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Canadians Organizing a Rally For Net Neutrality

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the we-could-learn-from-them dept.

The Internet 125

taylortbb writes "Canadians are fighting back against Bell Canada's traffic shaping (recentlly discussed by Slashdot here and here) by organizing a rally in support of network neutrality. The rally is being backed by a long list of organizations including Google, two major political parties, three ISPs, and two major unions. It's set for Tuesday at 11:30am on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. The only question that remains is, will the government listen?"

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I'm not your friend, buddy! (1)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 6 years ago | (#23553539)

Oh - come on. You know it's one of the first things you thought of too.
We thought we could make money on the Internet. But while the Internet is new and exciting for creative people, it hasn't matured as a distribution mechanism to the extent that one should trade real and immediate opportunities for income for the promise of future online revenue. It will be a few years before digital distribution of media on the Internet can be monetized to an extent that necessitates content producers to forgo their fair value in more traditional media.

Re:I'm not your friend, buddy! (1)

Bashae (1250564) | more than 6 years ago | (#23553583)


Re:I'm not your friend, buddy! (0, Offtopic)

Elbart (1233584) | more than 6 years ago | (#23553715)

I'm not your buddy, guy!

Re:I'm not your friend, buddy! (1)

Randall311 (866824) | more than 6 years ago | (#23554195)

He's not your guy, buddy!

Re:I'm not your friend, buddy! (1)

snowraver1 (1052510) | more than 6 years ago | (#23556123)

I'm not your buddy, pal!

Re:I'm not your friend, buddy! (1)

nharmon (97591) | more than 6 years ago | (#23557275)

I'm not your pal, friend!

Re:I'm not your friend, buddy! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23553863)

Thats about the writer's strike. Not net neutrality.

Re:I'm not your friend, buddy! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23556447)

Isn't anyone going to question whether the government should even be involved in regulating the Internet? Seeing as how they have decimated other industries via regulation I kinda want to keep them away from the Internet.

Re:I'm not your friend, buddy! (1)

Tuoqui (1091447) | more than 6 years ago | (#23557249)

Regulation is there for when the free market fails... In the presence of a duopoly indicates a failure in the free market when both of them can make secret backroom deals to do things like say throttle internet connections.

What both companies are doing or are planning on doing is throttling the connections of the ISPs that they sell bandwidth to. Currently the only ISPs that are NOT throttling connections are 3rd party ISPs and by the big two making a back room deal to throttle their connections as well as those of the ISPs they sell capacity to then they can effectively force everyone to be throttling... Now if the free market was actually working they would have to compete with these ISPs they sell capacity to and therefore would sooner or later have to unthrottle their own connections or be relegated to the role of Wholesaler only because noone would buy throttled connections unless it was either much cheaper than an unthrottled connection.

I mean just this day I got a notice INSERTED into the front page of Slashdot informing me that I hit 75% of my 60GB capacity on Rogers. I dont know about you but if they're inserting their own messages into my webpages, whats to stop them from doing things like MITM attacks on sites I request?

Re:I'm not your friend, buddy! (1)

bbagnall (608125) | more than 6 years ago | (#23557339)

If you don't like what Rogers is doing to you you have two options: 1) Registera complaint with them 2) Change providers. I live in Canada and happen to know there are a lot to choose from.

Re:I'm not your friend, buddy! (1)

Cliffy03 (663924) | more than 6 years ago | (#23558103)

He is stuck with Rogers on the cable side, so should he switch to DSL which is throttled? Where is the choice?

Re:I'm not your friend, buddy! (1)

bbagnall (608125) | more than 6 years ago | (#23558441)

If there is general unhappiness with cable and DSL, then there is an opportunity for others to come along with different technology. I'm thinking wireless. Me, I use DSL and love it. It suits my needs fine.

yay (4, Interesting)

oloron (1092167) | more than 6 years ago | (#23553551)

sounds great and all, but not all of us can pack up and head to ottawa everytime these issues need to be brought forth, would not these demonstrations carry more weight if they were occuring in multiple venues simultaneously?

Re:yay (3, Insightful)

Vectronic (1221470) | more than 6 years ago | (#23553635)

Or at the ISP's that arent "for" this?

You could start a petition, send it off to whatever ISP you are under, wether they are involved or not, couldnt hurt, provided you arent rude about it.

Re:yay (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23553687)

sounds great and all, but not all of us can pack up and head to ottawa

It is worthless.....unless u r planning to bang hot canadian chicks......looking for real fun.

Re:yay (3, Informative)

urbanriot (924981) | more than 6 years ago | (#23556805)

You must be American, and ignorant of the Canadian political system (or just a juvenile troll). Here, our politicians actually listen and implement laws or quash bills that the people don't agree with. Sure, they slip one by once in a while, but if a vocal majority has an issue, it will be looked into. Hell, this is good for the media attention alone.

Re:yay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23559649)

Like GST?

Re:yay (1)

digitrev (989335) | more than 6 years ago | (#23560057)

Yeah, the Conservatives didn't listen at the time. So we voted in the Liberals who promised to get rid of it. Turns out they were lying, but we didn't care at the time. Then, fast forward to two years ago, the GST is finally being reduced by the Conservatives. Go figure. Of course, in Canada, there are actually 4 parties with seats in the federal government, not just 2.

Re:yay (3, Informative)

Curtman (556920) | more than 6 years ago | (#23553873)

sounds great and all, but not all of us can pack up and head to ottawa everytime these issues need to be brought forth,

You don't have to. The current government doesn't listen to anything except what their friends down south tell them to.

Re:yay (-1, Flamebait)

freedom_india (780002) | more than 6 years ago | (#23553957)

Not True. In fact its opposite: Anything that Bush says, is automatically anathema to this government. stance on NAFTA, Mad Cow, Gitmo, Rendition, War, etc.
However, this does not extend to corporations.

Re:yay (5, Informative)

Curtman (556920) | more than 6 years ago | (#23554019)

Which government are you watching? Anything Bush says about the 'war on terror', Harper is right up there backing him up. I don't recall any Prime Minister in the past saying anything about Israel. This one makes a weekly speech about how wonderful they are and how we'll support them no matter what neighboring country they destroy.

