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FW: [CPI-UA] New Canadian Voice in Digital Rights Issues: Online Rights Canada (ORC) Hi everyone,

Re. below is for your information.

Have a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to one and all!
Leo

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December 09, 2005
New Canadian Voice in Digital Rights Issues

Online Rights Canada Launches with EFF, CIPPIC Support

Toronto - Online Rights Canada (ORC) launched in Canada Friday, giving
Canadians a new voice in critical technology and information policy
issues. The grassroots organization is jointly supported by the Canadian
Internet Policy & Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC) and the Electronic
Frontier Foundation (EFF).

"Canadians are realizing in ever-greater numbers that the online world
offers tremendous opportunities for learning, communicating, and
innovating, but that those opportunities are at risk as a result of
corporate practices, government policies and legal regimes that hinder
online privacy and free speech," said Philippa Lawson, Executive Director
and General Counsel of CIPPIC. "Online Rights Canada provides a home on
the Internet for grassroots activism on digital issues that are important
to ordinary Canadians."

"With the Canadian government preparing for a January election, all of
last year's legislation is back on the drawing board. Canadians now have
another chance to present a public interest perspective on issues like
copyright reform and increased government surveillance," said Ren Bucholz,
EFF's Policy Coordinator, Americas. "We are happy to be launching ORC at
such a critical time."

One of ORC's first actions is a petition drive against unwarranted
surveillance law. A bill proposed in Parliament last month would have
allowed law enforcement agencies to obtain personal information without a
warrant and forced communications providers to build surveillance
backdoors into the hardware that routes phone calls and Internet traffic.
The petition asks Canadian lawmakers to protect citizens' privacy rights
when the new government convenes in 2006. Other important issues for ORC
will include copyright law, access to information, and freedom from
censorship.

"Today, ORC focuses on digital copyright and lawful access. But there is
no reason to restrict the site to those two issues," said CIPPIC Staff
Counsel David Fewer. "Our hope is that ORC will evolve into the first
place to go for Canadians looking for opportunities to protect their
online rights. Anyone can be an activist - Online Rights Canada will give
you the tools you need."

Online Rights Canada is the latest group to join the global fight for
digital rights. Digital Rights Ireland launched earlier this week, and the
Open Rights Group launched in the United Kingdom last month.

For Online Rights Canada:
http://www.onlinerights.ca

Contacts:

Ren Bucholz
Policy Coordinator, Americas
Electronic Frontier Foundation
ren -at- eff -.- org

Philippa Lawson
Executive Director
Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic
plawson -at uottawa -.- ca

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