Rob Ford, Eid Prayer and the Silencing of Dissentby Fizza Mir
July 30, 2014
My Eid started out like most, enjoying a morning coffee after a month of abstinence, rushing to get to the downtown prayers at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre and navigating through hoards of playful children and beautifully dressed congregants. The khutbah was moving and poignantly addressed the state of our Ummah. Even as we celebrated the end of a blessed month, our hearts were heavy and our thoughts consumed by the horrors unfolding in Gaza, Syria, Egypt, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Burma . . . it seemed like an (Read more…)
The U.S. House of Representatives last month inserted into a defense appropriations bill a measure barring the National Security Agency from meddling with encryption standards.
The post House Bars NSA From Meddling With Encryption Standards appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.
This analysis by Chris Hedges is well worth the read.
By Chris Hedges TruthDig.com
Raul Hilberg in his monumental work “The Destruction of the European Jews” chronicled a process of repression that at first was “relatively mild” but led, step by step, to the Holocaust. It started with legal discrimination and ended with mass murder. “The destructive process was a development that was begun with caution and ended without restraint,”
The Palestinians over the past few decades have endured a similar “destructive process.” They have gradually been stripped of basic civil liberties, robbed of assets including (Read more…)
Journalist and author Glenn Greenwald suggests how we can protect ourselves from government snooping, and defend our civil liberties in the digital age.
The post Glenn Greenwald on why government snooping is dangerous and what we can do about it appeared first on THE CANADIAN PROGRESSIVE.
by: by: MICHAEL GEIST | June 17, 2014
Having had the benefit of a few days to consider the implications of the Supreme Court of Canada decision in Spencer, the Senate last night proceeded to ignore the court and pass Bill S-4, the Digital Privacy Act, unchanged. The bill extends the ability to disclose subscriber information without a warrant from law enforcement to any private sector organizations by including a provision that allows organizations to disclose personal information without consent (and without a court order) to any organization that is investigating a contractual breach or possible violation of any (Read more…)
by: MICHAEL GEIST | June 4, 2014
In recent years, it has become fashionable to argue that Canadians no longer care about their privacy. Supporters of this position note that millions of people voluntarily post personal information and photos about themselves on social media sites, are knowingly tracked by Internet advertising giants and do not opt-out of “targeted” advertising from telecom companies. Yet if the past few months are any indication, it is not Canadians that have given up on privacy. It is the Canadian government.
My weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) notes the public (Read more…)
Justice Minister Denis is touting “Traffic Court Reform” as a “citizen-friendly” dispute resolution process to “resolve” traffic tickets. It’s also the first step into a quagmire that erases our civil liberties in order to save money (and help the minister meet his 2014 budget targets).
The Justice minister requested “feedback” on the four principles underlying his draconian proposal. I sent him the following response:
Principle 1: The premise underlying the request for feedback is flawed. It is based on the assertion that traffic matters should be removed from the traditional court system and into an administrative (Read more…)
by: BC Civil Liberties Association | Press Release
Public inquiry recommended oversight in 2006 – no action since that time
The BC Civil Liberties Association, the Canadian Council for Refugees and the Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers today called on the government to end its long inaction on the need for an independent and effective complaints and monitoring mechanism for the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). The Maher Arar judicial inquiry recommended that CBSA’s national security activities be subjected to independent review in 2006. The federal government has failed to act on this recommendation.
While CBSA has sweeping police (Read more…)
Image from Freedom to Read website
Freedom to Read Week 2014 runs from February 23 to March 1. This year marks the 30th anniversary of Freedom to Read Week in Canada.
Freedom to Read Week – called “Banned Books Week” in the United States – encourages Canadians to think about and reaffirm their commitment to intellectual freedom, a human right guaranteed to us under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. For me, it is also a time to celebrate the library as a bulwark against censorship, and for library workers to reflect on our jobs in a broader political context.
