Prog Blog’s Flickr Photostream CBC: Spy agencies "drowning in data"

Does mass surveillance, like the new laws the government proposed last week, actually make us safer? The answer may surprise you. 

Article by Amber Hildebrandt, Michael Pereira and Dav Seglins for The CBC

Mass trawling of internet data — as done by Canada’s electronic spy agency in a project dubbed Levitation — can impede cyber spies in the hunt for extremists more than it helps, some security experts argue.

read more Gigaom: Net neutrality violators just got smacked down

Could Canada lead the way in the fight for net neutrality? 

Article by David Meyer for Gigaom

The list of countries that find zero-rating to be a violation of net neutrality just keeps on growing, with Canada the latest to crack down on the practice.

read more Global: Canada’s new anti-privacy law – the next great threat to free speech


Article by Anna Mehler Paperny for Global

Prime Minister Stephen Harper unveiled his government’s new counter-terror bill with dire warnings about the threats facing Canada from radical, freedom-hating groups on the other side of the world.

“A great evil has been descending on our world,” he said in Richmond Hill on Friday.

read more

Warren Kinsella: The 2015 ballot question explained, gratis

A light just went on in my tiny cranium.

Whichever way things go, the Conservative narrative comes out a winner. Things going great? You can only credit Harper. Things really suck? Only Harper has the experience to get us back on track.

It’s evil genius, but genius, no less. Comments welcome, per usual.

1. Economy good, no security issues? #CPC credited with good times. 2. Economy bad, terrorism? #CPC needed in bad times. Symmetry. #cdnpoli

— Warren Kinsella (@kinsellawarren) January 30, 2015

Canadian Dimension: A Strategy of Ruptures: Ten Theses on the Greek Future

Alek­sandr Ves­nin, Pro­posal for a Mon­u­ment to the Third Inter­na­tional, 1921


Jan­u­ary 25th marks a his­toric turn­ing point in recent Greek his­tory. After five years of dev­as­tat­ing aus­ter­ity, a social cri­sis with­out prece­dent in Europe, and a series of strug­gles that at some points, espe­cially in 2010-2012, took an almost insur­rec­tionary form, there has been a major polit­i­cal break. The par­ties that were respon­si­ble for putting Greek soci­ety under the dis­ci­pli­nary super­vi­sion of the so-called Troika (EU-ECB-IMF) suf­fered a humil­i­at­ing defeat. PASOK, which in 2009 won almost 44% of the vote, now received only 4.68%; and the splin­ter (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: Not Sure How Jeb Gets Past This

It’s looking like former Florida governor, Jeb Bush, intends to seek the Republican presidential nomination.  There’s a big slate of aspirants this year and plenty remaining even after Mitt Romney stood down.

I’m guessing here but I expect some of Jeb’s rivals might just suggest he take his mother Barbara’s advice.  (Go to 2:20)

Queer-liberal: Feature film ‘Tru Love’ a delight

I want to give a quick shout-out for a feature film I saw last weekend: ‘Tru Love,’ by co-directors Kate Johnston and Shauna MacDonald, which is playing for a second week until Feb 5th at Toronto’s Carlton Cinema.

Like most queer Canadian indie flicks, this delightful lesbian romance was shot on a small budget by some very talented people.   Their labour of love has had much success on the international film festival circuit, won many awards and is getting released soon on various platforms around the world.  For now in Canada, the film continues its theatrical run in (Read more…)

cartoon life: The Annunciation

Filed under: art Tagged: madeWithPaper, Pencil New spy powers will undermine privacy of Canadians, and fails to address inadequate control and accountability of spy agencies


New measures to undermine privacy proposed just days after the government’s spy agency CSE revealed to be spying on private online activities of law-abiding Canadians on a massive scale

January 30, 2015 – The federal government’s just announced Bill C-51 will further undermine Canadians’ privacy while doing nothing to address privacy violations revealed just days ago. That’s according to digital rights group, which is leading a nationwide coalition calling for stronger privacy protections. Over 46,000 people have spoken out recently through OpenMedia privacy campaigns calling on Prime Minister Harper to end mass surveillance and improve spy (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: Could "Rapidly Proliferating Threats" Derail the F-35?