Re:yay (1)

Jonny_eh (765306) | more than 6 years ago | (#23555453)

What neighbouring country is Israel destroying? As far as I can tell, their neighbours are doing a good job of destroying themselves.

Re:yay (2, Insightful)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 6 years ago | (#23555883)

most recently lebanon and palestine ... dont read the news much?

anyways theres infighting in palestine because israel is strangling the country to death. Half are calling it quits and half refuse to bow to pressure. So israel gives weapons to some of them. And if a peace might be forming they go in with a few hundred troops and obliterate a town to increase ire. Then to suck up to the reasonable palestinians they say they'll talk peace.... but that doesnt stop them from building cities on palestinian land or running more tank raids into towns.

Lebanon was kown as the gem of the middle east since the 80s .... after israel bombed the to near oblivion they built up into a good country. They were doing well in tourism. Recently israel again bombed them "into the stone age" (quote from israels military leader). So the strife that resulted has caused some infighting. The group that stopped lebanon from being obliterated like in the 80s are folk heros in the area. And are regarded internationally as terrorists thanks to american support of israel. Now lebanon is split between people wanting to support their heros and those who are in complete fear of israel turning them into a palestine. (remember hamas was a legitimately voted in government which palestine got attacked violently for).
  Any country that applauds getting 15:1 kill ratios in a battle is not a good guy. Please think about it.

Re:yay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23556095)

Lebanon is still recovering from Syrian occupation and "palestine" is not a nation ... dont read news much?

Re:yay (1)

catbertscousin (770186) | more than 6 years ago | (#23555673)

If an American terrorist group was firing rockets at your towns and sending suicide bombers to kill your civilians and our country did nothing to stop them, would you consider it wrong for your country to fight back?

Now if you folks want to launch a strategic strike on the MAFIAA, please do. This intellectual property madness is producing intellectual terrorism.

Re:yay (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23557929)

If a Canadian terrorist group was sending religious fanatics into America to bulldoze American houses, take over orange groves in California and Florida, fund dissident political wings in the country to shoot at each other, compel people to leave their houses out of fear and then occupy those houses, break the arms of children who throw rocks at tanks, etc etc and so on; all in the guise of a religious quest, then maybe I could believe in a lie. But when the people in power write the history books and do the journalism then we will only see hypocrisy.

Unless the people who are being suppressed are given access to conventional weapons of war like F16's, tanks and attack helicopters, then do not expect them to fight a conventional war.

One last point; Keep your Trolls to yourself.

Re:yay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23556005)

Informative? That is typical trolling at its worst.. I have to call into question the level of knowledge both the mod and Curtman have about Canada and it's politics. How ever did the mention of Bush and Israel automatically get this garbage modded to informative? Is scoring simply based on keywords. You have to wonder after this gem.

I have no idea where you are Curtman, but where did you ever get your US centric view of the world? You must live in Southern Ontario where the populace are somewhat confused in their national identity. This is due to their self imposed isolation, proximity to the border and their complete saturation by American media and propaganda.

The Toronto region is the one part of the country where sitting down to dinner means they watch the Buffalo or Syracuse news and think it's the National. Or worse, watch that quasi Canadian Global tv that daily covers US politics and treats Canadian news under the international segment.

What is really sad. The Southern Ontario region populace like those living in and around Toronto, can't even find Ottawa on a map. Just ask the terrorist group that was arrested there. It's not just our enemies that are lost and confused.

Re:yay (1)

CrazyLegs (257161) | more than 6 years ago | (#23558971)

Ummm.... I live in Southwestern Ontario, I hate Toronto, and I'm still Canadian. I don't watch the newscasts that flow from south of the 49th - nor does anyone I know. I tend to wath CTV for national news and my local station for the - ummm- local stuff. Are people in my environs shaped by geography? Sure they are. And I've lived in or at least visited every province and territory and I can tell you that uniqueness abounds everywhere you go. But I've always felt Canadian no matter where I am in this country or any other. And, yes, I know where Ottawa *is* (been there, too). I'm not sure *you are*, but you've obviously got a chip on your shoulder about Toronto. Welcome to the funnest pasttime in CanadaLand, dude. As for the original post - I'm a little bewildered about the Harper/Bush/Israel comments. Maybe I'm just not paying attention, but I cannot recall Harper making comments about Israel - at least not on a weekly basis. Nor have I ever seen any evidence that he's a Bush lapdog. Methinks Cutman has an agenda.

Re:yay (1)

TheRecklessWanderer (929556) | more than 6 years ago | (#23558709)

Why would we say anything about Israel? Israel Rocks! If you were surrounded by people who's faith demanded your destruction, you would be pretty tough too.

Re:yay (0, Flamebait)

LM741N (258038) | more than 6 years ago | (#23554073)

Well hopefully the next person "Down South" will be Obama, who might have a more positive influence in the region.

Re:yay (1)

s4ck (895807) | more than 6 years ago | (#23556985)

how is saying that Obama will have a postive influence on the region flamebait.

offtopic. yes. but flamebait?

Re:yay (4, Insightful)

Phics (934282) | more than 6 years ago | (#23553895)

Maybe, but there is strength in visible numbers. Rallying for attention is more effective when it is clear that people care enough to show up on the front lawn. When they want to be elected badly enough, politicians will do exactly the same thing. It is a form of communication that is difficult to misunderstand.

If you can't make it, you can't make it. There is still a venue for involvement if you want to help out [] .

Re:yay (4, Insightful)

Awptimus Prime (695459) | more than 6 years ago | (#23553967)

Has anyone shown up in the proverbial front lawn over any Internet related issue? All I see is people posting in mad furies on message boards, with big opinions, but when it comes down to it, they give the impression of living in their parent's basement. Combine that with most politicians not reading the Internets, and things don't tend to get too far.

Look at all the hoopla over the DMCA in the US and it's injection in multiple forms around the world. Lots of hype on the web, but no governmental changes anywhere. Zippo.

Re:yay (2, Insightful)

Predathar (658076) | more than 6 years ago | (#23554519)

I wish I had found out about this YESTERDAY instead of today. I would have taken the day off to go, now it's pretty much too late. I somewhat agree with the multiple venues, but if this brings MORE people to 1 spot instead of a handful in several spots, it might carry more weight.

