I’ve received many e-mail messages from people writing through OpenMedia’s web site asking me to support Digital Freedom, more than on any other issue. I’d send a reply to everyone, but all the messages came in with the same address (contact@openmedia.org), so I’m using this blog post to state my position. Here is the message I received:

Dear Candidate, As a voter in your riding, I am asking you to take a stand for a free and open Internet. I believe that every Canadian:

  • deserves to use the Internet without fear of being spied on by their own government.
  • deserves affordable access to world-class, high-speed Internet service.
  • deserves to be able to express themselves freely online.

On October 19, I will be voting for a candidate committed to these goals. Right now you have a unique opportunity to let your constituents know where you stand.

I’m calling on you to become a pro-Internet candidate, by making the following declaration:

As a pro-Internet candidate, I care about affordable access, free expression, and a surveillance-free Internet. I’m inspired by the crowdsourced vision set out in OpenMedia’s plan, Canada’s Digital Future, and I commit to advancing policies that address Canada’s digital deficit. Should I be elected, I commit to making digital policy a priority.

Over 250,000 Canadians worked together to crowdsource OpenMedia’s election platform, which you can read at https://OurDigitalFuture.ca/Platform OpenMedia will soon be publishing a report card, grading each party on how committed they are to putting these crowdsourced proposals into law. I urge you to make sure your party encourages all its candidates to endorse this pro-Internet statement.

Now that the positive pro-Internet alternative exists, we need politicians to commit to implementing it. Please declare yourself a pro-Internet candidate by visiting https://OurDigitalFuture.ca/Candidates#signup today. If you’ve already made this declaration then thank you! Please take this message as an indication of how much voters in your riding care about the future of Canada’s Internet.

OpenMedia will keep me informed as to your stance.

Thanks for listening,

Your Constituent.

I have a very strong position on a free and open Internet. Before I became a member of the Green Party I helped found the Pirate Party of Canada, and was its Executive Director at the time the PPCA qualified as a registered political party with Elections Canada.

Both the Pirate Party and the Green Party want a reduction (or elimination) of the spying on Canadian citizens by Canadian surveillance agencies (or their foreign counterparts in Five Eyes). We champion for Net Neutrality, where the carriers treat all content equally, and are prohibited from throttling their competitors’ content.

We want an end to the arbitrary enforcement of copyright, and especially the fraudulent accusations from Big Media about copyrights that have expired, never existed, or are actually owned by the people who are distributing their own music and art. That’s so common there’s even a word for it: copyfraud.

ISPs need to be neutral in delivering content. They should in no way be held responsible for filtering infringing material (violating copyright is an infringement of a government-granted monopoly, there’s no theft, acquisition of goods, or loss of property).

I’ve been involved in community organizations to work on OpenData and FreeSoftware (software that respects your freedom). In fact, on 19 September I did a presentation for Software Freedom Day in Toronto on achieving E-mail Privacy Using Free Software.

In fact, as a computer consultant my entire livelihood depends on a Free and Open Internet. So yes, you can be assured of my support for this initiative.

By the way, did you know that Green Party leader Elizabeth May is the first party leader to sign the OpenMedia declaration? And it looks like the list of candidates endorsing digital freedom is dominated by the Green Party! I find myself in good company!

–Bob.