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Accidental Deliberations: Burning question

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?

The Canadian Progressive: Harper’s Orwellian Anti-Terror Bill C-51 Troubles Privacy Czar

The Privacy Commissioner of Canada warns that Bill C-51, Harper’s proposed new anti-terrorism legislation, would further erode Canadians’ privacy rights.

The post Harper’s Orwellian Anti-Terror Bill C-51 Troubles Privacy Czar appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Dead Wild Roses: People are the Weakest Link – Security Camera Madness.

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 about how fallible people actually are when it comes to all this new fangled technology.

“, 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. has (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

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…) WORLD POLICY JOURNAL: Just how exposed are Canadians to NSA spying?

Canadians are under the NSA’s microscope – and it’s time for that to change. Here are practical steps from Privacy Coalition expert Andrew Clement to help safeguard Canadian networks from foreign spies. If you want to help shape a crowdsourced pro-privacy plan for Canada, be sure to add your voice at

Article by Andrew Clement for World Policy Journal

read more

The Canadian Progressive: Harper’s new terror laws must respect Canadians’ fundamental rights: watchdogs

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.

The Canadian Progressive: Ultra-secretive spy agency CSEC creeping on Canadians: VIDEO

Canada’s largest civic engagement organization,, says the country’s ultra-secret spy agency CSEC collects a staggering amount of revealing information on law-abiding Canadians.

The post Ultra-secretive spy agency CSEC creeping on Canadians: VIDEO appeared first on The Canadian Progressive. CSEC is Watching

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The Canadian Progressive: New approach needed to tackle Canada’s growing privacy deficit

The Protect our Privacy Coalition, legal experts and believe that Canadians need effective legal measures to safeguard their privacy rights.

The post New approach needed to tackle Canada’s growing privacy deficit appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Canadian Progressive: Privacy Tools: How to Block Online Tracking

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.

Accidental Deliberations: Reused column day

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.)

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

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…) Glenn Greenwald to speak in Ottawa at Oct 25 event sponsored by OpenMedia

Glenn Greenwald Speaks 2014, Ottawa

Pulitzer-prize winning journalist Glenn Greenwald is coming to Canada. He will speak about privacy, state surveillance, and its impact on Canadians at an event in downtown Ottawa sponsored by your team.

WHO: Glenn Greenwald, American journalist, lawyer, and author, who is best known for his extensive reporting on the Edward Snowden NSA documents. WHAT: Canada, America – Together into the Storm – A talk by Glenn Greenwald followed by a discussion moderated by journalist Jesse Brown, the host of the popular Canadaland podcast. WHERE: 440 Albert Street, Ottawa, ON, Canada WHEN: Saturday October (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Here’s One Way to Land on the NSA’s Watch List

If you downloaded the privacy software Tor in 2011, the NSA may have scouped up your computer IP address and spied on you, says ProPublica.

The post Here’s One Way to Land on the NSA’s Watch List appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Canadian Progressive: Secret TPP talks in Ottawa: Harper has “something to hide”

“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.

Politics, Re-Spun: The End of Facebook at Politics, Re-Spun

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…)

THE CANADIAN PROGRESSIVE: Harper Government Rejects Supreme Court Privacy Decision: Claims Ruling Has No Effect on Privacy Reform

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…)

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

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 Canadian Progressive: Harper’s Online Surveillance Bill C‐13 Reveals “Canada’s Growing Privacy Deficit”

by: Obert Madondo | June 8, 2014

Canada’s privacy experts are gravely concerned about Bill C-13, the Conservatives’ Orwellian cybercrime bill, deceptively named “Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act“.

Last week, over 30 of them expressed their concern in a scathing letter addressed to Prime Minister Stephen Harper. The signatories also told Harper that, Daniel Therrien, the newly-appointed Privacy Commissioner of Canada, lacks the “perspective and experience necessary to immediately tackle Canada’s many privacy problems.”

In a previous blog post, I quoted outgoing privacy commissioner, Jennifer Stoddart, who said Bill C-13 lacks “accountability and reporting mechanisms to shed light on new investigative powers.” I added:

Stoddardts statement (Read more…)

Law is Cool: Students Writing LSAT With Accommodation Will Not Have Law School Applications “Flagged”

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…)

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on how Justin Trudeau seems to have taken up the cause of unaccountable executive power even from his third-party place in the House of Commons.

For further reading…- For some of the background on of the Libs’ entitlement hangover following the Cons’ taking power, see here (insisting that Parliament has no place in approving of military engagement) and here (criticizing the Accountability Act as a response to their actions while in power).- Josh Wingrove reports on the attempt by privacy experts to challenge the Cons’ appointment of Daniel Therrien. And Lisa Austin highlights some of the (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Why Has the Canadian Gvt Given Up on Protecting Our Privacy?

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…)

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Neil Irwin highlights the reality that top-heavy economic growth has done nothing to reduce poverty in the U.S. over the past 40 years: In Kennedy’s era, [the "rising tide lifts all boats" theory] had the benefit of being true. From 1959 to 1973, the nation’s economy per person grew 82 percent, and that was enough to drive the proportion of the poor population from 22 percent to 11 percent. But over the last generation in the United States, that simply hasn’t happened. Growth has been pretty good, up 147 percent per capita. (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your Monday reading.

- David Graeber writes that unfettered capitalism will never tame itself, but will instead need to be countered by a sufficiently strong counter-movement to seriously question its underpinnings. And Thomas Frank follows up with Graeber about the warped incentives facing workers as matters stand now: I think the spotlight on the financial sector did make apparent just how bizarrely skewed our economy is in terms of who gets rewarded and for what. There was this pall of mystification cast over everything pertaining to that sector—we were told, this is all so very complicated, you (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Bill C-13: Harper tries to turn Canada into a surveillance state… again!

by: Obert Madondo | May 20, 2014

Call it the Harper Conservatives’ resurrection the Orwellian ghost of Vic Toews.

Back in 2012, Canadians nuked the then public safety minister’s Bill C-30. The bill, deceptively christened Preventing Children from Internet Predators Act, had sought to give law enforcement agencies unlimited power to spy on Canadians.

A new cybercrime bill currently being rammed through parliament by Justice Minister Peter MacKay, is the reincarnation of Bill C-30.

Bill C-13, also deceptively named “Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act”, has nothing to do with curbing cyberbullying. Instead, it gives government law enforcement authorities, particularly secretive agencies (Read more…)