Re:yay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23556915)

go digg the story show your support

If they claim (2, Funny)

poeidon1 (767457) | more than 6 years ago | (#23553565)

the blocking ISP as operating under Bush orders to weaken canadian economy. Then, the government will not just listen but act ;-)

Two options: (1)

cosmocain (1060326) | more than 6 years ago | (#23553571)

"The only question that remains is, will the government listen?"

Are there any elections scheduled in the near future?

YES: eventually the gevornment will listen. but only if they see the broadband/filesharing-voter block is big enough.
NO: erm. will a deaf monkey recite shakespeare?

Re:Two options: (2, Funny)

attributed insanity (1113991) | more than 6 years ago | (#23553667)

Given an infinite number of deaf monkeys, yes, eventually.

This theory may explain the increasing size of government.

Re:Two options: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23554061)

By deaf monkeys you don't mean Canadians, do you?

Re:Two options: (1)

attributed insanity (1113991) | more than 6 years ago | (#23554255)

No, I meant deaf monkeys. Also politicians.

Actually, I think I can clarify the expanding government theory as follows: given an infinite number of politicians, at least one will be doing something that you would agree with. The rest can simply point in his direction. Quoting Shakespeare is optional.

Re:Two options: (2, Informative)

Baron_Yam (643147) | more than 6 years ago | (#23553757)

No. I've already been in contact with the Conservative party, and their position is that Bell isn't violating the CRTC guidelines and that there is plenty of competition - you can always go to satellite.

I wanted to strangle my MP, but at least he bothered to call up party HQ and get a reasoned response.

Response from my MP's office (5, Informative)

Baron_Yam (643147) | more than 6 years ago | (#23553773)

I have now received some information regarding Bell Canada and your email about their engagement in anti-competitive behaviour by controlling or "shaping" of traffic of independent Internet Service Providers (ISPs) that provide service through wholesale access to Bell's digital subscriber line (DSL) network from Industry Canada. I hope that this helps.

As you may be aware, consumer Internet services are not regulated by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), as it has found this market to be sufficiently competitive to protect the interests of users. Indeed, the competition between telephone and cable networks, as well as satellite, wireless, and other players, has ensured Canadians have a variety of choices in terms of both price and quality when selecting an ISP.

The Competition Bureau ensures that prices in all sectors of the economy, except those that are regulated, are set by market forces and are not the result of anti-competitive behaviour. Under the abuse of dominance provisions of the Competition Act, it is illegal for a dominant firm to be engaging in a practice of anti-competitive acts resulting in a substantial lessening of competition, including disciplining or targeting competitors in order to raise prices or reduce customer choice. Since Bell is engaging in traffic "shaping" across its network-in other words, providing the same service to both its own customers and to independent ISPs-it does not appear that Bell is currently engaging in a practice of anti-competitive acts contrary to the Act.

The CRTC does regulate wholesale access by independent ISPs to high-speed Internet access services from both telephone and cable companies. Under the CRTC's regulatory framework for wholesale services, Bell is required to provide access to their DSL network to independent ISPs at regulated rates and terms of service. If the CRTC finds Bell or any other network operator to be in violation of these terms or otherwise engaging in unjust discrimination or undue preference, the CRTC has the power to address these issues under the Telecommunications Act.

Should you believe carriers are engaging in unjust discrimination and undue preference, I encourage you to contact the CRTC at 1-877-249-2782 or by e-mail at Please note that the Canadian Association of Internet Providers has made an application on this basis to the CRTC requesting to resolve this issue.



Carolyn Brown - Administrator - Constituency Office
David Sweet MP - Ancaster Dundas Flamborough Westdale

Re:Response from my MP's office (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23554093)

Sounds good at first, but is there -really- a lot of competition available? The only options I've ever had, and I've lived in a lot of places, mostly metropolitan, is Bell's crippled DSL and the local cable company (in most cases, Rogers or Cogeco, two of the worse offenders of traffic shaping).

Re:Response from my MP's office (1)

compro01 (777531) | more than 6 years ago | (#23555229)

Tons. CRTC regs require bell (and all the other incumbent carriers) to lease out lines to other DSL providers, such as teksavvy, and dozens of others.

The issue here is that bell is interfering by throttling the other providers. Bell's been hemorrhaging customers since they started this throttling nonsense, which is an instance of things working correctly.

A good directory of the other options is

Re:Response from my MP's office (1)

kwandar (733439) | more than 6 years ago | (#23554797)

I received almost exactly the same letter from the Minister Prentice's office. I'd never heard of David Sweet before, but I could sure as hell tell he was a Conservative. You think its tightly scripted? I'd bitch like hell if he was my MP that I want action, not more pablum fed from Minister Prentice's office.

To add insult to injury, this IS regulated by the CRTC, inasmuch as it is the last mile. I asked about the last mile and all I get back is "CRTC doesn't regulate internet, we are not responsible bullshit". They sure as hell regulate the phone and cable lines into my home and THAT is what is being traffic shaped.

No offense, but with this letter MP Sweet barely makes it to the level of Conservative flunky

Re:Response from my MP's office (1)

radarsat1 (786772) | more than 6 years ago | (#23554807)

That's crap.

"Since Bell is engaging in traffic "shaping" across its network-in other words, providing the same service to both its own customers and to independent ISPs-it does not appear that Bell is currently engaging in a practice of anti-competitive acts contrary to the Act."

I'm fairly certain that Bell Sympatico users are *not* being throttled. That's the whole reason everyone's pissed off. I have had at least one friend tell me they aren't throttled on Sympatico, but it would be nice to collect some statistics. What Bell is doing is almost _certainly_ anti-competitive.

"Bell is required to provide access to their DSL network to independent ISPs at regulated rates and terms of service. If the CRTC finds Bell or any other network operator to be in violation of these terms or otherwise engaging in unjust discrimination or undue preference, the CRTC has the power to address these issues under the Telecommunications Act."

Then why did you just say above, "consumer Internet services are not regulated by the CRTC"? Man, a factual error and a self-contradiction in the same letter. I hate politicians. Shit, I think I'll write my own MP.

