Hagia Sophia Church in Istanbul, Turkey

Hagia Sophia is a grand church in Istanbul and is considered to be the king of all churches present in this world. The place speaks its culture in every road down the valleys and is also quite lively given the lakes and markets that are handled by some of the most reputed landlords of the […]

‘Embedded’ Ben on the ground with Afghanistan’s Pacific ‘freedom operation’

Task Force Guam leaders present photojournalist Ben Bohane (centre)
with a special award after Bohane recently embedded with the Guam Army
National Guard’s 1st Battalion, 294th Infantry Regiment. After years of
covering conflict throughout the Pacific, Bohane ventured to Afghanistan
to cover Pacific Islanders serving Operation Enduring Freedom. Photo: Sgt Eddie Siguenza]

Sergeant Edward
Café Pacific – David Robie | Media freedom and transparency

Now your appliances might be spying on you

The BBC has a report on Chinese imports to Russia of small appliances being found with Wi-Fi chips inside. These chips are set up to access open Wi-Fi and broadcast spam.

Obviously they could also be used to capture personal or financial information, and gain access to poorly secured networks.

The Privacy Podcast

Infographic: The IP Transition Has Already Happened

IP transition

Media Freedom

Events of Interest: Senate Hearing on Surveillance Transparency Act (Nov. 13)

The Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law, chaired by Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.), will hold a hearing on the Surveillance Transparency Act of 2013, “A bill to enhance transparency for certain surveillance programs authorized by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 and for other purposes.” The witness list has not [...]
Privacy Lives

Apple Issues Report on Government Requests for Customer Data

Apple has issued a report (company pdf; archivepdf) on the requests it receives from the U.S. and foreign governments for information on its customers, which has implications for these individuals’ privacy rights. Apple says it “prepared this report on the requests we receive from governments seeking information about individual users or devices in the interest [...]
Privacy Lives

The fallen saint

Like many on the left, David Suzuki continues to duck Ezra Levant’s straight talk and tough questions.

This report aired on The Source November 5 2013.

Ezra Levant

How to Clean Sandstone Tiles

Sandstone is generally porous and soft, and it will absorb a lot of water, which will cause staining. It is recommended that you seal sandstone with Stain Guarding Treatment. Trying to clean sandstone that is very dirty, mouldy or if it is very stained is not going to work very well, but regular cleaning will […]

Wall Street Journal: Facebook Tests Software to Track Your Cursor on Screen

The Wall Street Journal reports that social-networking site Facebook is testing new software for gathering more data on its users: Facebook Inc. is testing technology that would greatly expand the scope of data that it collects about its users, the head of the company’s analytics group said Tuesday. The social network may start collecting data [...]
Privacy Lives

Trudeau’s call for carbon tax remarkable, as is the free pass he gets from Media Party

ez justin poppy.jpg

Last week, Justin Trudeau gave a speech at Calgary’s Petroleum Club where he called for a carbon tax.

This wasn’t an off-the-cuff remark. It was a scripted speech. And the choice of his audience was surely no coincidence either. It was a warning. Things will be different if he’s prime minister.

Trudeau has learned from Stephane Dion’s disastrous “Green Shift” carbon tax platform in 2008. So instead of calling it a carbon tax, Trudeau calls it “putting a price on carbon pollution.” But it’s the same thing — taxing oil and gas. Not much different from how Trudeau’s father did it the first time, with the National Energy Program.

Here’s how Trudeau junior put it last week: “We are further than ever from a sensible policy to reduce carbon pollution, and the oilsands have become the international poster child for climate change.”

He said Canada needs “an overall framework that includes a policy that puts a price on carbon pollution.”

And he called for “stronger oversight, tougher penalties, and yes, some sort of means to price carbon pollution.”

He said these problems are why Barack Obama hasn’t approved the Keystone XL pipeline.

He says he’s not proposing a tax on Alberta because he’s a Liberal from Montreal. He’s doing it, uh, to help Alberta. Yeah, that’s it. To help get that pipeline through.

There are errors in his reasoning, of course. The oilsands have a carbon tax already — per tonne.

It’s been the law in Alberta since 2007. That money is earmarked for scientific research on how to make the oilsands even more environmentally sound.

(In the past 20 years, the carbon footprint of the average barrel of oilsands oil has fallen by an astounding 29%.)

Trudeau claims that the oilsands — where all 100 companies together have lower carbon emissions than a single coal-fired power-plant in the city of Taichung — are the world’s poster boy for “climate change.”

China, which builds two new coal-fired power plants a week, is now the world’s largest emitter, and adds the equivalent of another oilsands daily.

Does Trudeau believe Barack Obama opposes Keystone XL because of his disagreement with Canadian taxation policy — as opposed to domestic U.S. electoral politics, including billionaire environmentalist Democrat donors?

Trudeau told Sun News Network that prospective customers for our oil — such as China and India — are “demanding” Canada invoke a carbon tax.

But China, India and Japan are so desperate for oil, they buy it from dictatorships like Saudi Arabia and even Iran, despite the sanctions on that country.

But it doesn’t matter how wrong Trudeau’s excuses are. He’s clear on one thing: He’ll bring in a tax.

That’s remarkable. And so is the pass given to him by the Media Party.

His carbon tax announcement wasn’t covered by the CBC or the Toronto Star. The Globe and Mail sent a reporter, but the story was nixed from the newspaper’s print edition.

Do they truly believe that a Liberal leader calling for a carbon tax isn’t news?

Or is it the opposite — it’s big news, but news that would put the media’s darling on the hotseat, instead of their preferred topic, the battle between Stephen Harper and Mike Duffy? Are the media protecting their favourite candidate from himself?

Trudeau surely needed little convincing to call for a carbon tax. But the campaign decision was likely made by Gerald Butts, Trudeau’s senior adviser.

Until a year ago, Butts was the CEO of the World Wildlife Fund in Canada.

They are a registered anti-oilsands lobby group. According to the federal lobbyist registry, they lobbied Ottawa 162 times.

Under Butts, the WWF became a major recipient of foreign anti-oil campaign funds. They were contracted by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund out of New York to help run the “tar sands campaign,” a -million-a-year attack on Canadian industry.

Until a year ago, Butts was doing that job from the outside, as a highly paid lobbyist for a U.S. foundation.

Now he’s doing it from the inside, as Justin Trudeau’s manager.

This column was written for Sun News November 3 2013.

Ezra Levant