Friday, March 13, 2015

Bill C-51, Government's Excuse to Watch YOU!

Privacy Commissioner raises concerns about Bill C-51

Daniel Therrien, Privacy Commissioner of Canada

"The debate over the federal government’s new anti-terrorism bill is raising profound questions about the tension between privacy and security.

Most Canadians would agree that terrorism represents a growing threat and that we must respond with appropriate national security measures when new threats arise. But at what cost?

In my view, Bill C-51 in its current form would fail to provide Canadians with what they want and expect: legislation that protects both their safety and their privacy. The proposed legislation does not strike the right balance.

The scale of information sharing between government departments and agencies being proposed in this bill is unprecedented. The new powers that would be created are excessive and the privacy safeguards being proposed are seriously deficient.

All Canadians – not only terrorism suspects – will be caught in this web. Bill C-51 opens the door to collecting, analysing and potentially keeping forever the personal information of all Canadians in order to find the virtual needle in the haystack. To my mind, that goes too far.

This is really about Big Data, which relies on massive amounts of information that can be analyzed algorithmically to spot trends, predict behaviours and make connections. The implications for privacy are serious – especially when we are talking about the highly sensitive information that Canadians entrust to their government.

The legislation would allow for the personal information of Canadians to be shared if it is deemed “relevant” to the detection of new security threats. That’s an extremely broad standard that suggests the bar to permit the sharing of Canadians’ personal information has been set far too low.

In this way, the Bill would provide 17 federal government agencies with almost limitless powers to monitor and profile ordinary Canadians, with a view to identifying security threats among them.,/p>

The end result is that national security agencies would potentially be aware of all interactions that all Canadians have with their government. That would include, for example, a person’s tax information and details about a person’s business and vacation travel.

While the potential to know virtually everything about everyone may well identify some new threats, the loss of privacy is clearly excessive."

Full comments:

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Winter Greetings!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Librarians and Archivists are devalued

31 October & 1 November, 2014
A Conference by the Canadian Association of University Teachers

"Academic librarians and archivists have built workplaces dedicated to the dissemination of knowledge and characterized by professionalism and secure employment. But this model is threatened by administrators, politicians and business leaders pushing an agenda to undermine economic security, erode the public good and devalue librarianship and archival practice. In response our community has had to defend colleagues under attack, protect core employment rights and intervene in broader public policy debates.

The purpose of this conference is to boost our collective ability to defend and advance the interests of academic librarians and archivists. Through presentations (part one) and hands-on practice (part two), the event will explore how to conceptualize a campaign, effectively incorporate visual design and communication elements, and build alliances to move issues forward. Join with colleagues from across the country and CAUT staff to hone the campaign skills necessary to confront the challenges our community faces." -- site.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Feb 23 - March 1

Freedom to Read Week

"An annual event that encourages Canadians to think about and reaffirm their commitment to intellectual freedom, which is guaranteed them under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms."

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

DEMOCRACY Days - Vancouver, Nov. 8 and 9

Don't miss this event!

"The Media Democracy Project works hard to create a significant presence for noncommercial media in Canada. Our small team brings our community together with leading media makers, activists, and scholars to discuss the relationship between media and democracy.

Since 2001, our annual conference, Media Democracy Days (MDD), has become the signature event for alternative, independent, and democratic media in Canada."

Saturday, July 06, 2013

Kudos to ALA

During the ALA Conference 2013 in Chicago:

"In a little over an hour,[ALA]Council quickly passed a number of resolutions, including support for whistleblower Edward Snowden (CD#39), which was moved by Jim Kuhn and seconded by Mike Marlin. The motion resolved “that the American Library Association recognize Edward Snowden as a whistleblower who, in releasing information that documents government attacks on privacy, free speech, and freedom of association, has performed a valuable service in launching a national dialogue about transparency, domestic surveillance, and overclassification.” ---American Libraries Magazine

  • "I do not want to live in a world where everything I do and say is recorded. That is not something I am willing to support or live under."

  • "I don't want to live in a world where there's no privacy, and therefore no room for intellectual exploration and creativity." --- E. Snowden

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Freedom...


A review is warranted considering the current political climate. CCL
STATEMENT ON FREEDOM AND INTELLECTUAL FREEDOM, IFLA

IFLA (The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions) supports, defends and promotes intellectual freedom as defined in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

IFLA declares that human beings have a fundamental right to access to expressions of knowledge, creative thought and intellectual activity, and to express their views publicly.

IFLA believes that the right to know and freedom of expression are two aspects of the same principle. The right to know is a requirement for freedom of thought and conscience; freedom of thought and freedom of expression are necessary conditions for freedom of access to information.

IFLA asserts that a commitment to intellectual freedom is a core responsibility for the library and information profession.

IFLA therefore calls upon libraries and library staff to adhere to the principles of intellectual freedom, uninhibited access to information and freedom of expression and to recognize the privacy of library user.

IFLA urges its members actively to promote the acceptance and realization of these principles. In doing so, IFLA affirms that:

Libraries provide access to information, ideas and works of imagination. They serve as gateways to knowledge, thought and culture.

Libraries provide essential support for lifelong learning, independent decision-making and cultural development for both individuals and groups.

Libraries contribute to the development and maintenance of intellectual freedom and help to safeguard basic democratic values and universal civil rights.

Libraries have a responsibility both to guarantee and to facilitate access to expressions of knowledge and intellectual activity. To this end, libraries shall acquire, preserve and make available the widest variety of materials, reflecting the plurality and diversity of society.

Libraries shall ensure that the selection and availability of library materials and services is governed by professional considerations and not by political, moral and religious views.

Libraries shall acquire, organize and disseminate information freely and oppose any form of censorship.

Libraries shall make materials, facilities and services equally accessible to all users. There shall be no discrimination due to race, creed, gender, age or for any other reason.

Library users shall have the right to personal privacy and anonymity. Librarians and other library staff shall not disclose the identity of users or the materials they use to a third party.

Libraries funded from public sources and to which the public have access shall uphold the principles of intellectual freedom.

Librarians and other employees in such libraries have a duty to uphold those principles.

Librarians and other professional libraries staff shall fulfil their responsibilities both to their employer and to their users. In cases of conflict between those responsibilities, the duty towards the user shall take precedence.

source:IFLA