What would be great though would be to set up a site that automatically measures throttling (maybe using a torrent tracker) and collects IP addresses and matches them to ISPs. That would make it easy to collect some unbiased statistics. (Provided, of course, Bell doesn't find out about it and magically "unthrottle" connections to that particular tracker.)

Re:Response from my MP's office (1)

compro01 (777531) | more than 6 years ago | (#23556141)

I'm fairly certain that Bell Sympatico users are *not* being throttled.
I was under the impression it went like this :

Bell started throttling select groups of their customers.
As there are other options (as bell is required to lease lines at a fixed fee), said groups dropped bell and went with another ISP.
Bell starts throttling the other ISPs' traffic.

This is exactly anticompetitive (4, Insightful)

phorm (591458) | more than 6 years ago | (#23556965)

Action: Bell throttles their own traffic, blocks ports, etc, causing massive irritation/disruption to their own customers
Result: Customers leave Bell for ISP's that aren't interfering with their traffic
Action: Bell then institutes throttling and other abusive behavior against the other ISP's customers
Result: Customers have nowhere to go. Other ISP's may not lose so many customers (because there's no good alternative), but they also wouldn't gain the customers that would otherwise be coming in because of superior service.

In a nutshell, the third-party ISP's need to use Bell's infrastructure. As such, they cannot offer anything better than Bell in those regards. Their main competing points were the additional features offered that Bell was not offering (or was cutting back on), with non-throttled service being one of the key points. As Bell has removed their ability to offer such service, they have, in-fact, removed the third-party ISP's as competitors in this arena.

How is this NOT anti-competitive? Is it OK so long as it's "we're going to make everyone suck as much as us so that customers don't move elsewhere" instead of "we're going to make everyone else suck more so that customers come to us instead"

Both are equally anti-competitive and discriminatory.

Re:Two options: (1, Offtopic)

freedom_india (780002) | more than 6 years ago | (#23553935)

Any elected government by its very nature cannot work for the People who elected it, IF the elected gets their election funding from non-voters.
This rally WILL fail. I can bet on it. Not Because the corporates will win, etc., (which is all true), BUT the nature of this rally is too diffuse.
You guys need to follow the Blitzkreig approach: Concentrate all your voting power, financing campaigns, etc., to one or two important senators who stand to lose a lot if they lose the election (especially the ministers). Target them like hell, conduct HUGE rallies in their hometown [only], campaign for them to support Net Neutrality in their precincts, fund adverts for the same in the constituency. Once such huge firepower is directed to a short place, you will the Maginot Line breaking down.

This is what Blitzkreig was all about: Concentration of Armor at a small point, to enable a breakthrough and infantry follows the gap.
Apply the same principle, and within a year once you conduct about 5 rallies changing ALL 5 ministers/MPs voting, you will see the rest falling in line.
Good Luck

Re:Two options: (3, Informative)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 6 years ago | (#23554095)

Bullshit like this is exactly what killed rallies as a form of influence. Geez, you might try hiring some professional protesters while you're at it.

PS you have no idea what "Blitzkrieg" means, please stop misusing the term, or at least learn to spell it correctly. Hint: speed and movement, not concentration of firepower.

Re:Two options: (-1, Offtopic)

freedom_india (780002) | more than 6 years ago | (#23554287)

Sorry about the spelling.
Welcome to civilized debate:
Speed and Movement are part of the blitzkrieg accompanied by massive concentration of firepower.
Without the massive firepower provided by Tanks (Panzers), your much vaunted speed & movement would be literally of no use.
That along with 3-dimensional control of air & land around the area of attack is what made blitz succeed in Belgium and France, and why it failed during Battle of Bulge (hint: speed and movement were there, but no 3-D control and certainly no massive firepower to counter the Shermans and AT).

Coming back to topic: Rallies do not translate to anti-votes necessarily. 10,000 people from 16 different precints do not necessarily make a candidate-defeating vote force.

First: Overwhelming Force the first criteria of Blitz is absent. You may consider Speed & Movement, but the prime necessity is candidate-removing-vote-force and fear it inspires in the heart of the MPs. Remember, the Battle of France was lost not just because of Speed. It was lost when back-end troops (artillery, sappers, etc) saw Tanks coming out of nowhere onto roads that did not have fighting: Deep in enemy territory. Nothing terrifies an MP more than watching a video of a massive rally in his hometown against him while he is in Montreal fighting for his corporate friends. Goal: Inspire Fear and sure-defeat mentality in the enemy's mind. Psych warfare, blah

Second: Now, your favorite: speed and movement of massive rallies with people from 16 precints is again missing. It is possible to organize it locally with more massive amounts of people. You could quickly organize a 10,000 people rally limited to a single precint and get FULL coverage everywhere.

Third: Control of 3-D space: Airwaves, talk shows, Advert time on TV, soap-box shoutings in parks. That is again missing in a national sense because of the T&E involved in it. This is possible in a local precint-wise where your people are more in number and the voter-force is large enough to upset even an incumbent.

You are probably nostalgic about Velvet Revolution, Fall of the Berlin Wall, etc., Remember these were directed against a Maginot-Line=Government which is stationary.
Till date no such rallies have made corporates change their mind or the governments supported by them: Brazil Amazon saving, War, Mortgage crisis, GM food. Even Exxon Valdez.

When you are fighting an Undead vampire who has speed, maneuverability and Force who can outlive you and your grandsons, it makes sense to hit them at their weakest spot: The people who are voted to make laws that bind the Undead. You need to take out emotion and passion out of the fight: Remember: Emotion is your weakest link. Fight logically and conserve resources to continue the struggle. Not expend it like in Battle of Bulge or the Stalingrad Seige Battles.

Re:Two options: (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 6 years ago | (#23554619)

You are seriously out to lunch and evidently you have watched too many History Channel shows about WWII. Psych warfare? The undead? Force power? This only confirms my stereotypes about the sort of people who participate in rallies (they can be safely ignored).

