20 MILLION $$$$$$ QUESTION?

How long will it take Mayor Gahan to ask Kay Garry to return as Controller for the City of New Albany?

Answer: Secret meeting between Jeff and Kay Garry next Tuesday July 16, 2013,  in the Mayors office….

How about a NEW qualified CPA?
FREEDOM OF SPEECH

Japanese ask sites to block “abusive” TOR users.

Wired reports on a move by the Japanese government to ask websites to block users who “abuse” TOR. 

I assume that TOR is being used as an example, and it would apply to any secure privacy tool.

The interesting question is whether this is simply a foot in the door on the way to banning anonymity, or at least making its use evidence of evil intent.

Currently, public privacy services make little effort to hide themselves. Traffic from them is easily detected as being from an anonymity system. If blocking becomes common, many systems may start implementing more effective stealth systems, which would make filtering anonymity for security reasons even harder.

The Privacy Podcast

Safe journey, Bon voyage !

Learn more about privacy at airports and border crossings by referring to the new featured topic, and have a safe journey! 

Canadian border crossing

photo by 12th St David

There’s a common expression that says, “It’s not the destination that counts, it’s the journey.” Well, if you’re like me, when I have to travel—especially with moody teenagers—I get anxious just thinking about all of the hoops I have to jump through before I arrive at my destination. At airports, border crossings and sea ports, there are security screenings everywhere.

Security measures are presented as a trade-off for safer skies for travellers. But that doesn’t mean you have to check your privacy rights with your luggage.

It is important to know that as a Canadian traveller, your privacy rights kick in from the moment you book a flight—online or through a travel agency—and continue on through the airport terminal and into the pre-boarding area.

However, the measures used to ensure your safety make you wonder: where do your privacy rights begin and end? To help you answer that question, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) just posted a new topic page entitled Privacy Rights at Airports and Border Crossings. It contains explanations of the law, describes the impact of security measures on your personal information and privacy rights, and lets you know where you can turn to if you feel your rights have been violated.

The topic page presents all of the OPC’s materials related to airports and border crossings in one place: fact sheets, reports, publications, Parliamentary appearances and audits to give you an overview from a privacy perspective of key security initiatives that have been implemented over the last 10 years.

Want to learn more? Click here to consult the new page.

Office of the Privacy Commissioner

Alberta property rights trap

Lee Cutforth, Alberta’s property rights advocate, speaks with Ezra Levant about his work to protect Albertan’s property rights and his work on the High River gun seizure.

This report aired on The Source July 10 2013.

Ezra Levant

WITH DEEPEST SYMPATHY…

We are deeply sadden to hear about the death of our friend Randy Hubbard. 

He was a good man and a GREAT husband, father and grandfather. 

We often sat in Randy’s office discussing politics, the democrat and the republican party, and what should and could be done to help US taxpayers. In our eyes Randy was a problem solver. He often told us: Floyd County had given him so much he just want to give back to the people.

Former Sheriff Hubbard sure loved his family, he took pride in his grand kids and cared deeply about the city and county residence.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the entire Hubbard family. Floyd County has lost a great public servant….

Freedom Of Speech Staff




FREEDOM OF SPEECH

“HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA!”

On July 4th, 1776, our for fathers demanded their right to be free by declaring independence from King George III and the British Crown.

Independence Day honors the birthday of the United States of America and the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776.

Before we all dive into the festivities of picnics and patriotic parades, enjoying friends, neighbors, family, a night of fireworks, and a reason to fly the American flag.

This is a good time for Americans to think, about what we are specifically looking to gain “independence” from. For most of us, we desperately seek freedom from individual mandates, an exploding national debt, and a society set on destroying the principles that it’s greatness was built on.

This 4th of July also means to reflect on the courage of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, for without them, we would not have the opportunity and privilege of living in this great country.

As the years pass and we get older and watch our children age, our feelings about this day means so much more. We have gained a new profound love of our country each day.

And our right of Freedom Of Speech.

We appreciate the freedom’s that we as Americans some times take for granted.

And, we especially owe the biggest gratitude and thanks to our veterans and troops who have kept our country free since 1776.

Let’s remember our fallen and our wounded and let’s remember to help make this country a better place regardless of our differences.

May God always bless you, and this great country!

Thomas Jefferson said it best, “We hold these truths to be self evident that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

And…

“Whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new government.”

We the People…Works!

Happy Birthday America

Freedom Of Speech Staff
FREEDOM OF SPEECH

Bracing for trouble

ezra oil farm.jpg

Last Wednesday, a bomb threat was delivered to the MEG Energy oilsands plant at Christina Lake, Alta., forcing the company to evacuate.

No word yet on who made the threat. It’s possible it was just a malicious prank, or even the act of a disgruntled worker. It’s possible.

But Occam’s Razor tells us that the simplest answer is often the right one: A bomb threat is a traditional tool of political terrorism, and the oilsands have been the target of the most vicious political attack in recent industrial history.

The anti-oilsands PR campaign is deliberately designed to denormalize and dehumanize the oilsands industry and its workers — to do to them what was done to cigarette companies.

Extremist groups, usually funded or based outside Canada, have developed an entire narrative designed not to reform or improve the oilsands, but to destroy them. The oilsands are a “climate criminal,” says Greenpeace. They’re a “carbon bomb” that will kill humanity, says former NASA scientist James Hansen, now an environmentalist hired gun. Al Gore and David Suzuki have both said that people who deny that burning oil causes global warming ought to be prosecuted.

Opportunistic politicians have got in on that action, too. Thomas Mulcair, the leader of the NDP, calls the oilsands the cause of “Dutch Disease,” implying that it needs to be cured, or at least quarantined.

That’s all just words. But those words have been matched in deeds. Four years ago, Greenpeace staff broke into a Shell oilsands upgrader in Alberta, trespassing and vandalizing the facility and shutting down production.

Just last week, two dozen trespassers broke into an Enbridge pipeline pumping station outside Hamilton, Ont., and occupied the facility for close to a week, until police finally moved in.

These are criminal activities — shocking the first time they happen, unusual the second time. But what about the third time, the fourth time? At what point does our public acceptance of these anti-oilsands crimes, added to the drumbeat of anti-oilsands slander, create the conditions where a bomb threat is the next, obvious step for angry anti-oilsands activists?

A bomb threat itself is not violence — just terrifying. But how long until the actual bombs come?

It’s happened before — Wiebo Ludwig was convicted of planting homemade bombs that blew up natural gas facilities near his Alberta home. He was a lone wolf. When will international anti-oilsands NGOs get in on that game too? It’s not a big step from breaking and entering to setting pipe bombs.

As the industry has been denormalized, anti-industrial crime has been normalized. Even by the government. The province of Ontario funded a video game called “Pipe Trouble,” where part of the fun is eco-activists bombing pipelines in protest. Hilarious stuff.

It is a long step from violent video games to actual violence. If the next bomb threat in the oilsands is a real bomb — and if it’s detonated, not warned about in a note — it would be a stretch to blame Mulcair or the CBC or Pipe Trouble or the rest of the anti-oilsands chorus.

But their demonization of the oil patch has seeped into law enforcement, too. It took six days for Hamilton police to remove the trespassers from the Enbridge pumping station. Why? Have anti-oilsands crimes achieved a moral legitimacy greater than the property rights of pipeline companies?

Why are organized criminal activities, such as Greenpeace’s stunts, met with only minor charges against the cannon fodder who actually commit the crimes, usually college kids, instead of the corporate executives at Greenpeace headquarters who counsel the crimes in the first place? Is that also the result of moral inversion, where job-creating companies are the enemy, but real criminals are called folk heroes?

This is not hypothetical. Last month on Parliament Hill, Clayton Thomas-Muller, an Aboriginal anti-oilsands activist, announced what he called “sovereignty summer.” He said the Idle No More crime wave would now target things like pipelines, and it would be more “militant” than ever.

We should probably believe him.

This column was written for Sun News July 7 2013.

Ezra Levant

How did Jesus get banned from the Stampede?

Pastor Arthur Pawlowski tells Ezra Levant about his fight with the Calgary Stampede about having the name Jesus in the Stampede Parade.

This report aired on The Source July 5 2013.

Ezra Levant

The Privacy Blog Podcast – Ep.9: Government Surveillance Programs, Facebook Shadow Profiles, and Apple’s Weak Hotspot Security

Welcome to the June edition of the Privacy Blog Podcast, brought to you by Anonymizer.

