Archive for the ‘C13’ Category

Governments Cyber-bullying Front Man Gets Taken To Task Online

January 10, 2015 Leave a comment

Glen Canning, the governments’ sales person on the controversial cyber-bullying bill has received a lot of flak recently from internet users over the past few days, for tweeting out a compromising picture on social media of an MSVU professor.  Those that have followed the cyber-bullying legislation through committee know that Canning was a stark defender of the cyber-bullying bill; often coming out strongly against those who had privacy concerns on the bill.

Canning’s daughter killed herself when compromising pictures of her were circulated online, and was aggressively cyber-bullied as a result of those pictures.  The Conservative Government had a hard time getting victims’ rights groups to fully support the controversial bill which enshrined into law lawful access provisions allowing the police warrant-less access to an internet users information.  Eventually they put Canning (a grieving father) front and center on the bill which polarized the debate around the bill.  Canning became a supporter of lawful access, and quickly became a polarizing figure in the debate surrounding the cyber-bulling bill as a result of his support for police access to information without judicial oversight.

Canning was recently approached by a female student at MSVU as a result of one of her professors trying to engage in sexual activity with her.  The professor sent her a nude photo of himself, in which landed in the hands of Canning, and was also sent to media outlets.  Canning (who I believe was well intentioned) tweeted out the photo prior to media reports on the story to try and gain public attention to this students’ case.  This lead to a lengthy discussion on reddit, social media, and blogs regarding Cannings’ actions since the cyber-bulling bill that was recently passed has a provision dealing with unauthorized sharing of intimate images.  Canning quickly removed the tweet, and continued to defend his actions.

Section 162.1 of the new cyber-bulling bill states:

162.1 (1) Everyone who knowingly publishes, distributes, transmits, sells, makes available or advertises an intimate image of a person knowing that the person depicted in the image did not give their consent to that conduct, or being reckless as to whether or not that person gave their consent to that conduct, is guilty

It’s important to note that the cyber-bullying bill has yet to come into effect, so questions and debate around this case would be purely speculation, and whether the Canning image tweet qualifies as enforceable under the act, is also entirely open for debate.  One thing is clear cut though.  From the back lash that Canning is getting surrounding this issue, it’s clear that many Canadians have been closely following developments surrounding the new cyber-bullying bill, and the take home from all of this should be that Canadians are very concerned about their rights regarding this bill.

What I don’t agree with; the Government using a grieving parent to play politics and sell a bill that attacks Canadians rights. Canning has become a polarizing figure in this debate around cyber-bullying that I believe was intentional by design regarding the politics of the situation.  It’s quite easy for Government to distance themselves from Canning now that the bill has been passed, and I would strongly suspect that this will happen as a result of the online debate around Cannings’ tweets that will most certainly continue into the halls of parliament.

While I’m not defending Cannings’ move in tweeting these photos’, it’s apparent that there are underlying political issues surrounding this bill, and the debate needs to be focused away from grieving parents, and on to a so called “responsible” government who’s used Canning in an attempt to deflect political attention away from the Conservative party on a controversial bill that the population is extremely concerned about.

I quite strongly disagree with Cannings’ views regarding internet privacy,  as a father myself I have a great amount of respect for this person.  If I had lost a child in the way Canning did, I couldn’t care less about privacy.  That would be fraternal instinct, and I would be acting in much the same way Canning has been throughout the debate.  The government knew this on the political side of things, which is why Canning became front and center on this bill.  The new cyber-bullying bill C-13 is a bill that’s been sold on emotion, not substance, and those that disagree with the bill should note we have an election in a few months’ time.  Rather than attacking a grieving parent, Canadians should be using their right to vote to signal their discontent.

Any politician that has used grieving parents in the way the government has done to sell C-13, in my opinion doesn’t have the moral authority to lead, nor should command our respect at the voting booth.


Self-Expressionism And The Hypocrisy of Politics

January 8, 2015 1 comment


(Credit: Olive Bites Blog)

Yesterday like many across the world, I became glued to newscasts as events unfolded in France regarding the shooting of satire cartoonists, and journalists. These innocent lives were gunned down in a rampage because a newspaper decided to publish satire portraits of the prophet Mohammad. What followed was an immediate and swift condemnation of an attack on freedom of expression by these terrorists from most global leaders.