(Remember, this is the plane that the Harper government wants to saddle our aircrews with for half-a-century, fifty years.  But, I digress.)Trying to keep tabs on the development of Lockheed’s F=35 requires no end of reading between the lines.One thing that comes through, admittedly in snippets and from different angles, is that the Americans are starting to conclude that their wunder-plane is less wunderful than they had hoped.Months ago the journal of the US Naval Institute fretted that the F-35 was operationally flawed because it lacked “all-aspect stealth.”  Its stealth cloaking is mainly frontal aspect (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Will Green Party MP’s Have The Freedom To Vote and Speak Unlike The Whipped MP’s In The Established Parties?

Don Maroc

This started out to be a paean to the Green Party of Canada. Not just as a very vocal agent for defending of the ecology, or Ecology of a nation feverishly bent on the fastest possible extraction of non-renewable sources, but as the major force for the reform, maybe better for the restructuring of the Canadian Parliament.

Unavoidably, that task would also include the condemnation of the NDP, Liberal, and Conservative Parties as the agents making the Canadian Parliament irrelevant and impotent.

A week ago the New Democratic Party selected their candidate to contest the election of our (Read more…)

Political Eh-conomy: Three planks for a possible anti-austerity

What would anti-austerity in Canada look like? There are really two types of questions here. There are those of analysis: what has Canada’s austerity looked like, what makes it distinctive and how does it appear in people’s everyday experience? The others are those of political strategy. These are questions that will have to wait for a social, political force ready to meaningfully take up the cause of anti-austerity. With none on the immediate horizon, I don’t intend to pontificate on what Syriza can teach Canada; best look first at what we can learn of our own situation.

When I interviewed him last week, Yanis Varousfakis, now the (Read more…) Your Daily Digital Digest for Friday, January 30, 2015

Your news links for today:

Canadian Government Continues to Expand State Powers While Leaving Privacy by the Wayside – EFF New anti-terror bill could put chill on freedom of speech – CBC CSIS to be granted massive expansion of its powers: source – Globe and Mail Five things to know about Canada’s new anti-terrorism measures – CTV News What To Look For In Tomorrow’s Anti-Terror Law – National Security Law David slays Goliath: a net neutrality Q&A with Ben Klass – AlphaBeatic David Wins Against Goliath: CRTC Bolsters “Net Neutrality”, Limits “Zero-Rating” & Strengthens Local TV – Mediamorphis Canada’s Telecoms (Read more…)

cmkl: CSIS to be given ‘power to disrupt,’ not arrest, in new anti-terror bill, CBC reports

I really hope this is one of those trial balloon thingies where the government puts out feelers, leaks ‘drafts’, spreads rumours about something far worse than they actually intend. Because if they actually do plan to let CSIS ‘disrupt’ people without due process, as CBC reports, we will truly have turned a corner into the … Continue reading CSIS to be given ‘power to disrupt,’ not arrest, in new anti-terror bill, CBC reports →

Northern Reflections: The First Casualty


Truth is always the first casualty of war. And no one should be surprised that it is the first casualty of Stephen Harper’s War. Michael Harris writes:

The resolution on the Iraq mission that passed the House of Commons explicitly ruled out ground-based combat operations. Now, Mr. Harper has deployed Canadian special forces in such a way that they have become involved in what the parliamentary resolution expressly forbade: ground combat.

The government’s (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Last chance to weigh in

While there’s always reason to be skeptical of the Wall government’s consultation processes, there’s also plenty of risk in not participating – as a lack of expressed opposition will all too likely be taken as agreement with the Saskatchewan Party’s plans.

Which is to say that I’ll strongly encourage Saskatchewan readers to participate in the province’s consultation on liquor retailing before today’s deadline passes.

If you’re looking for a strong general message to send as to the importance of preserving our current system, you’ll find one at Keep Liquor Public. I’ve chosen instead to focus on the opportunity to build (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- PressProgress notes that the Cons’ economic track record is one of eliminating well-paying jobs in favour of lower-wage, more-precarious work. And Jim Stanford follows up on why we shouldn’t believe the Cons’ spin about deficits: I think that a more fruitful and principled line of attack on the government’s approach would focus on these obvious fiscal and economic errors by the government: The October tax cuts were premature; it is tax cuts, not oil prices, which have jeopardized the attainment of a balanced budget.  The Conservatives broke their own promise in implementing (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: A cheap shot from the cheap seats.

