Public Safety Minister Vic Toews says he is surprised to learn that a section of the government’s online surveillance bill provides for “exceptional circumstances” under which “any police officer” can request customer information from a telecommunications service provider.
In an interview airing Saturday on CBC Radio’s The House, Toews said his understanding of the bill is that police can only request information from the ISPs where they are conducting “a specific criminal investigation.”
But Section 17 of the ‘Protecting Children from Internet Predators Act’ outlines “exceptional circumstances” under which “any police officer” can ask an ISP to turn over personal client information.
“I’d certainly like to see an explanation of that,” Toews told host Evan Solomon after a week of public backlash against Bill C-30, which would require internet service providers to turn over client information without a warrant.
“This is the first time that I’m hearing this somehow extends ordinary police emergency powers [to telecommunications]. In my opinion, it doesn’t. And it shouldn’t.”
Toews confirmed the bill will be sent to committee before second reading, which he said will allow for the opportunity to amend the bill beyond its original scope.
Normally, bills would go to committee after a vote at second reading, but that vote sets the scope of amendments that can be made.
This way, sending the bill to committee before the second reading vote will allow MPs to make broader changes to the legislation.
According to Toews, the opposition will be able to “bring in as many amendments as they wish to bring forward.”
“If the opposition is actually really concerned about substantive issues about the bill, and if they bring those forward, I think there will be a very healthy debate,” the minister said.
Social media pushback
Twitter users showed their discontent with Bill C-30 by sending Toews messages via a stream called #TellVicEverything.
Using the hashtag, Twitter users detailed every aspect of their personal lives, often with sarcasm, to make a statement about the dangers of government intruding on their privacy.
When asked for his reaction to the Twitter push back, Toews laughed saying it was “actually very amusing, and very pleasant that this many people would be that concerned about what I think, and secondly, that they want to tell me.”
“Actually some of these things are very, very funny. They’re very humorous,” he said.
“You know, CBC should consider doing a show on it. It’s really great stuff.”
‘Vikileaks’ probe goes to Speaker
Not so amusing to the minister was an anonynous campaign against him via a Twitter account used to post his personal information including details of his divorce.
“Now what bothers me, is not so much the content of the attacks against me, but that there may be members of Parliament or a caucus that is hiding behind the anonymity of government resources to attack me personally,” said Toews.
On Thursday, the results of an investigation by The Ottawa Citizen found the anonymous Twitter account was linked to an IP address originating inside the House of Commons, which Toews said could constitute a breach of his parliamentary privileges.
During question period on Friday, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird accused the NDP of having “been caught in a nasty, dirty internet trick” — an allegation the NDP has denied.
Toews confirmed he would be sending a letter to House of Commons Speaker Andrew Scheer requesting an investigation into the matter.
And in an open letter to constituents obtained by the Winnipeg Free Press on Saturday, Toews wrote that the attacks against him “included criminal acts and threats of criminal acts against me and my family,” and have been referred to the police for investigation.
Toews stepped back from controversial remarks he made last Monday inside the House of Commons after Liberal public safety critic Francis Scarpaleggia asked about the privacy concerns arising from the proposed internet surveillance bill.
Toews responded by saying Scarpaleggia could “either stand with us or with the child pornographers.”
When asked by Solomon if he would aplogize for those remarks, Toews said “I’ve thought about this very carefully, and if fair minded Canadians have come to the conclusion that my comments, that I made in the heat of Parliamentary debate, were not appropriate, I’m prepared to accept their judgment.”
Federal and provincial privacy watchdogs have also expressed their concerns with the proposed legislation.
Government’s case ‘weak,’ says privacy watchdog
Ann Cavoukian, Ontario’s Privacy Commissioner, has taken issue not only with the remarks made by Toews last Monday but with the name of the bill itself, characterising it as “disingenuous.”
In an interview airing Saturday on The House, Cavoukian told Solomon “it’s unfortunate because it shows how weak the government’s case is.”
“My guess is the reason they are doing this is because they don’t have a strong case and in order to engage the public and their support, they have to make it about the protection of our children.
According to Cavoukian, the proposed bill would create “a mandatory surveillance regime.”
