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Obama Said to Favor Limits on Spying on Foreign Leaders – Bloomberg

Obama Said to Favor Limits on Spying on Foreign Leaders – Bloomberg.

Photographer: Jock Fistick/Bloomberg
The administration is fighting a domestic and international backlash over revelations the NSA spied on leaders including German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

President Barack Obama will call for tighter limits on U.S. spying on foreign leaders in response to a global uproar over government surveillance, according to an administration official familiar with the proposal.

The restrictions are part of an Obama plan to curb National Security Agency spying exposed last year in documents leaked by former contractor Edward Snowden. With the proposal, to be announced as soon as next week, the administration is seeking to rein in U.S. surveillance without sacrificing its ability to use electronic intelligence gathering to fight terrorism.

It’s unclear how far Obama will go to limit spying on foreign leaders, and the official who confirmed the restrictions on condition of anonymity declined to provide further details. White House officials have suggested that Obama may be willing to curtail snooping on allies while preserving the ability to listen on leaders from hostile nations.

The administration is fighting a domestic and international backlash over revelations the NSA spied on leaders including German Chancellor Angela Merkel (GOOG), hacked into fiber-optic cables to get data from Google Inc. and Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO), and intercepted Americans’ communications without warrants. Most of the spying was exposed by Snowden, who’s in Russiaunder temporary asylum.

Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

White House officials have suggested that U.S. President Barack Obama may be willing to…Read More

A White House panel reviewing U.S. surveillance programs recommended in a report last month the creation of new criteria for spying on foreign leaders, including determining whether electronic surveillance is necessary and whether there are other means to obtain the needed information.

Obama Meeting

Obama plans to unveil the changes without waiting for a separate independent privacy board to release its finding on whether the collection of bulk phone records is legal. He’s widely expected to call for putting a privacy advocate on the secret court that oversees the NSA programs, and is considering limits on the government’s ability to collect and store phone records.

A meeting Obama held yesterday with the five members of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, all of whom he nominated, “was a useful opportunity for the president to hear the group’s views,” Caitlin Hayden, a spokeswoman for the National Security Council, said in a statement.

The board said after the meeting that it plans to issue a report by late January or early February on whether the collection of bulk phone records is legal and recommendations on “the right balance between national security and privacy and civil liberties.”

Not Waiting

Obama isn’t waiting for that report, which could run counter to his decisions. He will announce his proposals for altering NSA surveillance programs before his annual State of the Union address on Jan. 28, and perhaps as early as next week, according to an administration official familiar with the deliberations who requested anonymity in discussing the matter.

Obama thanked members of the privacy board for “their thoughtful work” and “made clear that it will be factored into the administration’s thinking” as decisions are made, Hayden said.

The president and his aides previously have hinted at a willingness to reduce spying on some foreign leaders and create a public advocate to represent privacy concerns before the secret court that oversees the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

Obama is “still in the process of deliberating,” White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters yesterday. He is using meetings with stakeholders this week to shape his decisions and “appreciates very much the opinions and counsel he’s getting on these matters,” Carney said.

Review Panel

The Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technology recommended in its reportlast month putting limits on the NSA, including prohibiting the agency from collecting and storing billions of phone records. Instead, the data should be held by Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ)AT&T Inc. (T) and other U.S. carriers or another third party and only accessed by the NSA with a court warrant, the panel said.

The panel also recommended legislation allowing Google, Facebook Inc. (FB) and other Internet companies to publicly release information about government orders compelling them to turn over data about their users, and how many users are affected.

Carney said in October that the U.S. wasn’t monitoring, and wouldn’t monitor going forward, Merkel’s communications, after a backlash following revelations that the U.S. had spied on friendly foreign leaders including Merkel and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff.

While Obama called Merkel yesterday to wish her a speedy recovery following a ski accident, a White House statement about the call did not mention any discussion of his upcoming NSA announcement.