Re:Two options: (1)

strider200142 (1279440) | more than 6 years ago | (#23556907)

While freedom_india has a rather strange way of wording statements this does not make them untrue. Basically what is being said is the lesson we should take from the South Park episode that is running through all of our minds.... Canadians striking will do little to nothing since popular media will pay no attention. Just because the undead and psych warfare are brought up does not make the argument worthless. These are just appeals to popular geek culture :P People who participate in rallies can be safely ignored? HA! Maybe by you, but the governments of the world disagree.... Usually these are the people they bother to keep tabs on, though not likely in this case. I would say people who simply attack a person's method of communication instead of contributing to the conversation should go back under the bridge.

Re:Two options: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23557377)

That won't work in the current Canadian political arena.

First, our senators aren't elected, they are appointed -- for life. So targeting them is rather pointless, as they have nothing to lose.

Targetting specific MPs also won't accomplish much . We already have a minority government. While the opposition could theoretically make the issue into a non-confidence motion and force the government to comply, they're in no position for an election, so they won't take that drastic step over a luke-warm issue.

Re:Two options: (1)

dadragon (177695) | more than 6 years ago | (#23560169)


we don't elect our Senators.

Re:Two options: (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 6 years ago | (#23554607)

I wanted to strangle my MP, but at least he bothered to call up party HQ and get a reasoned response.

Maybe I don't understand Parliamentary Democracy as well as I understand our Republican system here in the States, but why would your MP need to "call up party HQ" to "get a reasoned response"? Does the party system have so much weight up there that your MP doesn't have opinions of his own on the issues?

For all the anger directed at our two party system here in the States I can think of lots of Democrats and Republicans that don't toe the party line on various issues. Is it not like that up there?

Re:Two options: (1)

Rary (566291) | more than 6 years ago | (#23554863)

Does the party system have so much weight up there that your MP doesn't have opinions of his own on the issues?

David Sweet is a member of the Conservative Party, which has formed the most secretive government our country has ever seen, led by a tyrannical Prime Minister who maintains complete control over the members of his party.

No one in the Conservative Party says a word to anyone, anywhere, ever, without first getting an officially authorized script from the Prime Minister's office.

Re:Two options: (1)

Baron_Yam (643147) | more than 6 years ago | (#23555573)

That's a little partisan. The Liberals were no different.

An MP can have his own opinions unless the party whip tells him otherwise, then he better tow the party line or the party will find ways to punish him.

Never mind that, but if every MP went spouting off individually on behalf of the party, you'd never know what the party position is - you'd know how your MP *might* vote if he didn't fear the reprisals, but you wouldn't know what position would be pushed from the PM's office.

Re:Two options: (1)

Rary (566291) | more than 6 years ago | (#23556303)

I don't claim to be non-partisan. I can't stand the current Conservative Party. I'm no fan of the former Chretien Liberals, but if you honestly think they were no different, I'd say you haven't been paying enough attention. These guys are incompetent, ultra-secretive, lying, manipulating bastards. Yes, that description can be applied to most (all?) politicians, but the current Conservative Party takes it to an extreme that's new to this country.

I agree that it's good to know the official party position on a subject, not just an individual MP's position. But in the case of the Conservatives, there really is no such thing as an individual MP's position. They "think" what Harper tells them to think.

Re:Two options: (1)

Onos (1103517) | more than 6 years ago | (#23555851)

Could it be because he has no technical knowledge about the issue and so he checked before he answered? Nah I'm sure it's all more sinister.

Re:Two options: (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 6 years ago | (#23556211)

Could it be because he has no technical knowledge about the issue and so he checked before he answered? Nah I'm sure it's all more sinister.

Where did I imply that anything sinister was going on? I was merely seeking an explanation for how the Canadian political system works. I know there's more toeing of the party line in a Parliamentary system than in ours -- I was trying to find out just how much.

And your explanation doesn't hold water anyway. If I write my Congressman about Network Neutrality and he doesn't understand it, should he really go to the RNC or DNC for his answer? Might it make more sense to talk with an expert on the subject? Maybe the Congressional Research Service or even a knowledgeable person on his own staff?

Re:Two options: (1)

thirty-seven (568076) | more than 6 years ago | (#23556341)

By the way, "parliamentary democracy" and "republican system" are not on the same axis. There are many republics that are also parliamentary systems. See Parliamentary Republic [] .

A stricter separation of the executive and legislative roles, with a more independent executive, like the U.S. has, is a "presidential (or congressional) system" [] . The presidential system is on the same axis as the parliamentary system. Basically, these are different points on an axis of how directly responsible to the legislate body the executive is.

Also, the degree of party discipline is not necessarily tied to the parliamentary system. There are parliamentary democracies with much less party control over individual MPs than there is in Canada. However, there does tend to be more party discipline in parliamentary systems, because of the need for the government (i.e. "executive branch") to have ongoing support in parliament.

Net neutrality in Canada (1)

WebCowboy (196209) | more than 6 years ago | (#23557973)

The government is pretty likely to listen on this matter. Net neutrality isn't a particularly ideological issue, though there are some interesting political issues to consider:

1. There are Liberal and NDP members of parliament attending and speaking at the rally. The Conservatives hold the most seats in the commons, however if these two other parties presented a bill on opposition day and voted as a bloc it would pass with little to no support from Conservative members, as we have a minority government situation with no established coalition.

2. The conservatives may not have officially endorsed "net neutrality" but they do not oppose it either; their policy platform is silent on the issue. However, historically the current government has been significantly more receptive to changing the CRTC's regulatory regime than the Liberals have ever been. for example the Conservatives have broght foreward regulatory changes mandating phone number portability, cellphone tower sharing and a wireless auction this month that allocates a certain amount of licenses to new entrants in the market. Bell, Telus and Rogers all protested the terms of the auction because they "interfered with the free market" (Canadian wireless is a free market? HA! Yeah, right!). Interestingly, the Liberals also denounced the auction and cellphone tower sharing provisions. The Liberals are for Net Neutrality maybe, but they have NEVER advocated "wireless neutrality" and Liberal policies have allowed the wireless market to stagnate to "third world" status. So, if the Liberals support Net Neutrality, it wouldn't be hard at all to get Prentice and oter Conservative MPs to support it.