Cavoukian says that by accessing customer information such as the client’s name, phone number, IP address and subscriber data, one can find out “what web sites an individual has gone to, someone’s surfing habits online, what videos they’re viewing, what content they read.”
“You can infer, by connecting the dots of the surfing habit online, a great deal of very personal information about an individual. And I object to that kind of information being accessible without a warrant,” said Cavoukian.
She also pointed out that in addition to forcing ISPs to turn over client information without a warrant, the proposed bill would also demand that telecommunication service providers install surveillance capability on their networks.
That’s “creating a very costly venture.”
“That means, ultimately, the public will bear the cost,” said Cavoukian.
Cavoukian’s federal counterpart Jennifer Stoddard also sounded the alarm over Bill C-30. According to Stoddard, the new bill contains “serious privacy concerns.”
“Since this broad power is not limited to reasonable grounds to suspect criminal activity or to a criminal investigation, it could affect any law-abiding citizen,” said Stoddard in a statement issued Wednesday.
Stoddard said her office would be undertaking a thorough review of the bill and presenting the findings to Parliament.
Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Beyonce, Jay-Z and Oprah are pretty much household names in any part of the world. But there are some mourners that are set to attend Whitney Houston’s memorial service today who may be lost on the Twitter and Facebook generation. Here’s a quick primer:
Rev. Jesse Jackson: There’s rarely a name more synonymous with modern civil rights and activism more than Jackson. He sought the Democratic nomination for president in both 1984 and 1988 and is the founder of the social justice non-profit group Rainbow/PUSH.
Kevin Costner: Actors didn’t get much bigger than Costner in the late ’80s and early ’90s. Notable films include “The Untouchables,” “Field of Dreams,” “Bull Durham” and “Dances with Wolves” which earned him an Oscar for Best Director. Costner starred with Houston in “The Bodyguard,” Houston’s first film role.
Dionne Warwick: Before she appeared last season with Donald Trump on “Celebrity Apprentice,” Warwick, Whitney’s cousin and an East Orange native, was an accomplished singer in her own right. Such hits included “Walk on By” in 1964, “I Say a Little Prayer” in 1967 and “That’s What Friends Are For” in 1985.
Chaka Khan: As both lead singer of the band Rufus and solo artst, Khan had many hit singles that included “Through the Fire,” “I Feel For You” and “I’m Every Woman.” The latter was a hit for Houston when she covered it for “The Bodyguard” soundtrack.
Valerie Simpson: As one part of the singer-songwriting duo Ashford Simpson who penned the Khan hit “I’m Every Woman,” she also found hits with husband Nick Ashford that included “Solid” and “Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing.”
The Winans Family: A group of Gospel music artists who have won several Grammys. BeBe CeCe Winans are set to attend as well as Marvin L. Winans, founder and pastor of The Perfecting Church in Detroit, Michigan, who will deliver the eulogy.
Chris Brown and Rihanna are collaborating? Vibe reports that Brown has recorded two verses for a remix of the Rihanna song “Birthday Cake.” The unexpected announcement comes days after Brown’s controversial appearance (and victory) at Sunday’s Grammy awards, subsequent reports of Brown fans asking for his abuse on Twitter and continued talk of why Brown shouldn’t be forgiven for assaulting Rihanna in 2009.
With these two publicity hounds, it’s hard to separate truth from fiction. A Rihanna fan forum asked one of Rihanna’s producers, Da Internz, on Twitter if Chris Brown was singing on Rihanna’s track. Da Internz replied with a resounding “NOPE,” before deleting his tweet.
Rihanna, on the other hand, has not been quelling the rumors on her own Twitter feed. Instead she’s been writing a series of cryptic messages about forgiving your enemies. “Music heals the world … we need more!” one read.
HAZARD, Ky. (AP) — Two fugitives wanted in Kentucky on charges of rape and sexual abuse were caught in Texas, after police investigators found out they had been communicating with a friend on Facebook.
According to the Clay County Sheriff’s Office, 44-year-old Jerry Lee Callahan and his wife, 40-year-old Rebecca Callahan, were on the run for nearly five years, but officials tracked them down recently in Victoria County, Texas.
Sheriff Kevin Johnson told WYMT-TV in Hazard that someone who knew the couple had chatted with them online through the social network (http://bit.ly/y3p3DP).