Privacy Advocates

Obama plans to meet today with top lawmakers on the Senate and House judiciary and intelligence committees. Separately, privacy advocates from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Open Technology Institute and Cato Institute plan to meet with White House Counsel Kathy Ruemmler.

“I would certainly hope the president is adopting the bulk of the panel’s recommendations, which were generally favorably received within the privacy community,” David Sobel, senior counsel for the San Francisco-based Electronic Frontier Foundation, said in a phone interview.

Privacy advocates will be disappointed if Obama doesn’t make significant changes, Sobel said. “In light of the review panel’s findings, it’s difficult to see how that approach would be justified,” he said.

Tomorrow, White House staff members will meet with executives from technology companies to discuss U.S. surveillance programs, according to an administration official who asked not to be identified discussing the meeting.

Senate Testimony

The intelligence review panel’s five members are scheduled to testify about their recommendations before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Jan. 14.

The privacy board said it also plans to release a separate report on an NSA program that compels Internet companies to turn over data on users.

Under that program, the NSA can intercept the communications of innocent Americans without a warrant, as long as they aren’t the target of a counterterrorism investigation. A warrant is required by law if an American citizen becomes the target.

To contact the reporters on this story: Chris Strohm in Washington atcstrohm1@bloomberg.net; Margaret Talev in Washington at mtalev@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Bernard Kohn at bkohn2@bloomberg.net; Steven Komarow at skomarow1@bloomberg.net

Facebook accused of mining private messages – Americas – Al Jazeera English

Facebook accused of mining private messages – Americas – Al Jazeera English.

Facebook has said the lawsuit’s claims ‘have no merit’, and that it will defend itself ‘vigorously’ [EPA]
Facebook is facing a class-action lawsuit in the US which alleges the company mines data from private messages without users’ knowledge or consent, and shares the information with advertisers.

The lawsuit by two US users accuses Facebook of violating the Electronic Communications Privacy Act and California privacy laws by allegedly scanning private messages for links to third-party websites, which it then shares with “advertisers, marketers and other data aggregators”.

The complaint was filed by Matthew Campbell of Arkansas and Michael Hurley of Oregon on December 30 in the District Court for Northern California on behalf of all Facebook members in the US that have used the site to send or receive private messages that include a URL link.

The lawsuit accused Facebook of using the information for “data mining and user profiling”, and said that Facebook earned $2.7bn from targeted advertising sales in 2011.

“Representing to users that the content of Facebook messages is ‘private’ creates an especially profitable opportunity for Facebook, because users who believe they are communicating on a service free from surveillance are likely to reveal facts about themselves that they would not reveal had they known the content was being monitored,” the lawsuit said.

Facebook has denied the plaintiffs’ claims, saying in a statement on Friday: “The allegations in this lawsuit have no merit and we will defend ourselves vigorously”.

The case is similar to another lawsuit accusing Google of violating user privacy by scanning the contents of Gmail messages.

Facebook has faced a slew of complaints and court actions on privacy-related issues. Last year, it settled a class action lawsuit over its usage of user names and images in so-called “sponsored stories”.

Clues to Future Snowden Leaks Found In His Past Washington’s Blog

Clues to Future Snowden Leaks Found In His Past Washington’s Blog.

Work for Covert NSA Facility at University of Maryland May Be Hint

Only a tiny fraction of Snowden’s documents have been published.

What’s still to come?

We believe one hint comes from Snowden’s past as a security specialist at one of one the NSA’s covert facilities at the University of Maryland.

Pre-Crime and the NSA

We reported in 2008:

new article by investigative reporter Christopher Ketcham reveals, a governmental unit operating in secret and with no oversight whatsoever is gathering massive amounts of data on every American and running artificial intelligence software to predict each American’s behavior, including “what the target will do, where the target will go, who it will turn to for help”.

The same governmental unit is responsible for suspending the Constitution and implementing martial law in the event that anything is deemed by the White House in its sole discretion to constitute a threat to the United States. (this is formally known as implementing “Continuity of Government” plans). [Background here.]