3. Bell Canada is of course the biggest motivation for the push to net neutrality with their throttling shenanigans. Bell has been most vocal in opposing changes in regulations that favour new entrants into their markets and is also the most "vertically integrated" of the major players. They've not been very supportive of this Conservative government, and the government is not very sympathetic to their "plight" either. Because they lack effective lobbying in this government, policy is more likely to follow popular opinion rather than lobbyist opinion.

It is also important to note that even if no changes are made to reguilations that Canada has wuite a "neutral net" already. Under already implemented regulations broadband providers, by law, MUST provide identical service to their wholesalers/resellers/third parties that they offer to retail customers directly. When the Bell complaint was investigated it turned out that Bell's own end customers were subjected to the same bandwidth throttling as the wholesale/resellers were.

Bell is in fact having a difficult time in being an ISP recently. They are losing revenue badly due to very inept management decisions and because they have now got a reputation for being the poorest of all the broadband providers in Canada. Aside from the news of the throttling, there was also a newsmagazine show called "Marketplace" that looked at Bell customer complaints and did a comparison with Telus and Shaw. The results were extremely embarassing to Bell as it demonstrated that their competition was much faster, sometimes 2 or 3 times faster.

Unlike the cellphone market, ISPs are in fact more competitive in Canada, and have historically offered better service and lower prices than found in the US, so while I would very much like to see a formal "net neutrality" policy in Canada to protect what is slowly eroding competition, the situation is not nearly as bad as it is in the US.

So (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23553575)

Canada on strike!

Re:So (1)

mrbluze (1034940) | more than 6 years ago | (#23553947)

Canada on strike!
Canadians strike back?

The only question that remains is, will the government listen?"
Depends who is holding whose short and curlies. Is Google and several other companies bigger than hollywood? Google, for example, isn't in a position to, say, produce movies that make Canada look like a country of war criminals, whereas Hollywood knows no moral bounds.

Here it comes.... (0, Troll)

Zombie Ryushu (803103) | more than 6 years ago | (#23553593)

Here come the shills that are going to say that if the Telcos and the DRM makers and the content providers aren't allowed to censor to their hearts content, and sue everyone who downloads music, the whole Western World will collapse and China will make us all be communist or some bullshit.

I hate shills. I hate them. You know what? I want the IP economy to collapse. These people deserve it.

Re:Here it comes.... (2, Funny)

Keeper Of Keys (928206) | more than 6 years ago | (#23554075)

I want the IP economy to collapse.
But, but, where would TCP be without it?

Re:Here it comes.... (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 6 years ago | (#23554191)

I hate shills. I hate them. You know what? I want the IP economy to collapse.
Yeah, I don't care much for shills either. Oh wait, you probably weren't referring to people paid to express opinions by companies, just people who disagree with you.

I guess the question is not so much whether "these people" deserve it, as whether you deserve it. Well, perhaps not you you, but at least other people.

Re:Here it comes.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23555973)

Here come the shills that are going to say that if the Telcos and the DRM makers and the content providers aren't allowed to censor to their hearts content, and sue everyone who downloads music, the whole Western World will collapse and China will make us all be communist or some bullshit.
Straw man arguments are lies.

Questions? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23553697)

The only question that remains is, will the government listen?
No, the government will not listen. Why would they? The population isn't going to do a damn thing if the government chooses to ignore public demand and decides to continue reaping the benefits of corporate connections. Enjoy your capitalist oligarchy!

The market is neutral, Government is anything but! (3, Insightful)

definate (876684) | more than 6 years ago | (#23553865)

If we put Government in charge of the Internet we will never stop them from imposing their will on us through it.

The internet can not be any more neutral than when it is left to markets.

The problem with it at the moment, is it is already too regulated in most countries. (Eg, the US)

Re:The market is neutral, Government is anything b (5, Insightful)

shiznatix (924851) | more than 6 years ago | (#23553921)

If we put Government in charge of the Internet we will never stop them from imposing their will on us through it. The internet can not be any more neutral than when it is left to markets.
Take that hat off, the reflection is blinding.

Seriously this is not about putting the government in charge, its about allowing the internet to remain open. How in the world would it be more neutral if the markets get their way? The markets are proving they can not stay neutral, they want more money without doing any work such as upgrading infrastructure. Obviously, they can't stay neutral because they will always choose what makes them more money, thats not neutral. If the government steps in and says "quit messing with the traffic that goes through the tubes" that will force them to stay neutral.

Really, not everything the government does is this horrible plot to enslave humanity and yes, corporations step out of line from time to time and need to be slapped back down. This is a perfect example of such a time.

Re:The market is neutral, Government is anything b (1, Insightful)

definate (876684) | more than 6 years ago | (#23554343)

Corporations make value judgements on what provides them with profit while providing their customers with service. This means if people want neutrality, they need only change providers.

However, there are restrictions in certain regions on which providers you can go to because these providers have been given a monopoly.

This is the problem with the American market, a lot of these companies have been given monopoly, and so you have no choice.

Additionally, since their profit model is setup around providing this neutrality, they will not be as profitable as before, and so they will have an argument to levy taxes or give them a greater monopoly.

Further more, their businesses are doing this so they can provide the unlimited plans you enjoy. If their hands are tied, it is likely you will get plans that are limited in other ways.

So lets go over this...
Instead of deregulating and having a choice, you choose more regulation which will most likely have little effect anyway, narrow your choices and increase your average costs?

Does that about sum it up?

Business is not stupid, no matter what it will be profitable, the only variable left is whether you want the ability to choose?

Re:The market is neutral, Government is anything b (1)

ahankinson (1249646) | more than 6 years ago | (#23554929)

This type of free market thinking sounds attractive at first, but in reality it's proving to be anything but. The problem is that the big telecom corporations aren't playing fair. They are trying to impose the same restrictions on consumers across the board in order to create a corporate-favourable landscape where they dictate the rules, and not the consumer. The mentality that 'the market will fix itself' works only if you assume that each market player is out to differentiate themselves from their competition with better prices, better service, etc. If every area had a few reasonably sized regional corporations with consumer bases that were roughly equivalent, it might work. We're in the situation now where we have a few national corporations, each with millions of customers. Dropping one to go to another is hardly noticed, and many people don't have the technical knowledge to *know* they're getting screwed. You're not going to get any sort of market movement in that environment.

