Sunday, September 08, 2013

Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Blacklocks reports (PDF) on the abuse of a corporate tax credit which served as an "open bar" allowing businesses to have the public fund their basic operations. And it's surely worth noting that after that abuse was identified, the Cons' reaction was to cover up the resulting report in order to keep the bar open (with slightly watered-down drinks).

- Meanwhile, David Martin highlights the Cons' attempts to break longstanding promises to public employees by slashing pension benefits after they've long since retired.

- And the Star's editorial board laments the Cons' destruction of the Centre of the Universe as part of their attacks on science.

- Finally, Alison discusses the backdoors built into all kinds of familiar encryption and security software to facilitate NSA access. And Camille Crowther offers a primer on CSEC's surveillance within Canada:
Supposedly, CSEC is only permitted to monitor communications in foreign countries - however, according to CSEC expert Bill Robinson, this rule no longer applies when CSEC conducts work in support of other agencies such as the RCMP or CSIS. Furthermore, by being able to gather the personal information of online users, this government agency can, as Deibert points out, “pinpoint not only who you are, but with whom you meet, with what frequency and duration, and at which locations”.

The secrecy that surrounds CSEC means that it is not yet possible to truly know just how much online spying is being done within this country. Even the government’s own Privacy Commissioner’s Office has ominously stated that they have “very little specific information at this point, but we want to find out more”.

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