Every year, CIRA holds elections and, just like electing a politician to represent your views about how the country should be run, you can elect the CIRA board to represent your views about how the country's Internet should be run. These elections are important. CIRA has considerable resources that could be put more forcefully towards ensuring Canadians have open and affordable options for Internet access. This year four places on CIRA's board are up for election.
Try to find some child pornography. Go on. Head to Google, or Bing, or even a porn-specific search engine, and try to devise a search string capable of returning pedophilic images or video. I'll wait. Once you're done, we'll meet back up in the next paragraph. In reacting to the story of murdering pedophile Mark Bridger, who was an avid viewer of child pornography, Cameron leapt to abandon his conservative ideals and swing the hammer of censorship without stopping to ask the single most pertinent question: How did Mark Bridger find this child pornography in the first place?
Internet freedoms are absolutely essential to protecting democratic values in an interconnected age. They are also increasingly under siege. To defend the open Internet, hundreds of thousands of people and organizations, including OpenMedia.org, have come together to support the Declaration of Internet Freedom.
Legal experts are calling it "the biggest global threat to the internet." It's called the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and it will essentially criminalize free use of any website that uses copyrighted material. YouTube, Facebook, blogs with links -- all of it potentially blacklisted under this new order.
Less than a generation ago, Canada was a world leader when it came to the fundamental democratic freedoms of assembly, speech and information. So perhaps it is time for us Canadians to wake up and smell the suppression -- no longer are censorships solely the purview of tin-pot dictators in far away regimes.
The Internet not only changes what media we view, but how we view it. In order to avoid being overwhelmed by informational anxiety as so much data prattles uncontrollably at us from our screens, we have subconsciously become our own content editors and censorship committees, determining for ourselves which sites are worth frequenting and which ones are not, what content is good and what content is bad.
In the highly turbulent world of the Middle East, social media has been playing an extremely significant role in raising awareness and inciting change. But in Iran, the internet is closed-off from the outside world, only giving its citizens government-issued propaganda. People like Saman Arbabi are trying to fight this, and we must help in any way we can.