Remember recently when we reported on the Conservative “snore-fest” leadership race in Ontario. Can you guess who might have read our report and decided to liven things up? It’s that kid in short pants who has nothing better to do as a federal Member of Parliament than to waste time in the provincial leadership contest. Did we tell you he also takes cheap shots at opponents when he hopes they cannot answer?

It would be worth reporting if we thought for one minute that he was contributing anything to the contest. Even Prime Minister Harper said he did not care (Read more…)

DeSmogBlog: Federal Leadership Critical for Climate Action

This is a guest post by Tim Gray, executive director of Environmental Defence. It originally appeared on the Toronto Star.

It was troubling last week when Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau seemed to suggest that provinces could just do their own thing on climate action without much federal involvement other than hand holding. Government action addressing climate change is evolving quickly at the provincial level but that does not absolve the federal government of its responsibility to set a level playing field and spur action.

It would have been great had the federal government implemented a pan-Canadian climate change plan eight years (Read more…)

DeSmogBlog: Divestment Insufficient Without Government-Sponsored Emissions Reductions, Says New Report

Ditching fossil fuel stocks and replacing them with green energy investments will have little effect on greenhouse gas emissions until there are government and institutional policy changes, according to a new report.

The white paper, written by two University of British Columbia (UBC) researchers working with the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions, finds that even if divestment campaigns – now being waged at more than 30 Canadian universities – are successful, there will be minimal impact on emissions, partially because governments, rather than shareholder companies, control the vast majority of the world’s oil reserves. If conventional energy companies were serious about avoiding surpassing the (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: Stephen Harper and the Whispering Way to War

Golly. What a difference a day makes. On Wednesday Stephen Harper was loudly taunting the opposition.And all but inviting the terrorists to attack us.But yesterday he was suddenly more subdued, as if realizing what might happen if they did attack us. And Canadians blamed him.So he was barely whispering as he met with security officials, and prepared to turn Canada into a police state. Read more »

Warren Kinsella: 63 per cent of Canadians are traitors

When I told one of the advisers to Justin Trudeau why I supported the International effort against ISIS/ISIL – and when I pointed out that I agreed with right-wing extremist warmongers like Barack Obama, Lloyd Axworthy and Bob Rae – I was told Messrs. Axworthy, Rae et al. were “traitors” to the party, because they’d disagreed with the leader. That’s a quote.

I guess us traitors can be comforted with the news that we’re not entirely alone. Here’s hoping we all get a big cell with a window!

Dead Wild Roses: The DWR Friday Baroque Interlude – Les Barricades Mystérieuses

Les Barricades Mystérieuses (The Mysterious Barricades) was composed in 1717 for the harpsichord by François Couperin. It is the fifth piece in his “Ordre 6ème de clavecin” in B-flat major from his second book of collected harpsichord pieces (Pièces de Clavecin).[ It is emblematic of the style brisé characteristic of French Baroque keyboard music.

Les Barricades Mystérieuses was originally published with the spelling Les Baricades Mistérieuses [“single r” in the first word, and “i” rather than “y” in the second word]. All four possible spelling combinations have since been (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Bell’s Mobile TV Practice Violates Telecommunications Act: CRTC

In a decision likely to have implications for net neutrality, the CRTC has ruled that Bell and Vidéotron’s mobile TV practices violate the Telecommunications Act.

The post Bell’s Mobile TV Practice Violates Telecommunications Act: CRTC appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Gil Bennett: fact checker #nlpoli

Gil Bennett, Nalcor vice-president in charge of the Lower Churchill project, took some exceptions to comments in yesterdays posts on Muskrat Falls and electricity prices.

Rather than go back and deal with his comments in a re-write of the original post, let’s deal with Bennett’s comments here and link the two together so people can get the full effect.

For those of you who didn’t read the original post, go back and do so.  It will help.  In this post, Bennett’s tweets are in bold print.  Your humble e-scribbler’s reply is in regular type.

(Read more…)