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Left Over: …Then They Came for Me…

Online comments on news stories: a problem for everyone Syrian refugee stories on news sites are prompting some backlash in the comments section of some websites By Bal Brach, CBC News Posted: Jan 10, 2016 8:00 AM PT Last Updated: Jan … Continue reading . . . → Read More: Left Over: …Then They Came for Me…

Kersplebedeb | Kersplebedeb: Jalil Arbitrarily Denied Books including HIS OWN

On October 7, 2015, Jalil was arbitrarily denied receipt of four books after they had been approved by the package room. Jalil would like folk to write to Commissioner Annucci regarding this matter.

Write to Commissioner Annucci at:

Anthony Annucci Commissioner of DOCCS 1220 Washington Avenue The Harriman State Campus, Building 2 Albany, New . . . → Read More: Kersplebedeb | Kersplebedeb: Jalil Arbitrarily Denied Books including HIS OWN

Kersplebedeb | Kersplebedeb: Mailroom Censorship at Attica

On October 7, political prisoner Jalil Muntaqim was denied 4 books which arrived for him at Attica Correctional Facility. Muntaqim is a former member of the Black Panther Party and Black Liberation Army, and one of the longest held political prisoners in the world today; he has been incarcerated since 1971, when he was . . . → Read More: Kersplebedeb | Kersplebedeb: Mailroom Censorship at Attica

OpenMedia.ca: CBC: Google ordered to remove ‘right to be forgotten’ stories after ‘right to be forgotten’ ruling

The new EU ‘right to be forgotten’ ruling conflicts with our right to knowledge and free expression. Why should people like web companies, politicians, or governments force search engines and other aggregators to remove links to articles about their activities without a judicial process? Learn more below and check out our growing . . . → Read More: OpenMedia.ca: CBC: Google ordered to remove ‘right to be forgotten’ stories after ‘right to be forgotten’ ruling

Mind Bending Politics: Conservatives Agree to Censor Internet In Latest Trade Negotiations

The Conservatives seem to be tying to make the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement one of Harper’s legacy items. After the election call the Conservatives moved to change “caretaker” rules in order to continue negotiating this trade agreement. It appears now that the Conservatives are so much in a rush to get the TPP signed […] . . . → Read More: Mind Bending Politics: Conservatives Agree to Censor Internet In Latest Trade Negotiations

OpenMedia.ca: CBC: Leaked Trans-Pacific Partnership draft would force Canada to rework copyright, critics say

If Canada adopts the TPP, it will criminalize your Internet use and force your Internet provider and search engines to censor online content, things the government had consistently rejected throughout the copyright reform process. Speak out now at StoptheSecrecy.net

Article by Zack Dubinsky for CBC

read more

. . . → Read More: OpenMedia.ca: CBC: Leaked Trans-Pacific Partnership draft would force Canada to rework copyright, critics say

OpenMedia.ca: Tyee: TPP Deal Puts BC’s Privacy Laws in the Crosshairs

The TPP would render B.C. privacy laws useless. Speak out now to repeal this secretive, Internet-censoring deal at StoptheSecrecy.net

Article by Scott Sinclair for The Tyee

British Columbia’s privacy laws are in the crosshairs of the nearly completed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement. If you’re wondering what the heck data privacy protections have to . . . → Read More: OpenMedia.ca: Tyee: TPP Deal Puts BC’s Privacy Laws in the Crosshairs

OpenMedia.ca: IBTimes: The TPP will leave us unprotected

The TPP gives industry lobbyists the power to sue our government in secret form tribunals over any law or regulation they claim affects their future profits. Speak out now at http://StoptheSecrecy.net?src=fba

Article by David Sirota for the International Business Times 

read more

. . . → Read More: OpenMedia.ca: IBTimes: The TPP will leave us unprotected

OpenMedia.ca: What does MEP Cavada want the future of copyright to look like?

At OpenMedia in our fight to protect the free and open Internet, we often come up against worthy adversaries. Sometimes they are elected representatives, sometimes they’re industry spokespeople, and sometimes they’re lobbyists. But as we work to move the world towards a more connected digital age, inevitably there will be those who . . . → Read More: OpenMedia.ca: What does MEP Cavada want the future of copyright to look like?

Politics and its Discontents: The Luddites of Education

Throughout my career as a high school teacher, I believed, as I still do, that education is one of the prime tools by which society can be bettered and critical thinking cultivated. And yet there are Luddites among us who would severely circumscribe the use of this all-important mechanism, preferring that we limit access to . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: The Luddites of Education

Art Threat: Filmmakers pull out of Istanbul festival in government censorship protest

Nearly two dozen filmmakers have yanked their films from the 34th Istanbul Film Festival in response to the last-minute cancellation of documentary screening about the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

The growing censorship protest, which now involves a majority of the filmmakers participating in the event, has led organizers to cancel competitions and the closing . . . → Read More: Art Threat: Filmmakers pull out of Istanbul festival in government censorship protest