What is freedom of expression? Freedom of expression to me is the ability to express myself freely without the worry of being gunned down by terrorists, or jailed for expressing certain points of view. This goes hand in hand, in my opinion with freedom of speech. It’s essential to a democracy to be able to question the politics or ideology of any given topic. Democracy is about different views, and the ability to express those views no matter how distasteful some of those views can be without fear of persecution, or censorship.

Every religion has been guilty of suppressing self-expression. Leonardo Da Vinci had a love for the human anatomy, and often disagreed with the Christian pope at the time. To study what we consider science today in Da Vinci’s time was considered blasphemy by the church, and punishable by death. Think of where the world would be now if Da Vinci and others of that time period were able to freely express their scientific views without persecution. The advancement of human knowledge is also a benefit of self-expression.

As events unfolded in France, I began to start questioning the Canadian response. First the CBC’s editorial staff refused to show the cartoons in question, in an attempt to accommodate the Muslim faith. I wouldn’t have thought twice about it if it were not for yesterday’s events. Those cartoons after yesterday became an important part of a global news story. Journalists have a responsibility to cover the facts of the story, and report it in full without fear of retaliation. The CBC is a publicly funded organization and should hold democratic values of free expression, which sadly were not present yesterday during the initial reporting of the events. Here is an example of one of the cartoons:


(French Translation: Love is stronger than hate)

Another troubling aspect is the fact that these terrorists were known to authorities. In an age of mass surveillance even people who are known to have terrorist backgrounds keep slipping through the cracks. This is now becoming a considerable theme across the globe since the Boston bombings a few years ago, and the frequency of these attacks in recent months strongly suggests that the policy of mass surveillance is inadequate to prevent any future attacks. In fact it looks to be doing quite the opposite. Too often than not, hard police work and targeted investigations are lacking even on known suspects.

After 9/11 the US gave birth to a state run security sector and public dollars flowed into private security firms. Today that security sector is huge and continues to grow with Canadian companies also benefiting. We’ve ended up giving away our right to privacy online as a result of events like yesterdays. We’re spending vast amounts of money beefing up our surveillance capabilities, and yet these known perpetrators who commit these horrible acts of terror are continuing to do so at an alarming rate. With today’s surveillance capabilities, shouldn’t we be seeing a significant decrease in these attacks?  With the capabilities we have in place today, there should be no excuse for this.

Yet every time society goes through these types of attacks, the private sector security lobby has no problems lining up at the door of public coffers. This lobby is now very strong and keeps stating we need to give up more of our constitutional rights, and enable more failed national security mass surveillance policies to prevent future attacks. Since our Conservative politicians are mainly twits (and could care less about civil liberties), rather than looking at the past decade and learning, they just throw money at the situation, and pass laws that undermine the importance of freedom of expression by attacking our privacy.

What does privacy have to do with freedom of expression you ask? Ask yourself this; if Da Vinci lived 10 years from now with no expectation of privacy, would he become the artist we know him today? A lot of Da Vinci’s most provocative works were hidden from those that would have certainly put him to death if they found them. Some of those works are still being unearthed and studied even today. If he didn’t have any private moments, what would we know of Da Vinci today? Will we end up even having our own private thoughts of self-expression in the future, or will give into those who claim to protect us and are financially benefiting from fear?

If politicians are serious about defending self-expression as so many did yesterday, why then are they attacking the very core of that expression by diminishing the very right to privacy (in the name of national security), where that democratic right of self-expression is birthed? If we can’t freely express ourselves in the privacy of our own homes, through private communications, or through the public without “fear” of prosecution or government listening in, than those that died yesterday, did so without purpose, or meaning and not in defense of core democratic values.

Canadian Cyber Bullying Legislation a Threat to EU Data Privacy

A few months ago, I blogged about the possibility that the EU would be reviewing our privacy laws due to the NSA disclosures and Canada’s role in US surveillance. Since that date, there have been staggering disclosures regarding warrant-less access to subscribers’ information by the telecommunications companies in Canada, legislation drawn up that is a blatant attempt to expand warrant-less access, and a lawsuit launched this week on the constitutionality of the misuse of our current privacy laws by government and telecommunications companies.