In June’s episode, I’ll discuss the true nature of the recently leaked surveillance programs that has dominated the news this month. We’ll go through a quick tutorial about decoding government “speak” regarding these programs and how you can protect yourself online.

Later in the episode, I’ll talk about Facebook’s accidental creation and compromise of shadow profiles along with Apple’s terrible personal hotspot security and what you can do to improve it.

Thanks for listening!

The Privacy Podcast

On this 4th, Let’s Celebrate the 5th! Let’s Hope Net Neutrality Gets Tossed Out in Court.

With the Supreme Court’s recent City of Arlington ruling, some observers believe that more attention will be given to Verizon’s constitutional claims in its upcoming Net Neutrality appeal.  Ordinarily in these types of disputes, such claims aren’t generally reached because the underlying statutory matter has been dealt with first, ending the matter.  With Arlington, however, there’s a possibility that the Court could find the Commission has the authority to issue its Net Neutrality rules (which is the main issue in dispute), and, if this happens, the remaining constitutional claims will likely have to be addressed.

Of these claims, the lion’s share of attention has been devoted to Verizon’s belief that the rules violate its First Amendment rights as a speaker.  What’s gotten less attention is Verizon’s so-called “takings” claim.  More specifically, the company feels that the FCC’s Net Neutrality rules violate the Fifth Amendment in that they compel a permanent physical occupation of the company’s private networks by third-parties without just compensation; and that the rules are an unconstitutional “regulatory takings” because they unreasonably impinge on the company’s ability to manage and make money from its private property.

Protecting private property – even that of billion-dollar corporations – is important stuff.  Our free society is built on those protections. I only wish Verizon had given a little more oomph to this aspect of its challenge, though.

In its initial appeal brief, Verizon gives it “takings” claim just one page in its 53-page argument.  This may be so because takings analysis, especially in a regulatory setting, is a hard challenge to succeed upon.  The law is a tangle and has not kept pace with how the Internet runs.

Seemingly confirming (or taking advantage of) this, the FCC rapidly concludes in about 200 words (near the end of its 100-plus page order) that its “open Internet rules pose no issue under the Fifth Amendment’s Takings Clause.” (Emphasis added)

The agency explains that the rules “simply require transparency and prevent broadband providers—when they voluntarily carry Internet traffic—from blocking or unreasonably discriminating in their treatment of that traffic.”

Really?

It seems quite the opposite to me.  The FCC’s rules compel accepting the traffic of all third-parties, all the time.  Providers can’t keep them and their capacity-choking, digital 0’s and 1’s off their property 24/7/365.  Forever.  Further, they deny carriers the ability to truly price, “discriminate” or prioritize their services as they see fit, even when providers lack market power.

Perhaps more upsetting is the fact that the FCC has imposed this takings via specious powers it says that Congress – albeit ambiguously – granted it.  Putting a finer point on this, the agency believes it can skate right up to the regulatory cliff without getting blown into the abyss of lawlessness because, though Congress didn’t affirmatively say it was OK to regulate Internet providers, it also didn’t say the agency couldn’t do it either.  Got that?  So, it’s OK to steal from and to press one group – the carriers – into the servitude of others – namely, the Internet’s edge.

In the agency’s view, the “public interest” demands that this public duty be undertaken at the cost of zero (to the edge, that is).  Too bad, so sad for the carriers – they should have expected this would occur.

At a broader level, I guess the FCC believes it can get away with this government-approved theft – I don’t think there’s any other way to characterize it – because Americans have been worn down through the slow-drip of Big Government programs to accept these continual usurpations.  And besides, in keeping the Internet “open” (whatever that means), Americans probably feel they’re getting something for nothing here, too.

Well, not really.

Throughout the tech sector, government policymakers, addled by special interest groups, want “stuff” that isn’t theirs.  Music.  Movies.  Software code.  Permanent digital easements to traverse the Internet.  Etcetera, etcetera.

How long can those who invest and take risk do this before they decide that it just isn’t worth it, especially if government can easily purloin private property simply because it wants it?

Not long.

Private property remains one of the purest and easily understood expressions of our liberty.  The Fifth Amendment was designed to stop government from stealing it and our labor, which built it.  The FCC’s Net Neutrality rules perform a proverbial five-finger discount of network providers’ private property and gives it to others without just compensation.  Let’s hope for Verizon, and for us, those confiscatory rules are overturned.

Media Freedom