As Ketcham’s article makes clear, these same folks and their predecessors have been been busy dreaming up plans to imprison countless “trouble-making” Americans without trial in case of any real or imagined emergency.  What kind of Americans? Ketcham describes it this way:

“Dissidents and activists of various stripes, political and tax protestors, lawyers and professors, publishers and journalists, gun owners, illegal aliens, foreign nationals, and a great many other harmless, average people.”

Do we want the same small group of folks who have the power to suspend the Constitution, implement martial law, and imprison normal citizens to also be gathering information on all Americans and running AI programs to be able to predict where American citizens will go for help and what they will do in case of an emergency? Don’t we want the government to — um, I don’t know — help us in case of an emergency?

Bear in mind that the Pentagon is also running an AI program to see how people will react to propaganda and to government-inflicted terror. The program is called Sentient World Simulation:

“U.S defense, intel and homeland security officials are constructing a parallel world, on a computer, which the agencies will use to test propaganda messages and military strategies.Called the Sentient World Simulation, the program uses AI routines based upon the psychological theories of Marty Seligman, among others. (Seligman introduced the theory of ‘learned helplessness’ in the 1960s, after shocking beagles until they cowered, urinating, on the bottom of their cages.)

Yank a country’s water supply. Stage a military coup. SWS will tell you what happens next.

The sim will feature an AR avatar for each person in the real world, based upon data collected about us from government records and the internet.”

The continuity of government folks’ AI program and the Pentagon’s AI program may or may not be linked, but they both indicate massive spying and artificial intelligence in order to manipulate the American public, to concentrate power, to take away the liberties and freedoms of average Americans, and — worst of all — to induce chaos in order to achieve these ends.

PBS Nova reported in 2009:

The National Security Agency (NSA) is developing a tool that George Orwell’s Thought Police might have found useful: an artificial intelligence system designed to gain insight into what people are thinking.

With the entire Internet and thousands of databases for a brain, the device will be able to respond almost instantaneously to complex questions posed by intelligence analysts. As more and more data is collected—through phone calls, credit card receipts, social networks like Facebook and MySpace, GPS tracks, cell phone geolocation, Internet searches, Amazon book purchases, even E-Z Pass toll records—it may one day be possible to know not just where people are and what they are doing, but what and how they think.

The system is so potentially intrusive that at least one researcher has quit, citing concerns over the dangers in placing such a powerful weapon in the hands of a top-secret agency with little accountability.

Known as Aquaint, which stands for “Advanced QUestion Answering for INTelligence” [which is run by the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA)], part of the new M Square Research Park in College Park, Maryland. A mammoth two million-square-foot, 128-acre complex, it is operated in collaboration with the University of Maryland. “Their budget is classified, but I understand it’s very well funded,” said Brian Darmody, the University of Maryland’s assistant vice president of research and economic development, referring to IARPA. “They’ll be in their own building here, and they’re going to grow. Their mission is expanding.”

***

In a 2004 pilot project, a mass of data was gathered from news stories taken from theNew York Times, the AP news wire, and the English portion of the Chinese Xinhua news wire covering 1998 to 2000. Then, 13 U.S. military intelligence analysts searched the data and came up with a number of scenarios based on the material. Finally, using those scenarios, an NSA analyst developed 50 topics, and in each of those topics created a series of questions for Aquaint’s computerized brain to answer. “Will the Japanese use force to defend the Senkakus?” was one. “What types of disputes or conflict between the PLA [People’s Liberation Army] and Hong Kong residents have been reported?” was another. And “Who were the participants in this spy ring, and how are they related to each other?” was a third. Since then, the NSA has attempted to build both on the complexity of the system—more essay-like answers rather than yes or no—and on attacking greater volumes of data.

