"c-51"

1977 Woolworth TV commercial for Halloween masks, candy, and a record of spooky sounds

If you're of a certain age, the nostalgia will be thick for this Woolworth/Woolco television ad from 1977 for "your Halloween needs." Complete costumes from $1.83 to $3.99? "Six Million Dollar Man, Bionic Woman… Superheroes: Batman, Superman, Spiderman, and a new favorite for girls, Holly Hobbie…" Yes, please. "Wrapped candies of every kind"? I need, […]

Amid wage stagnation, corporate leaders declare the end of annual raises triggered by increased profitability

It was once the standard that firms that performed well would give all their employees an annual raise, in part to acknowledge workers' contribution to the business's fortunes, in part to ensure that wages kept pace with inflation (otherwise workers would be suffering a real-terms pay-cut every year).

Philippine president Duterte instructs his soldiers to shoot female rebels in their vagina

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte had a message for women who oppose him: "Tell the soldiers. 'There's a new order coming from the mayor. We won't kill you. We will just shoot your vagina.' If there is no vagina, it would be useless." From The Washington Post: Duterte regularly denigrates and threatens women, but when challenged, […]

When Justin Trudeau was in opposition, he voted for Canada's PATRIOT Act but promised to fix it; instead he's making it much, much worse

Back in 2015, Canada's failing, doomed Conservative government introduced Bill C-51, a far-reaching mass surveillance bill that read like PATRIOT Act fanfic; Justin Trudeau, leader of what was then a minority opposition party, whipped his MPs to vote for it, allowing it to pass, and cynically admitting that he was only turning this into law […]

Canada: Trump shows us what happens when "good" politicians demand surveillance powers

The CBC asked me to write an editorial for their package about Canadian identity and politics, timed with the 150th anniversary of the founding of the settler state on indigenous lands. They've assigned several writers to expand on themes in the Canadian national anthem, and my line was "We stand on guard for thee."

Pence laywers up

Mike Pence, currently Vice-President of the United States of America, has hired independent counsel to help him weather the dark cloud that is the 'Russian election hacking collusion/obstruction of justice/Russian cash for sanctions' investigation. The vice president's office said Pence's decision to retain Cullen underscores his desire to fully cooperate with any inquiries related to […]

A madman has been given the keys to the surveillance state

When the USA PATRIOT Act was signed into law on October 26, 2001, it erased many of the vital checks and balances that stood between the American people and their government. As Bush supporters cheered the unprecedented power that their people in Washington now held, the civil liberties world warned them: "Your president has just fashioned a weapon that will be wielded by all who come after him."

Police in Quebec are spying on journalists and Snowden calls that "a threat to democracy"

Last week, Patrick Lagacé — a columnist for the Quebec paper La Presse — revealed that the Montreal police had gotten a secret warrant to spy on his phone calls and text messages and collect the location data from his phone, seemingly in an attempt to discover which police officers were the source for stories […]

Ron Wyden vows to filibuster anti-cryptography bill

Senators Richard Burr [R-NC] and Dianne Feinstein [D-CA] finally introduced their long-rumored anti-crypto bill, which will ban US companies from making products with working cryptography, mandating that US-made products have some way to decrypt information without the user's permission.

ISIS opsec: jihadi tech bureau recommends non-US crypto tools

The US government is attempting to force Apple to backdoor its Iphone security, congress is considering mandatory backdoors for all secure technology, and FBI director James Comey insists that this will work, because there's no way that America's enemies might just switch over to using technology produced in other countries without such mandates.

Canada's new Liberal majority: better than the Tories, still terrible for the Internet

Justin Trudeau is certainly an improvement on outgoing Prime Minister Stephen Harper. He's unlikely to go on burning Canada's archives and warring on its scientists, and he'll probably stop ignoring the murder of hundreds of aboriginal women and girls, and he's not a racist asshole who plays to other racist assholes to keep power.

How the NDP and Liberals can defeat the Tories: a data-driven approach

Ali Kashani, a data-scientist, has run the numbers on Canada's electoral constituencies (called "ridings") and concluded that if the candidates from the NDP and Liberal parties in sixteen of those ridings agreed to one or the other withdrawing, the Conservative Party could not form the next government.

Hundreds of Canadian artists call for repeal of surveillance law

Bill C-51 is a sweeping, radical mass-surveillance bill proposed by the current Canadian Tory government, which will be fighting an election next month.

How Harper's "anti-terror" bill ends privacy in Canada

Michael Geist writes, "Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is fast-tracking a bill that eviscerates privacy protections within the public sector that represents the most significant reduction in public sector privacy protection in Canadian history — he' blocking the Privacy Commissioner of Canada from appearing as a witness at the committee studying the bill."

Canada's new surveillance bill eliminates any pretense of privacy

Michael Geist writes, "Canada's proposed anti-terrorism legislation is currently being debated in the House of Commons, with the government already serving notice that it plans to limit debate. That decision has enormous privacy consequences, since the bill effectively creates a 'total information awareness' approach that represents a radical shift away from our traditional understanding of […]

Canada's spying bill is PATROIT Act fanfic

Madeline Ashby writes, "I wrote this column about Canada's Bill C-51, which would allow Canada's spy agency CSIS to detain people for simply 'promoting' terrorism, promises it can wipe terrorist content from the Internet, expands no-fly lists, and is basically a piece of Patriot Act fanfic. I thought you guys might like to know that […]

Illinois State Cops blew $250K on "terrorist-catching" Stingray surveillance gadgets

Michael says, "New documents released on MuckRock show the Illinois State Police crying "Terrorist" in order to get funding and approval for a $250,000 Stingray cell snooping system, even though, as Mike Masnick at Techdirt notes, the technology is being used to fight regular crime. The terms of service on the device actually prevent officers […]

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