Conveniently Canada for the most part has entered this debate under the radar of the EU Justice Commission most likely as a result of the EU being busy dealing with the US disclosures of its citizen’s data, and being in an election campaign for EU Parliament. Politically this would be the best time for the Canadian government to try and squeak surveillance legislation through under the noses of the EU Justice Commission. Judicial redress has been a big sticking point for US and EU trade negotiations, something the cyber bullying legislation seeks to dismiss for Canadian telecom and is most likely a result of heavy lobbying by the telecom industry to avoid accountability for essentially being accessories to constitutional crimes against the Canadian citizenry, and quite possibly breaking EU and international law.

The last review of our privacy laws by the EU was in 2006, in which found no evidence of abuse at the time. Abuse has certainly occurred over the years, and the EU Parliament in recent months have been steadfast on curtailing warrant-less disclosures that are being abused by the US Government and US law enforcement. I have a hard time believing that EU Parliament and the EU Commission would agree to such abuse that has been now disclosed. Simply put recent comments that were made in the media by Canadian government officials over the months regarding the adequacy of our laws with the EU are out of date, and sorely inaccurate considering recent disclosures of current warrant-less access by our telecom companies. From following the diplomatic stance the EU Justice Commission has taken in recent months with the US that the EU will have stark issues with what the Canadian Government and Canadian Law Enforcement have been up too.

This week I’ve tweeted out a few links to Paul Nemitz who is a director at the EU Justice Commission making him aware of the situation and public debate in Canada in hopes to put pressure on the government to abide by the constitutional rights of not just Canadians but ensure that going forward, any breaches of EU law are dealt with accordingly. Next week is when Vice President to the EU Commission Viviane Reding returns back from paid leave. Reding has been extremely outspoken regarding data privacy in recent months with the US, and I would find it hard to believe that if the information sent to Nemitz landed on her desk, that Reding wouldn’t pipe up either through diplomatic channels or publicly on the abuse and subsequent adequacy of our privacy laws.

Next week is when a large portion of our legal community in Canada will be also speaking out on the current lack of privacy on the cyber bullying bill C-13 in committee in which I’m expecting calls from the legal community to have government split the bill. Pass the cyber bullying portion of it, and separate the surveillance portion of it for further study. That maybe a wise move, in order to ensure that Canada’s economic trade isn’t put at risk with the EU under the leadership of Defense Minister Peter McKay and Prime Minister Harper.

Harper and CDN ISPs Set To Destroy International Credibility of The Canadian Tech Sector

Last week, information became available through access to information requests which threw the spotlight on exactly what Canadian telecommunications companies (one would suspect independent providers who apparently support the “pro-internet” community and have remained for the most part completely silent on this issue) are doing with respect to subscribers information and data requests by law enforcement.

Our telecommunications companies are handing over data of thousands of subscribers per year without a warrant to law enforcement. Apparently this is all “legal” due to an exemption in our privacy laws.  Michael Geist explains:

The absence of court oversight may surprise many Canadians, but the government actively supports the warrantless disclosure model. In 2007, it told the Privacy Commissioner of Canada that an exception found in the private sector privacy law to allow for warrantless disclosure was “designed to allow organizations to collaborate with law enforcement and national security agencies without a subpoena, warrant or court order.”

Last week, the EU and US submitted a joint statement after the EU threatened the US to veto trade agreements starting with immediate suspension of the EU safe harbor provisions to US companies.  The joint statement released last week, seems to suggest that court oversight on subscribers information is a big sticking point for US and EU trade relationship.  The statement stated that both the US and EU agree to stronger private sector judicial oversight:

We are committed to expedite negotiations of a meaningful and comprehensive data protection umbrella agreement for data exchanges in the field of police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters, including terrorism. We reaffirm our commitment in these negotiations to work to resolve the remaining issues, including judicial redress. By ensuring a high level of protection of personal data for citizens on both sides of the Atlantic, this agreement will facilitate transfers of data in this area.

Viviane Reding, European Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights & Citizenship, has given the US until this summer to shape up, with very strong language suggesting that if this doesn’t happen, immediate suspension of safe harbour provisions will most likely go through, and veto’s on US trade deals will be possible by the new year as a new parliament sets to fully address this issue.  Reding gave her US counter parts a 13 point “to do list”.  Reding’s office has not been available to further explain exactly what that 13 point list details, however judicial oversight looks to be on that list from the joint statement.  From the sounds of it, the US seems to be committed to working with the EU on the issue of data privacy.