“The technology behaves like a robot, understanding and answering complex questions,” said a former Aquaint researcher. “Think of 2001: A Space Odyssey and the most memorable character, HAL 9000, having a conversation with David. We are essentially building this system. We are building HAL.” A naturalized U.S. citizen who received her Ph.D. from Columbia, the researcher worked on the program for several years but eventually left due to moral concerns. “The system can answer the question, ‘What does X think about Y?’” she said. “Working for the government is great, but I don’t like looking into other people’s secrets.

A supersmart search engine, capable of answering complex questions such as “What were the major issues in the last 10 presidential elections?” would be very useful for the public. But that same capability in the hands of an agency like the NSA—absolutely secret, often above the law, resistant to oversight, and with access to petabytes of private information about Americans—could be a privacy and civil liberties nightmare. “We must not forget that the ultimate goal is to transfer research results into operational use,” said Aquaint project leader John Prange, in charge of information exploitation for IARPA.

Once up and running, the database of old newspapers could quickly be expanded to include an inland sea of personal information scooped up by the agency’s warrantless data suction hoses. Unregulated, they could ask it to determine which Americans might likely pose a security risk—or have sympathies toward a particular cause, such as the antiwar movement, as was done during the 1960s and 1970s. The Aquaint robospy might then base its decision on the type of books a person purchased online, or chat room talk, or websites visited—or a similar combination of data. Such a system would have an enormous chilling effect on everyone’s everyday activities—what will the Aquaint computer think if I buy this book, or go to that website, or make this comment? Will I be suspected of being a terrorist or a spy or a subversive?

World Net Daily’s Aaron Klein reported in June:

In February, the Sydney Morning Herald reported the Massachusetts-based multinational corporation, Raytheon – the world’s fifth largest defense contractor – had developed a “Google for Spies” operation.

Herald reporter Ryan Gallagher wrote that Raytheon had “secretly developed software capable of tracking people’s movements and predicting future behavior by mining data from social networking websites” like Facebook, Twitter, and Foursquare.

The software is called RIOT, or Rapid Information Overlay Technology.

Raytheon told the Herald it has not sold RIOT to any clients but admitted that, in 2010, it had shared the program’s software technology with the U.S. government as part of a “joint research and development effort … to help build a national security system capable of analyzing ‘trillions of entities’ from cyberspace.”

In April, RIOT was reportedly showcased at a U.S. government and industry national security conference for secretive, classified innovations, where it was listed under the category “big data – analytics, algorithms.”

Jay Stanley, senior policy analyst for the ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project,argued …  that among the many problems with government large-scale analytics of social network information “is the prospect that government agencies will blunderingly use these techniques to tag, target and watchlist people coughed up by programs such as RIOT, or to target them for further invasions of privacy based on incorrect inferences.”

“The chilling effects of such activities,” he concluded, “while perhaps gradual, would be tremendous.”

Ginger McCall, attorney and director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center’s Open Government program, told NBC in February, “This sort of software allows the government to surveil everyone.

“It scoops up a bunch of information about totally innocent people. There seems to be no legitimate reason to get this, other than that they can.”

As for RIOT’s ability to help catch terrorists, McCall called it “a lot of white noise.”  [True … Big data doesn’t work to keep us safe.]

The London Guardian further obtained a four-minute video that shows how the RIOT software uses photographs on social networks. The images, sometimes containing latitude and longitude details, are “automatically embedded by smartphones within so-called ‘exif header data.’

RIOT pulls out this information, analyzing not only the photographs posted by individuals, but also the location where these images were taken,” the Guardian reported.
Such sweeping data collection and analysis to predict future activity may further explain some of what the government is doing with the phone records of millions of Verizon customers. [Background here.  It may also explain why the NSA is collecting nearly 5 billion cell location records every day, all over the world.]

***

“In the increasingly popular language of network theory, individuals are “nodes,” and relationships and interactions form the “links” binding them together; by mapping those connections, network scientists try to expose patterns that might not otherwise be apparent,” reported the Times.  [Background here.]

In February 2006, more than a year after Obama was sworn as a U.S. senator, it was revealed the “supposedly defunct” Total Information Awareness data-mining and profiling program had been acquired by the NSA.

