Cyberthreats are supposed to be anything making “efforts to degrade, disrupt or destroy” vital nerworks.

Or anything that makes a “threat or misappropriation” of information owned by the government or private businesses.


While SOPA put companies at risk for subscriber activity, CISPA rewards companies for:

  • collecting data,
  • intercepting or modifying communications,
  • providing the government with information.

And unlike SOPA, CISPA doesn’t threaten the business interests of web companies.

So we shouldn’t expect their help in fighting the bill.

In fact, companies already supporting CISPA include:

  • AT&T
  • Verizon
  • Facebook,
  • Microsoft,
  • IBM,
  • Intel

and over 25 other organizations, all of which play a role in how you communicate.


Then you should also know that:

Information collected from you is “proprietary,”
meaning you don’t have the right to know what’s being gathered.

Under CISPA, companies can also share your

  • Names,
  • Addresses,
  • Phone Numbers

from the data they give to the government.


But it’s just now beginning to appear on the public radar.

If you share any information that the government or corporations find “inconvenient,” you could soon be labelled as a security threat, making your web activity subject to constant surveillance.

This work is under a Creative Commons License
Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial No Derivatives

Posted in Changing the World | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

An Open Letter against UBB

Posted by Laurel L. Russwurm on January 28, 2011

No Usage Based Billing

As Canada gets closer to having the Internet squeezed out of us, more people are finding out about it.
I’ve just received a letter from Lynda Fraser, another Canadian concerned about Usage Based Billing, who is active on the FaceBook Stop UBB in Canada page

Hello fellow Canadians,

Was wondering if you would be interested in looking at the recent CRTC decision to allow Bell Canada to basically kill all of us for wanting to use the internet. Sorry but that’s the way I feel about this whole decision.

Basically most Canadians will see
their internet bill double effective March 1/11
especially if they have signed up to watch television over the internet.

I am not a super user by any means, I do the normal banking, occasional shopping, email and Face Book. I will be affected by this as will the majority of internet users in Canada.

CRTC logo
One of the articles that I read said a spokesperson from CRTC said the decision was made so you pay for what you use to void throttling and caps on internet usage.

The throttling will continue and the caps are ridiculous. Most people I know will end up with an internet bill around $100.00 per month.

I thought Canada was a country that promotes healthy competition with it’s suppliers, the CRTC has ensured that Bell will end up being our only provider of internet services. Bell has even admitted in a recent statement to the public that their system for determining usage may not calculate properly and customers usage could be double counted.

And, on top of it all the announcement of large tax cuts for large corporations just tops it all off.

Not only will Bell raise prices, they will save on their corporate taxes.

The following information about costs and caps are directly from Bell Canada/Bell Aliant for Ontario and Quebec and this was all approved by the CRTC.

Old logo with text: The Bell Telephone Company of Canada - in a circle around a Bell which has the text: Local and Long Distance Telephone

Lite Residence – cap of 2GB, $2.13 charge per GB if you go over your 2GB to a maximum charge of an extra $51.00/month
Lite Plus Residence is the same as above
Basic Residence – cap of 25GB, $1.70 charge per GB if you go over 25GB to a maximum of $51.00/month

Lite Residence – cap of 1GB, $2.13 charge per GB if you go over your 1GB to a maximum charge of an extra $51.00/month
Lite Plus Residence – cap of 5GB, $2.13 charge per GB if you go over your 5GB to a maximum charge of an extra $51.00/month
Basic Residence – cap of 60GB, $2.13 charge per GB if you go over 25GB to a maximum of $51.00/month

Each of the above plans have a excessive usage charge as well. If you go over 300GB it is an additional $0.85/GB with no maximum.
They are offering for you to purchase an additional block of 40 GB for a monthly cost of $5.00 each and you can get a maximum of 3 of these per residence.

I could go on forever about this, actually feel like Rick Mercer doing one of his rants Smile emoticon

Please check into the media coverage on this for more information.

Here are a few of the links to the current articles:

Vancouver Sun: Consumer backlash over usage-based Internet billing goes viral

Globe and Mail: How much is that data plan going to cost you?

David Beers: A metered Internet is a regulatory failure

CBC: Extra billing for internet use a ‘ripoff’: NDP

YouTube: Do You Know
“…the Top 10 in demand jobs in 2010…did not exist in 2004 …
We are currently preparing students for jobs that don’t yet exist …
using technologies that haven’t been invented …
in order to solve problems we don’t even know are problems yet …”

For those with accessibility issues, I am also hosting the OGG version here.

Georgia Straight: CRTC ruling on usage-based billing threatens affordable Internet access, critics say

and the Face Book group that is organizing a rally of protest

You can also check out the stat on internet usage that has been collected by Stats Can which shows that 74% of Canadians are internet users and the study was from September of 2009.

more details of how we use the internet

Regards from a very unhappy Canadian internet user,

Lynda Fraser

There are still so many things to be said about Usage Based Billing.

NOTE: When UBB is implemented, Canadians will be charged for all the bandwidth they consume. That means that watching videos like the excellent “Did You Know” video from YouTube I’ve embedded above will cost much more. Don’t ask me how much, because I have no idea. From the sound of it, Bell gets to make up the figures as they go along.

Regulating Canada into the last century will not help our digital economy survive in this one.
We need to Stop Usage Based Billing before it starts.

If you haven’t already, sign the petition. There are only 11946 signatures.

If you have already signed, who else should you be asking to sign?

That’s easy: anyone who uses the Internet.
Because Usage Based Billing will harm not only Canadians, but our Economy.

You can also call or write your MP, MP postal code look-up

Heritage Minister James Moore – email:

Industry Minister Tony Clement – email:

Prime Minister Stephen Harper – email:

After all, they work for us, don’t they?

STOP Usage Based Billing

STOP Usage Based Billing

OGG conversion via Tiny Ogg Thanks!

Posted in Changing the World | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »