Electronic Frontier Canada
As Canada's premier organization devoted to preserving
civil liberties in cyberspace,
Electronic Frontier Canada pursues many activities,
some public and some "behind-the-scenes".
- Activities -
Here are just a few of our activities:
One of our main focuses is education.
For example, EFC was a co-sponsor of the conference
"Free Speech and Privacy in the Electronic Age",
which took place at the University of Waterloo in November 1994.
The Honourable Mr. Justice John Sopinka of the Supreme Court of Canada
was the keynote speaker at this major event,
which attracted attendees from Canada and around the world.
We write letters to the editor and opinion pieces
for on-line magazines and Canadian newspapers, such as
an article about anti-Internet hysteria
by Jeffrey Shallit
that appeared in the Kitchener-Waterloo Record.
We write academic papers and books, such as
The Social Impact of Computers (Academic Press, 1997),
by Richard Rosenberg,
and the tremendously popular Canadian Internet Handbook,
by Jim Carroll, one of EFC's supporting members.
We also teach courses,
such as Computer, Ethics, and Public Policy,
taught by David Jones at McMaster University
Another important facet of our educational activities is our
and electronic mailing lists, efc-talk, efc-announce,
Here you will find a large collection of resources,
including a media archive, legal cases,
and intellectual freedom statements.
Finally, EFC directors, members, and volunteers
travel to attend conferences and give speeches that
promote EFC's views on privacy,
free speech, and other important issues.
EFC is frequently contacted for interviews by newspaper
and magazine reporters seeking comment on cyberspace-related issues.
We have also made many appearances on Canadian radio and television,
such as Canada as a Surveillance Society -
The Mondex Scenario,
which aired on CBC-TV's National Magazine.
Important issues may also result in widely disseminated
EFC press releases,
formulated by the Board of Directors,
in consultation with our members through our Policy Coordinator.
EFC is frequently consulted by government agencies
seeking our expert opinion on cyberspace-related issues.
For example, recently EFC consulted in great detail with
Industry Canada regarding encryption policy;
the result was our development of the following
position paper on cryptography.
EFC answers dozens of electronic queries per month.
Queries typically involve existing Canadian law and the Internet,
rights and responsibilities of service providers, etc.
Queries come from a wide variety of sources,
from high-school students preparing essays
to reporters and lawyers seeking assistance.
Unfortunately, due to the volume of queries received,
EFC cannot always respond to each on an individual basis.
Aid to Individuals
On occasion, EFC aids individuals whose cases involve significant
cyberspaces issues. If the case falls under
EFC's mandate (application of the Charter to electronic media),
EFC may decide to take any one of a number of different actions.
For example, EFC may attempt to intercede on behalf of the individual
with corporate, public, university, or government officials,
suggest legal referrals, or provide expert testimony in court.
For example, EFC gave assistance to Carol Walberg,
a University of Guelph student who faced possible expulsion,
simply because she moderated a "Tasteless Jokes" conference
on a campus computer system.
were forced to drop their case.
More recently, David Jones, EFC's President,
was called as an expert witness in a case before the
Supreme Court of Newfoundland.
Aid to Groups
EFC coordinates with Canadian and international organizations
whose goals are consistent with EFC's,
such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation
and Electronic Frontiers Australia
Electronic Frontier Canada is also a founding member-organization
of the Global Internet Liberty Coalition
On rare occasions, EFC makes small financial donations
to other groups whose goals are consistent with EFC's.
In the past, a small donation has been made, for example, to the
an electronic archive of material designed to counter
the misinformation of Holocaust deniers.
On occasion, EFC may take legal action to fight unjust laws or actions.
For example, we successfully forced Bell Canada to withdraw their attempt
to trademark the phrase
Such actions are often expensive, though,
and therefore must be used with discretion.
Electronic Frontier Canada is a serious organization,
but sometimes we like to have some fun.
In the summer of 1996,
we printed up a bunch of cool T-shirts and
sent a dozen volunteers to staff an information / fund-raising booth at
a huge outdoor rock festival held near Toronto.
We have also been known to pull a few humourous pranks
just to help to get our message across, such at the controversial
"V-barcode" and the
"Canadian Internet Licensing Board".
. . .
So what are you waiting for?
Join EFC today!