The Total Information Awareness program was first announced in 2002 as an early effort to mine large volumes of data for hidden connections.

What does all of this have to do with Edward Snowden?

Aaron Klein reports that Snowden might have worked at the NSA’s artificial intelligence unit at the University of Maryland:

Edward Snowden, the whistleblower behind the NSA surveillance revelations, told the London Guardian newspaper that he previously worked as a security guard for what the publication carefully described as “one of the agency’s covert facilities at the University of Maryland.”

***

Brian Ullmann, the university’s assistant vice president for marketing and communications, was asked for comment. He would not address the query, posed twice to his department by KleinOnline, about whether the NSA operates covert facilities in conjunction with the university.

Ullmann’s only comment was to affirm that Snowden was employed as a security guard at the university’s Center for the Advanced Study of Languages in 2005.

Calling Snowden a “security guard” is like calling James Bond a “bouncer”.  Snowden was a highly-prized expert at finding the NSA’s security vulnerabilities in order to protect the agency’s computer systems from malicious hackers.

Snowden may know a tremendous amount about – and have taken many documents regarding – the NSA’s dystopian plans for a Big Bro, pre-crime computer system.

Postscript:  If we’re right, we urge that these documents be pushed towards the front of the release queue by the journalists holding the documents leaked by Snowden … as they would be central to the NSA’s true plans and visions.

We would also urge the release of any documents regarding NSA’s involvement – if any – in financial manipulation or  false flags to be published quickly, as these would be vital for our information and understanding as a free people.

U.S. Border’s Canadian Health Records Access Of ‘Great Concern’ To Privacy Watchdog

U.S. Border’s Canadian Health Records Access Of ‘Great Concern’ To Privacy Watchdog.

us border health records

TORONTO – Ontario’s privacy watchdog is probing reports that private health information is being shared with U.S. border services, saying it’s a matter “of grave concern” to her.

Her office “will investigate the matter and ensure that the personal health information of Ontarians is not being compromised by any organizations under my jurisdiction,” Information and Privacy Commissioner Ann Cavoukian said in an email to Ontario’s New Democrats, who requested her help.

Cavoukian added that she’s already contacted the Health Ministry to confirm that no personal health details are being provided to U.S. border services.

NDP provincial health critic France Gelinas said she’s been contacted by three people who have been denied entry to the U.S. based on their personal health history.

One woman she spoke to, Ellen Richardson, has gone public with her story, saying she was turned away Monday at Toronto’s Pearson airport by a U.S. customs agent because she was hospitalized in June 2012 for clinical depression.

Richardson attempted suicide in 2001 by jumping off a bridge, which left her a paraplegic. But her mental health has improved with medication and professional help from a psychiatrist, she said.

She said she travelled through the United States several times in recent years and never had a problem.

This time, the agent cited the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act, which denies entry to people who have had a physical or mental disorder that may pose a “threat to the property, safety or welfare” of themselves or others, she said.

“It’s ridiculous. It’s utterly ridiculous,” she said.

“I was never a threat to others. I would never harm anyone.”

Richardson, who takes medication to combat depression, said she provided the U.S. agent with the name and phone number of her psychiatrist, but it wasn’t enough.

She was told she would have to get “medical clearance” and be examined by one of only three doctors in Toronto whose assessments are accepted by Homeland Security, she said.

Richardson, who has a website and wrote a book about her struggle with depression, said she has no recollection of police being involved in her 2012 hospitalization.

She said she had become suicidal, wrote a suicide note and called her mother, who came over and called 911.

“I wasn’t a threat to anyone, other than myself,” Richardson said.

Gelinas said another person she spoke to told her that they had been turned away at the border over a physical ailment that had nothing to do with mental health.

She wouldn’t provide any details to protect the person’s privacy, but Gelinas said she was told that the U.S. agent in that case also mentioned a fairly recent, specific medical episode that happened in an Ontario hospital.