In light of all of the developments in the EU the United Stated Trade Representative  (USTR) has just piped up in regards to branches of Canadian government that have taken the approach of stopping data transfers to the US.

The strong growth of cross-border data flows resulting from widespread adoption of broadband-based services in Canada and the United States has refocused attention on the restrictive effects of privacy rules in two Canadian provinces, British Columbia, and Nova Scotia. These provinces mandate that personal information in the custody of a public body must be stored and accessed only in Canada unless one of a few limited exceptions applies. These laws prevent public bodies such as primary and secondary schools, universities, hospitals, government-owned utilities, and public agencies from using U.S. services when personal information could be accessed from or stored in the United States.

The Canadian federal government is consolidating information technology services across 63 email systems under a single platform. The request for proposals for this project includes a national security exemption which prohibits the contracted company from allowing data to go outside of Canada. This policy precludes some new technologies such as “cloud” computing providers from participating in the procurement process. The public sector represents approximately one-third of the Canadian economy, and is a major consumer of U.S. services. In today’s information-based economy, particularly where a broad range of services are moving to “cloud” based delivery where U.S. firms are market leaders; this law hinders U.S. exports of a wide array of products and services.

Rather than taking this as a diplomatic threat to Canada by the USTR, it’s representative on how weak the US tech sector has become economically on the issues of privacy protections, when the USTR is coming out with statements like this.

This should serve as an example of a potential downfall in the Canadian tech sector, should the Government continue with it’s approach towards lawful access legislation in the cyber bullying legislation, and not get in front of all of this, to strengthen our privacy laws.  I think it could be devastating to Canadian tech companies when eventually the EU comes knocking looking for change in our laws, and forcing that change, rather than implementing that change before it’s forced upon us, at a time when our democracy is currently under the microscope internationally due to the Government’s Election Reform Act.

While the two most powerful economic bodies are working on solutions to enhance data privacy protections for citizens, the Canadian government doesn’t seem to want to let go of the idea of warrentless wiretapping.  Even though it’s legal in Canada already, the point continues to be made clear with Harper’s cyber bullying bill, which reaffirms the stance of the Canadian government that it is extremely reluctant (even after all of the diplomatic dance between the EU and US on data privacy) to recognize that this provision can and most likely will cost Canadian jobs if they don’t change it.

The Plan of Obama’s Meta Data Collection Punt Needs Consideration

January 18, 2014 Leave a comment

Obama’s full NSA speech:

Obama has made some very small changes, but may end up being significant meaningful ones as the politics of this plays out. When I’m looking at Government policy, I try and read in between the lines a bit to try and forecast the overall effects policy may have.  In order to do that, you have to also take into account the political environment as well as law.  I’ve been pretty outspoken on privacy issues on this blog.  After Obama’s speech, there was a firestorm of criticism of the US president on not doing enough to curb NSA spying.  Right now I can not take a position for or against that argument due to looking at the politics of the situation.  I think Obama’s speech was very calculated, in a way that circumvents a deadlocked and commercially owned congress, and pushes liability on user privacy to the private sector in an unprecedented way that will have huge impacts on the business models surrounding big data.

This may have been Obama’s only political move here from following US politics.  Will it be enough to satisfy allies, and private industry that their private information is safe?  Probably not, because trust has been broken.  Trust needs to be earned back.  Some were expecting that trust to be thrusted back in the form of sweeping reforms.  Even if Obama came out swinging, there is still the issue of a deadlocked congress on this matter, and a very skeptical global population.  A quick fix to this issue, may not be the fix needed to earn trust back, and put forth meaningful and sustained changes on how our private digital information is used by the US Government, and the private sector abroad.  This post will focus on the changes Obama made to the phone meta data collection program, as it relates to digital policy and effects thereof.

Obama in his speech has punted the issue of private data collection to the telecom providers, thereby shifting the collection and storage of data to the private sector and out of Governments hands.  By punting the collection of mass data to the telecos opens the door for litigation on those telecos.  This is in stark contrast to the Canadian Governments position on giving Canadian telecom immunity over privacy issues through bill C-13 (I will touch up on that in future post).  This means the US courts will determine the course of mass collection in the US.  A case that would appear before the US Supreme Court against the government would only curb governments use of this information, not private industry I would suspect.

