Assorted content to end your week.
- Both Edward Keenan and the Star’s editorial board take note of Thomas Mulcair’s plan for urban renewal, with particular emphasis on its appeal across party lines: Speaking directly to Toronto city council and Mayor John Tory, who won election largely on the basis of his promised SmartTrack “surface subway,” Mulcair said he would be a partner on transit: “Together we will get the people of Toronto moving.”
No wonder Tory declared himself “gratified and pleased” with Mulcair’s approach. Other elements of the NDP’s urban agenda include: Appointing a minister responsible for urban (Read more…)
In addition to grossly misrepresenting the NDP’s position in opposition to C-51, Yves Messy makes the bizarre argument that we should decline to fight against the Cons’ terror bill through the political system, and instead count on courts to rein in its excesses. So let’s look at what’s wrong with that theory.
At the outset, the structure of C-51 makes it difficult for some of the most important provisions to be challenged at all. As I’ve noted before, the entire point of providing CSIS with the power to act in secret is to ensure that people don’t know what’s (Read more…)
Here, condensing this post on the component parts of the Cons’ terror bill.
For further reading…- Michael Geist writes that C-51 represents the evisceration of privacy in Canada. – Jim Bronskill reports on Amnesty International’s opposition to C-51 as a means of targeting activists. And Alyssa Stryker and Carmen Cheung highlight six elements protesters will want to understand about the bill. – Finally, Craig Forcese and Kent Roach discuss the international implications of C-51, including the express authorization for CSIS to operate outside the law of foreign countries. And Forcese also points out exactly what the term “lawful” (Read more…)
Miscellaneous material to start your week.
- Robert Reich discusses how outsized corporate influence in the U.S. has kept the general public from sharing in any nominal economic improvements: The U.S. economy is picking up steam but most Americans aren’t feeling it. By contrast, most European economies are still in bad shape, but most Europeans are doing relatively well.
What’s behind this? Two big facts.
First, American corporations exert far more political influence in the United States than their counterparts exert in their own countries.
In fact, most Americans have no influence at all. That’s the conclusion of (Read more…)
It seems there’s plenty of room for interpretation as to where the Cons’ terror legislation falls on the spectrum from purely political red meat to help their poll position, to a political liability being pushed through for other reasons.
But most of the Cons’ major bills tends to include both. And I’d think it’s worth analyzing how the smaller pieces of C-51 can be broken down between the two in assessing exactly what the Cons are trying to accomplish.
In so doing, let’s keep in mind that if the Cons’ only goal was to be seen introducing legislation of (Read more…)
What exactly do we expect CSIS to do with a possible data dump of every piece of information held by every federal government agency when at last notice, it was struggling to find the capacity to check e-mails for malware?
Ask any IT professional about security and you can almost always prepare yourself for a story or three about people using strongly encrypted passwords such as ‘password’ or ‘admin’. Or if it is a particularly good day, helping people understand that encrypted functions exist… Here is story from CBC.ca about how fallible people actually are when it comes to all this new fangled technology.
“Insecam.com, a new website, is broadcasting online private security camera footage from thousands of spots across Canada — all without the knowledge of the people who own and operate the cameras.
Insecam.com has (Read more…)
This and that for your Sunday reading.
- Will Hutton rightly slams David Cameron for his antisocial view of taxes and public institutions – which should of course sound all too familiar in Canada: Believe the prime minister and it is morality, rather than economics, which requires him to cut taxes. In an important article in the Times last week that was factually incorrect, philosophically incoherent and economically bonkers, David Cameron set out the Tory credo. He was wrong on all counts. Trying to argue why every reader should vote Conservative, he instead revealed the darkness of the blind alley (Read more…)
Canada’s provincial and federal privacy commissioners are warning the Harper government against using the recent shootings in Ottawa and Quebec as a pretext to attack Canadians’ fundamental rights.
The post Harper’s new terror laws must respect Canadians’ fundamental rights: watchdogs appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.
Award-winning investigative journalism site ProPublica showcases effective tools for protecting online privacy through blocking tracking software.
The post Privacy Tools: How to Block Online Tracking appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.
For those wondering, my Leader-Post column was on hiatus last week, but will return this week.
In the meantime, I’ll point back to this post and column as introductory reading for Janet French’s new report on SaskTel’s disclosure of customers’ personal information to government authorities. (And I’ll add here one comment which didn’t make it into the report: as a provincial Crown corporation, SaskTel is subject to additional provincial privacy laws which give consumers some extra means to challenge the collection, use and disclosure of their personal information.)
This and that for your Tuesday reading.
- Mike Konczal and Bryce Covert write that an effective solution to wealth inequality shouldn’t be limited to redistributing individual income or assets, but should also include the development of a commonwealth which benefits everybody: Instead of just giving people more purchasing power, we should be taking basic needs off the market altogether.
Consider Social Security, a wildly popular program that doesn’t count toward individual wealth. If Social Security were replaced with a private savings account, individuals would have more “wealth” (because they would have their own financial account) but less actual security. (Read more…)
“Most Canadians would be surprised to learn that Canada is hosting the latest round of TPP negotiations this week in Ottawa,” says University of Ottawa Prof Michael Geist
The post Secret TPP talks in Ottawa: Harper has “something to hide” appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.
Note how this looks a bit like the Death Star?
Welcome to the post-Facebook Politics, Re-Spun website!
You will not find a Like/Recommend button at all anymore. Anywhere. We’ve even stripped it from the ShareThis ribbon. We’re so nasty!
Because Facebook is the devil. And Big Brother. And a menace to social networking.
They spent most of the last decade encouraging people and groups to network for free in Facebook. Bait.
Then the switch? They have essentially crippled organic sharing without us paying to boost content to all our likers/followers.
We were so stupid to assume (Read more…)
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…)
Miscellaneous material to start your week.
- Buttonwood weighs in on the disproportionate influence of the ultra-rich when it comes to making policy choices which affect all of us: But the analysis backs up earlier work by Larry Bartels of Princeton, author of a book called “Unequal Democracy”, and the general thesis of the late political scientist, Mancur Olson, that government can be in hock to special interests. This may be truer in America than elsewhere since its campaign-finance laws are so liberal: $6 billion was spent on the 2012 elections. This system forces candidates to spend much of their (Read more…)
The non-profit organization Law School Admission Council (LSAC) based in the United States was penalized $7.7 million USD to compensate over 6000 students from the past 5 years for application to accommodate. Prior practice included Law School Admission Test (LSAT) scores being “flagged” on law school applications if accommodation for extra time was applied during examination. The decision impacted domestic United States schools and many other schools abroad where they accepted LSAT scores with law school applications. The United States Department of Justice claimed of “widespread and systemic discrimination” by the LSAC where they intervened with the Americans with (Read more…)