Gelinas said at first she tried to find some explanation for why U.S. authorities might have the information, such as police records. She asked many questions, but nothing seemed to explain how the Department of Homeland Security got the information.

“The amount of their personal information that is spit back at them is astonishing,” she said.

“I have no idea how this could happen, but it did. I believe those people. They have given me physical, tangible proof that this happened.”

A person’s medical history must remain confidential, she said. To hear that specific details of a person’s medical history is being shared with a foreign government is “extremely alarming.”

Health Minister Deb Matthews owes Ontarians an explanation, Gelinas added.

U.S. authorities don’t have access to medical or other health records for Ontarians travelling to the United States, said Samantha Grant, a spokeswoman for Matthews.

Government officials referred all other questions to police services, saying it was an operational matter.

Federal law allows personal information to be transferred outside Canada, even without the consent of the individual to whom the information relates. Once the information is in foreign hands, the laws of that country will apply.

Canada’s privacy commissioner has called for the federal government to re-examine the circumstances under which it allows personal information about Canadians to be processed outside Canada.

Mike Sullivan, the New Democrat MP who represents the Toronto riding where Richardson lives, says he has sent a letter to the federal privacy commissioner’s office asking for an investigation into the matter.

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  • We Speak English And French, Not Canadian

     

  • But We Don’t All Speak French

     

  • Or English

     

  • We Didn’t Make Celine Dion, Nickelback And Justin Bieber Famous. You Did

     

  • We Don’t Know Your Cousin Mike From Vancouver

     

  • British Columbia Is Not In Britain. Or South America. (Google it)

     

  • We Know More About America Than You Do About Canada

     

  • Sofa, Not Couch

     

  • Pop, Not Soda

     

  • Bathroom, Not Washroom

     

  • We Don’t All Know How To Ski/Skate/Dogsled

     

  • It’s Pronounced ‘ZED’

     

  • Not All Of Us Like Hockey

     

  • We Don’t All Want To Move To America

     

  • Our Mayors, For The Most Part, Don’t (Allegedly) Smoke Crack

     

  • We’re Sick Of Emailing Fox News About This, So For The Last Bloody Time, The 9/11 Bombers Did NOT Cross Over From Canada!

     

  • Next: The Most Canadian Words

     

  • Toonie

    WHAT IT MEANS: A toonie is a $2 Canadian coin, which followed the cue of the loonie (named after the image of the aquatic bird that graces the $1 coin). IN A SENTENCE: “Hey buddy, can I borrow a toonie? I need to get a Double Double (see the next slide).”

  • Double Double

    WHAT IT MEANS: A Double Double refers to a coffee (often from Tim Hortons) with two creams and two sugars. IN A SENTENCE: “Yes, hi, I’d like to order a Double Double.”

  • Gut-Foundered

    WHAT IT MEANS: When food, however unappealing it is, is all you crave at the end of the day. Or, you’re just very hungry. IN A SENTENCE: “Your mind wanders when it’s gut-foundered. Is it going to be take-out? Is it going to be pizza?”

  • Shit-Kickers

    <strong>WHAT IT MEANS:</strong>Shit-Kickers are nicknames for cowboy boots. Hee Haw! <strong>IN A SENTENCE:</strong> “I can’t go to the Calgary Stampede without my shit-kickers.”

  • Kitty-Corner

    <strong>WHAT IT MEANS:</strong> Something that is in a diagonal direction from something else. <strong>IN A SENTENCE:</strong> “The grocery store is kitty-corner to the school.”

  • Chinook

    <strong>WHAT IT MEANS:</strong> A warm wind that blows east over the Canadian Rockies, warming up Calgary in the winter. <strong>IN A SENTENCE:</strong> “This chinook is giving me a headache.”

  • Darts

    <strong>WHAT IT MEANS:</strong> A slang term for cigarettes <strong>IN A SENTENCE:</strong> “Get your darts out.”

