Meanwhile, in Canada
Though many would be led to believe that the Canadian population is relatively silent when it comes to internet freedom and information rights, the North American nation has been highly active in the pursuit of more effective legislation. Major controversies such as the National Security Agency's Edward Snowden affair might be more newsworthy than others, but certain regions of Canada are joining the fight for better transparency.
Nova Scotia getting louder
CBC News recently reported that the number of Freedom of Information requests recorded from Nova Scotians increased to 1,562 requests in 2012. The citizens were interested in gaining access to all types of records and documents, including civil servants' driving allowances audits, and infant disease screening programs.
According to the news provider, this marked a 40 percent year-over-year increase in such requests from 2011 to 2012, while advocacy groups have largely rejoiced at the news of the community's involvement in the freedom of information. The source noted that the average turnaround on a request took 28 days.
"I'm pleased with that. I figure they're saying, 'We'd better not go beyond 28,' and they might have been able to come out with it a lot earlier. But still, 28 days is good," Darce Fardy, president of Nova Scotia's Right to Know Coalition, told CBC News. "They feel the government is trying to keep that information from them. So they don't know enough about what's going on to make an intelligent decision at the polls. So they don't go."
Internet freedom is one of best ways in which governments can provide citizens with better opportunities to become more involved in public sector affairs. Transparency is key to ensure that all votes are cast in an intelligent and well-informed fashion.
Privacy protection in British Columbia
The Tyee recently explained that citizens in British Columbia, as well as various other provinces of Canada, are starting to increase efforts to push more beneficial privacy protection legislation in the government. According to the source, the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association has become especially active since the NSA's controversy in the United States, as citizens want to have a better idea of which privacy violations might effect them as well.
Though the efforts of a growing population of activists are welcomed, it is clear that much more widespread protests and petitions will be necessary to ensure the safety of every Canadian and United States citizen in the coming years.