The surveillance state continues to grow; news of its magnitude continues to trickle out. Some people shrug, claiming only criminals and terrorists need be concerned, but in these extreme conditions, that attitude looks increasingly ridiculous – or government-sponsored. The rest of us shudder and shake our heads… but what more?
The Canada-US border has become another instrument of the surveillance state. For decades, people have claimed that border agencies had access to all our personal information, including tax and credit status. In the past, that was a myth. Now, what was once paranoid rumour appears to be true.
We, the (Read more…)
According to this news story, a Canadian woman named Ellen Richardson was refused entry into the United States because of a prior medical condition. That is, when the US border guards swiped her passport, information taken from her health records came up.
Now, the US can refuse entry to any non-citizen for any reason or no reason. The more important question is why was a Canadian’s confidential medical information in the Department of Homeland Security database?? How did it get there? How many of our health records are in the DHS database? You don’t need to wear a tinfoil (Read more…)
“Twenty years ago, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was signed into law. At the time, advocates painted a rosy picture of booming U.S. exports creating hundreds of thousands of new jobs, and economic development in Mexico, which would bring the struggling country in line with its wealthier northern neighbors. Two decades later, those […]
We all know the iconic cartoon the title of this post refers to. Boing Boing has republished a story about it, originally run in The Magazine, an ad-free, reader-supported magazine that looks really interesting.
It’s a wonderful little piece: the story behind the story, a glimpse into the life of people who try to earn a living from their own considerable talents, and a look back at the early days of the internet, and how things have changed, before tinfoil-hat predictions were proven to be not paranoia, but prescience.
Go here to read the story (really, it’s fun), and (Read more…)
The BC Civil Liberties Association has filed a lawsuit against Canadian spy agency ASEC, claims its surveillance of Canadians is unconstitutional.
The post Civil Liberties Group Sues Spy Agency Over Illegal Spying On Canadians appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.
What do you do when citizens believe that democratic rights should be more than an illusion? Call in the authorities to remind them of their true place in the foodchain.
On a related topic, The Star’s Rosie DiManno has an excoriating assessment of yet another free pass given by the SIU to the officers involved in the ‘high-risk’ takedown of 80-year-old Iole Pasquale, the dementia sufferer who was tasered, not once but twice, while meandering down the street in the middle of the night in late August holding a bread knife.
… as SIU head Ian Scott noted (Read more…)
The heroic Edward Snowden, in his own words, via Jesselyn Radack, at the European Parliament’s Civil Liberties Committee in Brussels. I thank the European Parliament and the LIBE Committee for taking up the challenge of mass surveillance. The surveillance of whole populations, rather than individuals, threatens to be the greatest human rights challenge of our time. The success of economies in developed nations relies increasingly on their creative output, and if that success is to continue, we must remember that creativity is the product of curiosity, which in turn is the product of privacy.
A culture of secrecy has denied (Read more…)
There is a deeper reason for the war on drugs, which is the central reason for the policy, even outweighing profits from private prisons and seizure of property by law enforcement officers, both of which no doubt are also significant and strong motivations for keeping the “war on drugs” going. Nearly thirty years ago, Chomsky […]
One month ago, something happened that should trouble us gravely.
Something happened that people who believe in democracy and free speech and an independent media and civil liberties and human rights should find appalling and unacceptable.
It’s old news by now; anything that occurs one month ago is ancient history. I wasn’t able to blog about it at the time, and in a way that is good. Events of great significance occur – our rights continue to shrink, governmental powers continue to expand, fascism and police states continue to be normalized – and we rarely have a moment to process (Read more…)
Once upon a time in the state of Indiana…
Howard Zinn, author of A People’s History of the United States, one of the country’s most widely read history books, died on January 27, 2010. Shortly after, then-Governor of Indiana Mitch Daniels got on his computer and fired off an email to the state’s top education officials: “This terrible anti-American academic has finally passed away.”
But Gov. Daniels, now president of Purdue University, was not content merely to celebrate Howard Zinn’s passing. He demanded that Zinn’s work be hunted down in Indiana schools and suppressed: “The obits and commentaries mentioned (Read more…)