Up here in Canada, we have Bell, Rogers and a few other regional ISPs (Videotron, EastLink). It's not a 'healthy' landscape, but it's far from a monopoly situation. None of them are differentiating themselves with regards to traffic shaping, net neutrality, etc. because they know that, while it's good for the consumer, it's NOT good for them. Not because it will cause them to go out of business, but it means that they stand to make less profit than they would otherwise.

They have their lobbyists in government as well, and you can believe that they're trying to 'regulate' themselves a corporation-friendly environment. Getting the CRTC involved here gives customers a single place to voice their concerns, and hopefully in the end what will emerge is a compromise between fairness to consumers, and the freedom of corporations to make healthy (but not exorbitant) profits.

Re:The market is neutral, Government is anything b (1)

definate (876684) | more than 6 years ago | (#23555163)

The people who don't *know* they are getting screwed, obviously it doesn't impact their lives that much, else they would know.

The definition of strategy in business is to generate a competitive advantage through differentiation/cost/focus, or a mix of the 3.

If we had a free market (Which we don't), competition would force each of the players to provide the greatest value to their customers possible.

When you assume that all telecom corporations would act they way you are describing what you're really saying is "There is some other reason why these businesses are forced to operate this way".

By addressing the problem at the ISP level you aren't addressing the ISPs problems, which is most likely cost at every growing bandwidth requirements.

Since you are proposing to limit their ability to offer plans which suit their customers, they will inherently be incurring more costs.

When you increase the marginal cost curve for a company, you are shifting the equilibrium of supply in demand which will generally result in a higher price and less quantity.

Additionally, "good for the consumer" is relative. My grand mother doesn't care about shaping or prioritization, she just wants her email.

On Slashdot it is our lifeblood, and so we often make the assumption that other people would like the quality we would like at the price point we offer, however this ignores the needs of other.

Are you willing to say "Lets increase the price and decrease the amount of people using the service, so that we can possibly (it's not definite) have a higher quality service"

Because that is what you are saying with regulation such as this.

Re:The market is neutral, Government is anything b (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23557187)

Fuck , an lunatic claiming that he has the answers and other simply don't know they are being screwed ?

Fuck you are your good intentions.

Get lost.

Re:The market is neutral, Government is anything b (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23555749)

Let's try that another way...
Instead of having neutrality laws that companies have to obey, which would (in theory) protect smaller companies and prevent monopolies, you'd rather have no regulation, and leave it up to the companies to sort it out, because what's 'good' for business is 'good' for the people?

Re:The market is neutral, Government is anything b (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23557611)

The market is neutral

Bullshit. Off the top of my head I can come up with two simple examples of this being false: monopolies and cartels.

The truth is that a completely unregulated market is an authoritarians dream, because it would allow a small elite group of powerful people to control all capital. Humanity tried that once, it was called the "Soviet Union".

Changes need to be made at the grass root level (4, Informative)

serialdj (593159) | more than 6 years ago | (#23553925)

Traffic shaping and deep packet inspection are nothing new for some Canadians. Close to three years ago I canceled my Rogers Cable Internet service because they were using deep packet inspection to throttle torrent traffic. I hate the restrictions, and hope that the CRTC will implement a rule for Net Neutrality, but the chances of this happening are next to nil. I'd like to say that people should cancel their service with these providers and move to a less restrictive service, but the number of choices available for open ISPs in Canada is shrinking every day. The ISP I switched to Storm was recently bought out by a larger carrier ExplorNet, and my fear is that my service will see changes as well. The only thing we can hope for, truely is that Michael Geist can defend our right to a Internet devoid of the restrictions and practices that the major ISP are forcing their paying subscribers to live by.

Naked Korean Pussies And Gay Nigger Chimps Sodomy (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23554003)

Im sure some people who identify with this message deep in their hearts will take issue with this, and attack it or mock it, as it hurts them to face reality and their sad situation, but:

The stupid, fat, lazy, and brainwashed Americans will continue to take it in the ass. You could have $50 a gallon gas prices and people would complain, they would post to their blog and make videos for YouTube. They would bitch, moan, walk into stores and wring their fists at other Americans working retail and day-to-day service jobs and take it verbally out on them like they do today, instead of confronting the issue together. With Katrina we saw the reality which bubbles underneath the masturbatory Hollywood America. The television continues to control the minds and the people parrot back and forth whatever the television says, usually with a tiny opinion of their own, but little more.

They dont think, they are trained to consume, what they are given they accept and they dont challenge authority, they are mentally beaten and assaulted with powerful advertising on a daily basis and are so used to it they often mix commercial content and slogans or jingles in with their daily lifes communication.

Nothing will improve unless the people turned off their televisions, stopped parroting, stopped blogging about their ingrown toenail and how much they hate choice A and B and how terrible everything is and how they continue to FUND the issues they hate while they bitch about it and do NOTHING.

Unless you get together, turn off your televisions, stop being programmed by the rich corporations and political deviants, you arent going to change. Your system is constructed to contain you in a cage. You can disagree and feel you are somehow different, but if you are paying taxes and doing nothing to change the system, you are as broken, immoral, and to blame as the ones who commit the evils you claim to despise.

Raise the gas prices to $100 a gallon, raise the milk to $30 a gallon, it wont matter, the Americans will do nothing, they will continue to sit back while their taxes pay for drones to fly and spot marijuana so the DEA can continue busting non violent pot smokers and lady justice can throw them in jail to get violently sodomized and forced to suck gang members pensies and maybe leave jail with a nice disease, rather than get together, switch off corporate television, and think for themselves and shape their nation with their own minds.

No, they will continue to go to Youtube and post stupid videos of them sharing their thoughts about things they hate which their taxes continue to fund, post blogs about their stupid lives which fund the system they hate, and talk about choices A and B which are parties which are not people friendly, but corporate friendly.

You are fucked, and you will continue to deny it. When faced with the facts you will either (A) Ignore it, (B) Mock it, (C) Argue it, (D) Launch personal attacks, (E) remain in denial, (F) Lace it with humor, (G) Or another cowardly response.

Enjoy your mess.