Many of you are probably saying right now, “yeah but private industry won’t do anything, or it will fight for the collection and use of this data”.  In some cases that is true, but with the US telecommunications sector, before Obama gave his speech, released a statement that they are ready to war with the administration on this due to privacy concerns, and threats of litigation.  After Obama’s speech, there’s a very good chance these telecom providers, as a result of being angry in having to do this, will fight to reduce the amount of information collected, and the time for how long it is being kept.   A large reason why Obama is playing things this way, is because congress is deadlocked on the issue, and no matter what he says or does regarding the NSA, it will have to be approved by congress, with the exception of getting the Government out of the mass collection of data.  This also kills two birds with one stone, as it’s clear that Obama also has the use of big data by private industry in his sights as well.  By punting this to the private sector, it will determine how everyone collects online data, not just the US government.

Moving the collection of data to the telecom providers also saves substantial tax payers dollars in implementation and legal costs; it would also be hard to argue against politically in this climate due to international and domestic pressures the US is facing right now.  This I would strongly suspect is how the phone meta data, in fact all data collected by private companies will be changed.  In my opinion from following US politics closely on this issue, it’s a very interesting and calculated political move.  This political move essentially removes the politics of the situation and ensures a resolution to data collection as it relates to constitutional rights, far beyond government collection, or politically; changes congress or any future president can make and will be solidified within case law.

There has been a huge firestorm of criticism on Obama’s speech regarding the meta data collection.  Understand that he also has to play around the politics of this if the goal is to develop meaningful changes.  The US is a democracy (some will dispute that), and in order to see meaningful changes the politics of this has to be played correctly by the president.  There is a chance that the uproar regarding phone meta data collection will be dealt with in congress, however congress is pretty much owned by private industry and anything coming out of them due to big money on big data will most likely be severely watered down.  Solidifying case law in data collection against the US constitution through litigation, will over rule any insignificant and watered down changes congress comes up with.  If I’m right on all of this, this political move by Obama on meta data may in fact have been his only logical choice to bring in meaningful long term changes to overall data collection if the plan plays out as expected.

Obama has also called the international community to set up an international agreement on privacy issues.  This is in stark contrast to the USTR’s approach to policy in trade agreements we’ve seen in ACTA, TPP and so forth.  This could mean a significant change in direction of US foreign policy  if an international agreement on privacy can be established.  Overall from what I’ve seen, this looks to be Obama’s plan.  Whether or not it materializes the way it’s looks to be set up, is something that I think maybe up for debate, and the reason why I reserve my comments on the effectiveness of this plan for another time.  But from looking at this from a logical and political angle, I think Obama did only what he could do to try and earn back the trust of Americans.  Whether it’s enough politically won’t be determined by US Citizens or courts, but by international pressure.  The one thing that he didn’t take into account from the looks of it, were issues outside of the US and growing international dissent which will grow with time, in which I will agree his speech and politics didn’t speak very well too.  Essentially Obama wants time to deal with this internally, time he may not have due to international, and economic pressures.  Only time will tell how successful this approach can be, but it is a step forward from my perspective.  Next week I’ll focus a bit more on the effects Obama’s speech may have on Canadian policy and law.  Stay tuned.

NSA: Targeted Investigations, Exploits, Tech Innovations and Political Pressure

January 13, 2014 1 comment

Over the past few days, there has been a whirl wind of developments ahead of President Obama’s address on NSA reforms.  So here’s what you need to know.  The New America Foundation (an independent research firm) has released a report on the impact mass surveillance has had on the fight against terrorism.  The study concluded that the majority of the foiled terrorist plots were accredited to traditional investigation techniques, and that mass surveillance and data collection has largely been ineffective in detecting terror plots.  This essentially backs up a common theme regarding mass surveillance by most former NSA employees.  Canadians should be following the development in this report as well, since our law enforcement is calling for mass surveillance powers in the form of lawful access legislation in it’s cyber bullying bill C-13.

On the technical side of things, it’s long been suspected that if you intentionally create a back door for law enforcement that it could be exploited by our adversaries as well.  A researcher has been able to derail and exploit hardware back doors “with ease” created for mass surveillance by dual use technology companies such as CISCO and Huawei.  CISCO and Huawei are the two main networking hardware providers for Canadian Internet service providers. If the researcher can access these back doors with ease, other state sponsored hackers will have the capability to do so as well, and probably have for some time.  Bell Mobility, and Bell’s Internet services use Huawei.  Shaw and Rogers both use CISCO.

