News / Canada

Ways to celebrate #InternetFreedomDay in Canada

A year ago today, the Internet went dark.

In protest of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), sites like Reddit, Tumblr and Wikipedia blacked out their content on Jan. 18, 2012. Millions of users, including Canada's own Michael Geist, spoke out against the bill and some took to the streets in opposition.

Faced with the largest online protest in history, the U.S. Congress recalled the bill. The Internet collectively rejoiced.

Now, users have declared the anniversary of the SOPA Blackout to be Internet Freedom Day. Here are a few ways to get in on the celebration if you're in Canada:

1. Lend your support to OpenMedia.ca. The closest thing Canadians have to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the folks at Open Media have been tirelessly campaigning to keep the Internet open and awesome. Their list of accomplishments in 2012 is pretty impressive, and includes holding the CRTC accountable to consumers and leading the charge against the controversial Lawful Access bill.

2. Spam the hashtag. Twitter users will be congregating via the #InternetFreedomDay tag, and sharing their thoughts on why an open Internet is important. Why not join in?

3. Make the switch to an independent Internet service provider. When it comes to online freedom, Canada's smaller ISPs have your back. Companies like TekSaavy and Acanac have both donated to pro-Internet campaigns, and are less likely to throttle your broadband connection or hit you with restrictive data caps.

4. Disable the security on your wireless router. Join the growing Open Wireless Movement, share your connection with your neighbours, and remind law enforcement that an IP address isn't necessarily a person.

5. Practice a little bit of healthy civil disobedience. As Cory Doctorow — himself a proud Canadian — over at BoingBoing notes, the video of Martin Luther King's famous "I Have a Dream Speech" is actually copyrighted until 2038. If SOPA had passed, websites could have been shut down for hosting the video, so go ahead and share it today.