ParliamANT Hill: Charlie Hebdo Paris Shooting: CanadiAnt politiciAnts react

Satire inspired by these headlines: http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/charlie-hebdo-paris-shooting-canadian-politicians-react-1.2892340    &   http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/stephen-harper-bans-chinese-media-from-arctic-… . . . → Read More: ParliamANT Hill: Charlie Hebdo Paris Shooting: CanadiAnt politiciAnts react

ParliamANT Hill: Charlie Hebdo Paris Shooting: CanadiAnt politiciAnts react

Satire inspired by these headlines: http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/charlie-hebdo-paris-shooting-canadian-politicians-react-1.2892340    &   http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/stephen-harper-bans-chinese-media-from-arctic-trip-1.2744310

The Canadian Progressive: The Canadian Progressive Joins Global Net Neutrality Protest

Today, The Canadian Progressive joins millions of websites, digital rights organizations and Internet freedom fighters demanding stronger “net neutrality” protections.

The post The Canadian Progressive Joins Global Net Neutrality Protest appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Dented Blue Mercedes: Could anti-prostitution Bill C-36 also ban porn?

One of the concerns that has been raised about Bill C-36 is that “sexual services” is not defined.

Terri Jean Bedford, one of the plaintiffs in the case that overturned the previous anti-prostitution laws, has raised this question a number of times, without receiving an answer. A professional dominatrix’s job, after all, involves fulfilling a . . . → Read More: Dented Blue Mercedes: Could anti-prostitution Bill C-36 also ban porn?

Dented Blue Mercedes: Could anti-prostitution Bill C-36 also ban porn?

One of the concerns that has been raised about Bill C-36 is that “sexual services” is not defined.

Terri Jean Bedford, one of the plaintiffs in the case that overturned the previous anti-prostitution laws, has raised this question a number of times, without receiving an answer. A professional dominatrix’s job, after all, involves fulfilling a . . . → Read More: Dented Blue Mercedes: Could anti-prostitution Bill C-36 also ban porn?

Pample the Moose: Silencing or Strategic Manoeuvring? Professor Strong-Boag, International Women’s Day and the Canadian Museum for Human Rights

For the past three days, my Facebook and Twitter feeds have been filled with a series of re-posts and re-tweets related to Professor Veronica Strong-Boag’s blogpost about International Women’s Day (IWD) for the (still-to-be-opened) Canadian Museum for Human Rights.  According to the detailed report on ActiveHistory.ca, containing Strong-Boag’s post and commentary about the story, she had been commissioned by the Museum to write a post about IWD for their collective blog.  When she submitted the blogpost, it was initially approved, and then withdrawn when the communications department expressed concern over her comment on the current Conservative government.  As a result, historians from coast to coast have been decrying the “censorship” and “silencing” of Strong-Boag by the museum (and speculating that the current federal government might have had a hand in this).  

Shortly after the ActiveHistory piece was published, Franca Iacovetta, professor of Canadian history at the University of Toronto, and the current president of the International Berkshire Conference of Women Historians, published a condemnation of “the effort to silence Canada’s leading women’s historian” on the Berks website.  Since that time, PressProgress has added their voice into the mix, commenting on the irony of a human rights museum censoring a commissioned blog.  Both of these pieces have also received extensive coverage on Facebook and Twitter.

I have a somewhat different take on these events from many of my historian colleagues, and would posit a working theory.  I suspect that Prof. Strong-Boag might have known full well (or at least strongly suspected) that her blogpost for International Women’s Day, which only includes one reference to Canadian governments past or present and does so to highlight the “anti-woman record” of “Canada’s Conservative government”, was never going to be approved by the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. The museum has been mired in controversies and funding crises for years – even before it has opened to the public.  The people who commissioned the post probably were hoping for a broad overview of the history of International Women’s Day, or perhaps a post that included some discussion of how Canada’s governments (past and present) have dealt with women’s issues.  This is not what they received, and someone probably balked at the fact that the sole reference in the post to Canada’s governments was a partisan attack on the current Conservative administration.  An offer to add more detail to support the assessment of the current government as “anti-woman” was probably even less welcomed. 

Here’s where I think the story gets interesting. By being “censored”, Strong-Boag has ensured that her message gets diffused to a much wider readership than the original blogpost itself likely would have been.  It is a fairly standard social movement tactic to try to create a situation (a “grievance” to use the social movement scholarly jargon) that will lend itself to media exposure, with the movement able to cast itself as the aggrieved party.  This helps to generate broader-based support for the movement, which is crucial to resource mobilization.  I very strongly suspect that the vast majority of people who have commented and re-posted this story have never before read the blog of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, and would not have seen the post had it simply been posted there.  I had to scroll back to August 2013 to find a post on the CMHR blog that had a comment on it.  It also isn’t a blog with a rich history of guest postings – only six names of guest bloggers appear on their contributors roll.  The ActiveHistory.ca website, on the other hand, has a widespread readership among Canadian historians and engenders a lot of commentary.  The Berks is the main conference on women’s history in North America.  Far from being silenced, the decision by the CMHR to remove the post as written from their site has meant that Strong-Boag got a series of major platforms to attack the Harper government’s record on women’s rights, and along the way to damage the CMHR’s reputation and cast suspicion (possibly warranted, although this is unproven) of a sinister federal hand behind the removal of the blogpost.  Meanwhile, there is no post for International Women’s Day on the CMHR blog.