“They had been talking to them on Facebook, back and forth and we obtained some IP addresses,” Johnson said.
The couple was arrested in August 2007 but released from jail just days before they were indicted on charges of rape, incest, sodomy and sexual abuse.
“Because it was such an enormous case, they actually posted bond before they were actually indicted and basically got out of jail and disappeared,” said Johnson.
The two are expected to return to Kentucky on Wednesday and will be detained in the Clay County Detention Center until they can be arraigned in court.
Johnson credited the digital detective work in social media in helping to find the two.
“Even if you are on the run, you are going to stay in contact with friends and family which in the future it is going to be a tool that law enforcement will use and has used and will be continuing to use,” Johnson said.
Information from: WYMT-TV, http://www.wkyt.com/wymtnews
A software development student in the U.K. who hacked into Facebook via an employee’s account is jailed after being found guilty of stealing intellectual property.
It’s normally parents who tell you they’re doing something unpleasant for your own good.
However, this was also the explanation offered by 26-year-old Glenn Mangham, who was yesterday given eight months of incarceration for hacking into Facebook’s inner sanctum.
The Guardian records Mangham’s words to the court: “It was to identify vulnerabilities in the system so I could compile a report that I could then bundle over to Facebook and show them what was wrong with their system.”
I know there are at least 14 altruistic people in the world. This court, though, seems to have decided that Mangham, a software development student, wasn’t one of them.
Indeed, the proceedings dwelled a little on what might have been his motivation for using a Facebook employee’s account to burrow into the company’s secrets.
Mangham’s lawyer suggested that his client was really a sort of Harrison Ford or Nicolas Cage: “He saw this as a challenge. This is someone who in previous times would have thrown everything aside to seek the source of the Nile.”
Oddly, even the judge decided that Mangham had not done this for financial gain, nor even to pass the information he had gleaned to dangerous entities like the KGB or Google.
And yet he was tossed into jail for eight months–principally, it seems, because he entered the systems of an important company.
The judge actually declared: “You accessed the very heart of the system of an international business of massive size, so this was not just fiddling about in the business records of some tiny business of no great importance.”
Some might conclude, therefore, that British justice is rather more inclined to protect the 1 percent and their businesses, rather than the 99 percent.
Such a conclusion might cause certain upper lips to stiffen with anger, given this apparent indifference to justice for all.
Still, Mangham clearly knows a thing or two about Facebook. Perhaps, once his time inside is done, he might receive a lunch invitation or two–just to, you know, see if he can offer a little background.
Perhaps, at least, he might visit a bier keller with Austrian law student Max Schrems, who is enjoying a very noble and interesting battle to help people get information from Facebook–their own.
(CNN) — A Kenyan chief in a town far from the bustling capital foiled a predawn robbery recently using Twitter, highlighting the far-reaching effects of social media in areas that don’t have access to the Internet.
Chief Francis Kariuki said he got a call in the dead of the night that thieves had broken into a neighbor’s house.
He turned to Twitter, which allows users to send messages in 140 characters or less, to reach his community instantly.
“Thieves in Kelven’s living room, let’s help him out please,” he tweeted in Swahili, the local language.
Local residents, who subscribe to his tweets through a free text messaging service, jumped into action. They surrounded the house, sending the thugs fleeing into the night.
He later sent a message thanking the community in his town of Lanet Umoja for coming out.
While Twitter has been associated with bolstering uprisings and anti-government protests in Africa, its use is expanding in the continent, with communities in remote areas tailoring the global service and making it work for local audiences.
In the town 100 miles from Nairobi, a majority of residents don’t have access to computers, the Internet or smart phones. The sporadic cyber cafes strewn across the landscape charge for Internet access.
However, almost every household has a cell phone and text messages are a major form of communication in the nation.
“Every time we have barazas (meetings) twice a month, I make attendees subscribe to my tweets using their regular SMS or text messaging services,” Kariuki said by phone from the town. “It has not only saved on the cost of fliers, it has also allowed us to save trees and contribute to green efforts.”
Subscribers get his tweets in real time in the form of free text messages, and don’t need to have a Twitter account or an Internet connection to receive them. The chief can send them any time using his smart phone.