In tech innovations, the response to the NSA in the private sector is going to be massive.  I remember when I had a twitter conversation with a few of my techie tweeps a while ago about what has exactly changed as a result of the NSA leaks.  Tech innovation right now takes about 18 months if not sooner (and is expected to speed up to half that in 3 years due to the annual doubling of computing power) , however we are starting to see tech innovations poke out in alpha stages only 7 months after the leaks broke.

A tech innovator has created an NSA-proof version of twitter called “Twister”.  It combines open source code from bit torrent and bitcoin to in theory scramble the IP addresses of it’s users, making users anonymous.   I would suspect as we get closer to May 2014, we’ll start to see more, and more innovations to curtail mass surveillance come out in the beta-alpha stage of development.

I’ve been trying to follow what is going on in Obama’s head right now through statements from the white house and press on the subject.  Last Thursday, he met with privacy advocates, and the press was reporting that he may just curb spying on Americans.  Last Friday he met with IT companies who are extremely worried right now over their businesses.  Friday the press was reporting that he may go a lot further than just Americans, and that he wants to implement some changes right away but reserves the right to comment further.  In other words his decisions on Friday may not be the only ones forthcoming.  From the sounds of it, he hasn’t made up his mind yet, but would suspect based on the above, that he may end up surprising all of us, and go a lot further than the press was expecting on last Thursday. There’s a lot of domestic and international political pressure to really coming out swinging on the NSA right now.  This weekend former conservative/republican presidential candidate John McCain piped up wanting a full investigation into the matter, and called the current NSA spying an “overreach” of government.

Whatever the case maybe, Canadians need to keep an eye on the next few days with interest.  Any decision made will profoundly effect our digital economy and policy up here in the great white north.

Mass Surveillance to Come to a Political Peak Within Days

January 10, 2014 Leave a comment

The NSA spying scandal is about to come to a political peak over the next few days and weeks with the Harper government still pushing on mass surveillance in the form of anti-bullying legislation.  Next week (precisely the afternoon of Friday January 17th 2014) US President Barack Obama is expected to address the NSA reforms head on.  A large number of political pundits expect that Obama will stop the NSA from collecting meta data from Americans, due to the fact that if this issue hits the US Supreme Court; the court will likely strike it down on constitutional grounds.  Obama coming out curtailing domestic meta data collection would be in stark contrast to the Canadian Governments agenda in accelerating the use of meta data by law enforcement agencies through its anti-bullying legislation in bill C-13.  Michael Geist explains the use of meta data around lawful access in bill C-13 a recent interview on TVO’s The Agenda. It isn’t clear on whether Obama will stop the mass collection of meta data from foreign communications (including meta data from Canadians or from EU citizens) even after the EU sent a stark economic threat this past week to the US and Canada over the NSA’s activities.

The politics I would suspect is going to get extremely interesting globally in the coming days and weeks over the issue of mass surveillance.  The political responses from global governing bodies are going to happen hot and heavy, with very real stakes economically and politically for all leaders.  It is very clear from following the political angle in the US that Obama will not accept a halt to mass collection of communications, however will do what is minimally required to try and reassure Americans that their rights are safe, and to save face on any future Supreme Court ruling. US Democratic Senator Ron Wyden who met with Obama on the issue of mass surveillance yesterday tweeted the following:

From the sounds of this tweet lawmakers are having an extremely hard time making their point to Obama, and are asking for the public’s help. A lot of the focus in the US politically has been what to do with Edward Snowden. Whether he’s a hero or a criminal.  That effectively has distracted the public purposely away from the mass surveillance debate.  This maybe to mute public opposition at a critical time in this debate. Even our Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird came out last month strongly suggesting that Snowden should turn himself in.  Meanwhile this week the EU Parliament has voted to invite Snowden to testify in European Parliament later this month around the NSA revelations, as they begin to produce their final political response to protect their citizens human rights in the weeks ahead.

Advocacy groups announced a day of protest on February 11th, 2014 against NSA surveillance. It doesn’t sound like these advocacy groups are going to be happy with whatever Obama announces next Friday either.

There’s a saying that “history repeats itself”.  For if we are truly students of history, then now is the time when we must all demand better from our political representatives, while we still can. Here is an excellent interview with former NSA cryptologist William Binney, and US Journalist Chris Hedges on the lessons history can teach us around mass surveillance:

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