To be perfectly clear, I don’t disagree with Strong-Boag’s stance on the Harper government’s policy record.  But nor am I surprised that the museum would have shied away from her post.  Strong-Boag  engaged in a direct partisan attack. A paragraph discussing past-and-present Canadian governments’ decidedly mixed record on women’s issues (perhaps including Trudeau-era restrictions on the National Action Committee on the Status of Women’s lobbying efforts that were linked to their government funding, or the successive failures of a series of federal governments to make any meaningful progress on the childcare agenda) might possibly have made it past the communications officers at the CMHR.  At the very least, it would have been harder for a communications officer to defend the removal of a blogpost that presented a more balanced critique of the less-than-stellar record of Canada’s federal governments (Liberal and Conservative) on women’s issues that placed the current claw-backs in their historical context.  But to me, the section on the current government in the post as currently written reads as an isolated (if deserved) swipe at the government of the day and explicitly partisan.

If this was a deliberate strategic move on Strong-Boag’s part, it has worked beautifully, so kudos to her for getting her message disseminated.  Far more people have read her account of IWD than likely would have ever seen it on the CMHR blog.  I just find it a little bit disingenuous to speak of silencing and censorship in what appears to me to be a case of a museum trying not to appear to be overtly partisan in its public communications.  Even if it could have been claimed that this was a “guest post”, the museum would have been held accountable in the media, and with their various funders, for the content that appeared.

UPDATE (March 9, 3:10 PM): The story is now on the CBC website, with additional commentary from Strong-Boag, and a reply from the museum’s blog editor.  . . . → Read More: Pample the Moose: Silencing or Strategic Manoeuvring? Professor Strong-Boag, International Women’s Day and the Canadian Museum for Human Rights

Pample the Moose: Silencing or Strategic Manoeuvring? Professor Strong-Boag, International Women’s Day and the Canadian Museum of Human Rights

For the past three days, my Facebook and Twitter feeds have been filled with a series of re-posts and re-tweets related to Professor Veronica Strong-Boag’s blogpost about International Women’s Day (IWD) for the (still-to-be-opened) Canadian Museum of Human Rights.  According to the detailed report on ActiveHistory.ca, containing Strong-Boag’s post and commentary about the story, she . . . → Read More: Pample the Moose: Silencing or Strategic Manoeuvring? Professor Strong-Boag, International Women’s Day and the Canadian Museum of Human Rights

OpenMedia.ca: Australians to Canadians: Beware TPP economic fallout

Over 125,000 people – including tens of thousands of Canadians – have now spoken out about the damaging Internet censorship proposals in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). We know from leaked drafts all about how the TPP would make your Internet more expensive, censored, and policed.

Now, our friends in Australia are . . . → Read More: OpenMedia.ca: Australians to Canadians: Beware TPP economic fallout

The Cracked Crystal Ball II: Of "Porn Filters" and Agendas

Remember July this year, when Joy Smith stood up in Canada’s Parliament and suggested we should follow the UK’s example and implement a “porn filter”?

Well, Cameron’s filter is about to go live, and as one might have expected, it’s blocking a heck of a lot more than just “adult content” websites:

Included in O2’s . . . → Read More: The Cracked Crystal Ball II: Of "Porn Filters" and Agendas

OpenMedia.ca: Say No to Internet Censorship

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Highlight Link:  http://openmedia.org/censorship

OpenMedia.ca: The Internet Insider | Say No To Internet Censorship

Hello!

Listen up, world leaders! The citizens of the Internet have a few demands. We want to put an end to threats to Internet freedom. Head over to OpenMedia.org/Censorship to send a clear message to world leaders that we will not stand for the closed, censored and policed Internet outlined in the TPP.

. . . → Read More: OpenMedia.ca: The Internet Insider | Say No To Internet Censorship

ParliamANT Hill: MusiciAnt songs banned on radio station

Inspired by this headline:  http://www.thestar.com/entertainment/music/2013/09/12/neil_youngs_music_banned_from_radio_station_after_hiroshima_remark.html

Let Freedom Rain II: Australia censorship chronicles: Student newspaper cover of 18 vaginas censored.

The human body is a wonderful thing. But seeing too much of it takes away the thrill. That was the point of the University of Sydney student paper’s cover, featuring 18 vaginas. But the college’s council rejected the images. When the paper put black bars over the naughtiest bits to assuage the council, the . . . → Read More: Let Freedom Rain II: Australia censorship chronicles: Student newspaper cover of 18 vaginas censored.

The Canadian Progressive: Alice Walker Disinvited By Top US University Over Israel Criticism

The University of Michigan has disinvited Pulitzer-prize winning African-American author Alice Walker as punishment for her progressive views on Israel.

The post Alice Walker Disinvited By Top US University Over Israel Criticism appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.