“It’s all about empowering the local person on the ground with information,” Kariuki said by phone. “Before I decided on this, I asked around — how can I reach all my people in one time at no cost to them?”
Kariuki leads a community of 28,000 residents and while his Twitter account shows he has about 400 followers — or people who get his tweets online — the chief said those who receive his tweets via text message are in the thousands.
“They just don’t register as followers because they don’t have Twitter accounts,” he said. “A lot of people in town get the text tweets, even the thieves and police.”
The chief’s use of social media allows him to reach everyone at the same time, and residents say the effort is paying off.
“He has really helped us know what’s going on around us. Now we know to expect a message from the chief any time, so we don’t turn off our phones at night,” said Jane Wangari, who lives in the town.
In addition to rallying the community, the chief also uses social media to share doses of encouragement and send out alerts about missing animals.
“There’s a donkey that’s been tied under a tree for days, we don’t know its owner, help please,” he tweeted recently after a message about a missing sheep that was later found.
A recent study shows social media use in the continent is growing, with South Africa sending the most tweets, followed by Kenya and Nigeria. Egypt and Morocco follow in the list of top five most active countries.
The report this month by Portland Communications and the trend-analysis group Tweetminster based its conclusion on a three-month study of tweets from the continent.
About 57% of tweets from Africa are sent from mobile devices, according to the study.
“We saw the pivotal role of Twitter in the events in North Africa last year, but it is clear that Africa’s Twitter revolution is really just beginning,” Beatrice Karanja, head of Portland Nairobi, said in a statement. “Twitter is helping Africa and Africans to connect in new ways and swap information and views. And for Africa — as for the rest of the world — that can only be good.”
During the study, South Africa — the leading country in the study — sent about 5 million tweets, nearly twice as many as second-place Kenya.
Share this on:
Article source: http://www.cnn.com/2012/02/18/world/africa/kenya-tweeting-chief/
The Harper government, which took heavy criticism this past week over a bill to give police new Web snooping powers, is fighting back – accusing chief rivals, the NDP, of using underhanded tactics to oppose the legislation.
The Conservatives charged Friday that the New Democrats were behind a nasty and anonymous personal attack on Public Safety Minister Vic Toews, the sponsor of a bill criticized as a major invasion of privacy.
Starting on Feb. 14, an unidentified user employed Twitter to broadcast deeply personal and private details of Mr. Toews’s marital breakdown – information obtained from affidavits that are nevertheless publicly available from a Winnipeg court. Late Friday, the Twitter page was shut down after this final post: “I set up this project to make a point, not ensnare innocent people in a government witch hunt,” the last post to @vikileaks30 said, before the page dissappeared.
It’s far from clear yet who was behind the account, but the Conservative counterattack Friday succeeded in shifting Parliamentary debate away from the contents of Mr. Toews’s cybercrime bill.
The Ottawa Citizen has reported it traced the anonymous Twitter account back to a Parliament Internet protocol (IP) address – the numeric label assigned to devices on a computer network.
It can be very hard, however, to link a particular individual to an IP address. In some cases IP addresses are shared among many computer users and the one assigned to a particular user can change regularly.
The House of Commons says its more than 4,000 users, for instance, show up on the Internet as having one of a handful of public IP addresses. Commons network administrators relying on computer logs could identify who was using a particular computer at a particular time but not if the user covered their tracks.
Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird charged the NDP has been engaged in a “dirty, sleazy Internet game” and demanded the party identify the culprit. He levelled the accusations inside the Commons where MPs are immune from prosecution.
“Not only has it stooped to the lowest of the lows, but it has been running this nasty Internet dirty trick campaign with taxpayers’ money,” Mr. Baird said.
The NDP said it had no reason to believe someone from their party was responsible.
The Conservatives cited news reports as the basis for their accusation, but the Ottawa Citizen merely noted the IP address had been recorded by Wikipedia in connection with updates to encyclopedia articles that gave them “what appears to be a pro-NDP bias.”
The NDP said that proved little, pointing out the same IP address was also logged on Wikipedia when people updated pages for a Conservative MP, a Conservative Senator and a Liberal Senator.
Mr. Toews said the @vikileaks30 attack is underhanded and unethical.