Re:Naked Korean Pussies And Gay Nigger Chimps Sodo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23555773)

Things you are:

1. One of the "brainwashed Americans" you refer to
2. A teenager

Things you are not:

1. A gadfly
2. Fooling anyone with your sad, feeble attempt at preemptive rebuttal to criticism of your childish and ineptly-stated views

Begging for a tag (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23554071)

This story is just begging for the tag CanadaOnStrike

Canadaaaaaa on striiiiiike.

Directions to Ottawa? (1)

Potor (658520) | more than 6 years ago | (#23554215)

From the Dept. of Redundancy Dept.: Check out the directions to Ottawa they provide - from Windsor, Kitchener, and Toronto. All of them are on the same highway (the mighty 401), and to the west of Ottawa. D'oh!

Much better: defend net neutrality and get laid (-1, Offtopic)

spectrokid (660550) | more than 6 years ago | (#23554231)

If you are a virgin you can get laid defending the net: and she looks good too! []

Good work so far (3, Insightful)

AutopsyReport (856852) | more than 6 years ago | (#23554391)

I think the government will listen. They might not act, but they will listen (while trying to ignore).

Rallies like this usually get a good amount of attention. Furthermore, there is some political backing (check out the speaker list) and there has already been a lot of coverage for this rally before it has begun. Plus, being on the Hill, it draws a lot of public attention from newspapers, local workers, etc.. Every time a protest comes through the downtown core, I can hear it and always wonder what it's about.

So even if the government does nothing immediately, which is expected, this rally has already been extremely successful at bringing the issue to the Canadian public. This is all over the news and will be throughout the day. I would call that a success already.

Re:Good work so far (2, Interesting)

courteaudotbiz (1191083) | more than 6 years ago | (#23555111)

I am an IT radio chronicler in Quebec city, in a radio which has been nearly dismantled by the CRTC 2 years ago. We were 50 000 people walking down the street to get our message heard by the politicians, we received a lot of attention from the medias saying that freedom of speech was taking a hit...

What happened? The minister responsible for the CRTC said that she would not get involved in the debate, saying that the CRTC was an independant regulation commission and that it would be perceived as an invasion of the government in an independent commission.

What did she do 2 weeks later? She got involved and promised to make room for an Italian television station in Toronto, spoke to the CRTC to make sure the television station would get approved. Why did she do it? She had Italian roots.

Politicians in Canada get involved only when they can get a personal benefit of the actions they take. If the Minister responsible for the CRTC had suffered from Bell Canada's traffic shaping policy, he would make sure that the CRTC will take the decision to make Bell remove its traffic shaping policy, unless a brown enveloppe full of dirty money lying on his doorstep has been put there by some Bell Canada executive.

Like everywhere in the world, politics is no more than corruption. Even in Canada.

And what happened with my radio station? It's been bought by a friend of the regime who frequently has dinner with CRTC administration members, the controversial morningman has been fired, a new and more "regime friendly" morningman has been hired, and now, the ex-morningman has his own radio station on XM satellite radio, struggling to get 300 listeners.

Re:Good work so far (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23556611)

You guys act like the government wouldn't want to enact regulations on the internet. The government is dying to regulate the internet and you are giving them an excuse to do so. I'd like to keep the government 500 feet away from the internet at all times.

Re:Good work so far (1)

AutopsyReport (856852) | more than 6 years ago | (#23557633)

The point you misunderstood is that Bell, Rogers, etc., are involved in throttling Internet traffic on their own. There is no accountability. This group wants the government to step in to discourage/disallow this behaviour, not encourage it!

and what about acta? (4, Interesting)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 6 years ago | (#23554985)

net neutrality won't mean a god damn if net privacy tools and net privacy in general are completely destroyed by canada's participation with ACTA.

Maybe they should be frying both fish in the same pan here?

Perhaps (2, Interesting)

phorm (591458) | more than 6 years ago | (#23557021)

Has ACTA gone through yet?

The fact that people are starting to demonstrate that "we are aware of what's going on, we're watching, and we're not happy" should give the government an idea that stupid decisions about internet and telecommunications will get a negetive reaction from voters. Perhaps it will influence them not to approve idiotic new bills or trade provisions.

Back off ! (1)

Arthur B. (806360) | more than 6 years ago | (#23555005)

ISP routers are private property.

Re:Back off ! (1)

compro01 (777531) | more than 6 years ago | (#23556369)

Then I'm sure you don't mind returning all that money we gave you to create all this infrastructure.

Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23555641)

The Canadians could try going on strike.

Yu0 fai7 it. (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23555823)

Users. this 1s

Michael Liberal Geist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23556967)


Why not hold it on the weekend? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23557473)

Why couldn't they hold this rally on a weekend, when I don't have to work and have time to make the 2 hour drive to Ottawa and participate in it?

Re:Why not hold it on the weekend? (1)

Deadplant (212273) | more than 6 years ago | (#23558015)

You have a point. However, the MPs won't be there to see the rally on the weeked.
Also, this is a largely government town and the main government union CUPE is supporting the rally so you can be sure that lots and lots of government workers (who are in the surrounding buildings) will be able to attend on their lunch breaks.

Quick report from the hill (3, Interesting)

Serician (1296775) | more than 6 years ago | (#23558299)

I walked up to the Hill on my lunch break. There were 300 people or so (rough estimate), some clever signs, and media coverage - TV and newspaper.

Apparently the first batch of speakers spoke right away and were finished by the time I got there. Everyone was waiting for Mauril Belanger (liberal MP) who was expected to speak at 12:45.

At 12:40 rally organizers tried to get the crowd pumped up with cries of "Who's net? OUR NET!" and "Our net... NOT FOR SALE!". I had to go back to the office, but you could hear their shouts echoing off the buildings for a few blocks... pretty cool!

Hopefully it raises the issue to the awareness of the general public. Most people seem to have no idea whatsoever that Net Neutrality is even an issue, let alone an important one.

Just came back... (1)

s66iw (1214466) | more than 6 years ago | (#23558439)

According to the organization, there was between three to five hundred people (it seemed less than that to me).
It was pretty tame too, but then again how noisy do you expect a few hundred computer geeks to be, let alone Canadian computer geeks?
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