“It is one thing for a Member of Parliament to stand in the House and engage in an attack. We are all held accountable for what we say publicly in the House of Commons,” the minister said in a statement supplied by his office.
“Anonymous activity like this is the act of someone who wants to hide from debate on the real issue. Using the taxpayer-funded resources of the House of Commons to avoid accountability for actions and statements is completely unacceptable.”
Mr. Toews has asked Commons Speaker Andrew Scheer to probe the matter.
Late Friday night, someone deleted the @vikileaks30 Twitter account.
Former Commons speaker Peter Milliken said in an interview he can’t see what Parliamentary rules might have been broken if an anonymous Twitter user were using Parliamentary resources to send their @vikileaks30 messages.
The New Democrats said they would cooperate with an investigation and challenged the Conservatives to produce any proof a New Democrat was behind the attack. The Liberals said they’d seen no evidence a staffer from their party was involved.
The Canadian media and opposition parties have been largely hesitant to delve deeply into Mr. Toews’s divorce from his spouse, Lorraine Kathleen Fehr.
But Internet advocacy campaigns have not always played by the same rules when it comes to politicians or other public figures.
Bill C-30, which the Conservatives have named the Protecting Children from Internet Predators Act, would require telecommunications service providers to give police a person’s name, address, phone numbers, e-mail address and Internet Protocol address – which identifies a person on a computer – upon request and without a warrant.
In an about-face Wednesday, the Harper government blinked in the face of a backlash over the legislation and said it’s now prepared to accept a broad range of changes to a bill criticized as a major intrusion into Canadians’ privacy.
Under the bill as written, companies would also be forced to adapt their equipment so that authorities could monitor the actions of subscribers. Those authorities would have to obtain a judicial warrant, however, before they could track the mobile-phone movements and online activities of people suspected of committing a crime.
Tabled Tuesday, the bill is supported by police forces and by provincial and territorial attorneys general. Government officials said similar or more intrusive measures have already been adopted by the United States, Britain, Australia and numerous European countries.
An update to the otherwise great Pixable photo viewing app illustrates that not all Timeline verbs should be streamed into the Timeline.
Screenshot by Rafe Needleman/CNET)
I have been meaning to write about Pixable, an excellent mobile app for keeping up with Facebook images on your
iPad. Unlike Facebook’s own mobile app, which I find slow, complicated, and crash-prone, Pixable lets you dive into your social photo stream in a snap, see what friends are posting, and get out fast. There’s more to it, too, and it’s all good. It’s a great app to pull up on that short elevator ride.
At least it was, until today’s update of the app, which adds Facebook Timeline integration. Now, whenever you view a stream or follow a user, that activity appears in your Facebook timeline.
No, thanks. App vendors need to understand something. There is a big–no, giant–difference between viewing a social stream and contributing to it. When a user tags, likes, or comments on an item on a social network, they are doing it for other people. Or, to be more psychologically accurate, they’re doing it for the ego boost that comes from having other people see their activity. It makes sense to post contributions to a timeline.
But just consuming, without contributing? Not necessarily. When a person views a post, a photo, or a stream; or when one listens to music or watches a video, they’re not necessarily doing it for anyone’s benefit. For my part, when I want someone to know I viewed something, I’m intentional about, by Liking or commenting on it.
Macho the cat, Facebook photo by Leyl Master Black)
In the current update, Pixable gets this completely backwards. If you use the app, all your photo viewing activity shows up in a timeline. There’s no way to turn it off. From within Facebook itself you can block Pixable or delete Timeline items, but that doesn’t make Pixable’s lack of control ok.
On the other hand, when you go to a specific photo and decide to comment on it or tag it, there’s an easy way to toggle on or off your Facebook sharing of that activity.
The on/off switch belongs in both places, but more in the place it’s not: In the stream viewing function. It’s coming, I’m told, it’s just not here yet.
I still like Pixable, but until the company gets this right, I’m not using it.
I’m hoping that other developers take two lessons away from this, and from the recent privacy upsets from earlier in the week:
1. Transparency is key. If you’re going to share what I do on your service, tell me before you do it. How am I supposed to trust you if you don’t?
2. Control is just as important. Just because you, Mr or Ms developer, thinks something is cool, it doesn’t mean the user will. Especially when it comes to the use of their personal or activity data. Let the user decide. If, for some reason, you think you’ll lose out by giving them this control (viral growth, revenues, etc.), that is your indicator that you are about to do the wrong thing.
Do the right thing. Ultimately, it will make your product, and your company, more successful.
The bizarre tech-xecution has garnered more than 26 million views on YouTube and tens of thousands more on Facebook, touching a nerve with others tired of their kids’ attitudes but also drawing backlash from parents who have kept such desires in check, people who believe the father is the one being childish.
“It represents a fantasy scenario for parents,” said Anthony Rotolo, a Syracuse University professor who specializes in social media. “Most parents would not respond in this manner … but many parents have certainly felt unappreciated and imagined taking similar action.”
The furor began when Tommy Jordan of Albemarle, N.C., aired his feelings in the video he posted last week. Sitting in an Adirondack chair on an expansive stretch of grass, Jordan is wearing jeans, a plaid shirt and a wide-brimmed hat, a lit cigarette between his fingers.
Then he launches into his diatribe, quoting from his daughter’s Facebook post, in which she told her parents “I’m not your damn slave,” “I’m tired of picking up after you,” and “You know how hard it is to keep up with the chores and schoolwork? It’s freaking crazy.”
Jordan is clearly infuriated by his daughter’s suggestion that she be paid for her chores and disturbed by her decision to go public with her criticism.
“You don’t have to worry about buying a new laptop battery. You don’t have to worry about buying a new power cord. You don’t have to worry about buying a new camera. Because you won’t be using any of them till probably college,” he says in the video. “I don’t know how to say how disappointed I am in you and how disrespectful you were to every single adult in your life. But, kid, you’ve got it easy, way easy. It’s about to get harder.”
Rising from his chair and picking up the video camera, he settles the image on the laptop, set on a patch of dirt among the grass. He shows his .45-caliber gun for the camera, then fires nine rounds into the computer.
“I hope it was all worth this,” he says to her.
Jordan has not given any interviews to reporters.
Other parents have been eager to weigh in on his outburst.
Sonia Carballo, 37, of Bethlehem, Pa., found herself laughing aloud when she saw the video last week. Her three children — ages 9, 13 and 16 — air similar complaints that their mother is too strict, that she doesn’t understand, or that they have too many chores.
“He’s a parent after my own heart,” said Carballo, an insurance claims processor. “I thought he handled it better than I would have. She was completely out of line and disrespectful.”
Michael Sands, 66, of Los Angeles, said he’s had similar arguments with his 16-year-old son, whom he says he can’t peel away from the computer to do simple things like eat dinner or take a shower. Sands has been so frustrated that once, he tipped over his son’s computer tower. Another time, he flicked a switch on the circuit breaker to cut power to the computer.
“They are hooked on the computer and it gets under any person’s skin,” said Sands, a media consultant. “It really gets to be a match against your child.”
Messages of support have poured in for Jordan from similarly frustrated parents who admired him following through on his threats. But others say he stooped to a child’s level and taught his daughter nothing with his show.
Carleton Kendrick, 65, a Mills, Mass., psychotherapist and father of two, said he found it troubling the video was resonating with so many people and called Jordan’s actions “frightening and humiliating.”
“What’s next from this guy, filming himself burning all his daughter’s clothes in a pile on his lawn because she dressed in a manner he considered too provocative?” Kendrick asked.
Gary Baker, a 51-year-old father of two teenagers in New York, said all parents find themselves pushed to the edge from time to time, but he thought Jordan overreacted.
“She was simply venting to her friends and showing the world what a spoiled, self-centered and unappreciative child she was. Nothing even slightly unusual there for a teenager,” he said. “For any parent to respond with wanton violence and destruction of property is unnecessary and clearly an overreaction.”
Dr. David Reiss, a psychiatrist who’s interim medical director at Providence Hospital in Holyoke, Mass., said the teen was expressing normal emotions of someone their age.
“A kid who isn’t complaining, a kid who isn’t testing limits isn’t going to grow up,” he said. “The worst thing you can do is to show inappropriate behavior as a parent. What does that lead the kid to want to do? To one-up that.”
There are no signs of that in Jordan’s case, not yet at least. But he had a warning for his daughter in his video message: She needs to pay him back for the bullets, too.