  • Stagette

    WHAT IT MEANS: Stagette is another name for bachelorette party. IN A SENTENCE: “Are you heading out to that stagette this weekend? There’s going to be a stripper.”

  • Cowtown

    <strong>WHAT IT MEANS:</strong> Cowtown is a nickname for Calgary. <strong>IN A SENTENCE:</strong> “I’ve been living in Cowtown my entire life.”

  • Gitch/Gotch

    WHAT IT MEANS: Another name for underwear used mainly in Saskatchewan and Manitoba and often referring to men’s or boys’ briefs. A gotch refers to women’s underwear. IN A SENTENCE: “Pull your pants up, I can see your gitch.”

  • Bedlamer

    WHAT IT MEANS: According to the Dictionary of Newfoundland, a bedlamer is a seal that is not yet mature. IN A SENTENCE: “This harp seal is giving me a hard time, it’s such a bedlamer.”

  • Toque

    <strong>WHAT IT MEANS:</strong> A toque is a hat most people wear during winter months. And sometimes, you will see this hat reappear in the summer. <strong>IN A SENTENCE:</strong> “Listen son, don’t go out into this weather without your toque.”

  • Matrimonial Cake

    <strong>WHAT IT MEANS:</strong> No, no one is getting married. In Western Canada, a matrimonial cake is another term for a date square or tart. <strong>IN A SENTENCE:</strong> “I wish this coffee shop had matrimonial cakes.”

  • Rink Rat

    <strong>WHAT IT MEANS:</strong> Someone who loves spending time on an ice rink. <strong>IN A SENTENCE:</strong> “I can’t get any ice time, I have to deal with all these rink rats.”

  • Homo Milk

    <strong>WHAT IT MEANS:</strong> Slang for homogenized whole milk, but shockingly, this term is actually used on milk packaging. <strong>IN A SENTENCE:</strong> “When you go to the grocery store, don’t forget to pick up the homo milk.”

  • Two-Four

    WHAT IT MEANS: Common slang for a case of 24 beers. IN A SENTENCE: “Are you heading to the beer store? Pick me up a 2-4 of Molson.”

  • Pencil Crayon

    WHAT IT MEANS: The Canadian way of saying coloured pencil. IN A SENTENCE: “Do you have a pencil crayon in that pencil case?”

  • Pop

    <strong>WHAT IT MEANS:</strong> Another word for soda. <strong>IN A SENTENCE:</strong> “That can of pop has 200 calories.”

  • Washroom

    <strong>WHAT IT MEANS:</strong> Another word for bathroom or restroom. <strong>IN A SENTENCE:</strong> “This washroom doesn’t have any toilet paper.”

  • Whaddya At

    WHAT IT MEANS: Slang for “what are you doing” in Newfoundland. IN A SENTENCE: “Did you just get in? Whaddya at?”

  • Mickey

    <strong>WHAT IT MEANS:</strong> For the most part, a mickey is a flask-sized (or 375 ml) bottle of hard liqueur, but on the East Coast, a mickey is an airplane-sized bottle. <strong>IN A SENTENCE:</strong> “We’re going out tonight, can someone grab a mickey.”

  • Zed

    <strong>WHAT IT MEANS:</strong> Not a slang term, but this is how Canadians pronounce the letter “Z”. Not zee.

  • Deke

    WHAT IT MEANS: A hockey (surprise, surprise) technique when a player gets past their opponent by “faking it.” It can also be used to replace the world detour. IN A SENTENCE: “I am going to deke into the store after work.”

  • Hydro

    <strong>WHAT IT MEANS:</strong> Hydro refers to electricity, particularly on your energy bill. <strong>IN A SENTENCE:</strong> “My hydro bill went up $10 this month.”

  • Mountie

    WHAT IT MEANS: A mountie is a nickname for a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. IN A SENTENCE: “Stop speeding, a mountie will catch you.”

  • NEXT: 50 Of the Best Canadian Foods

     

  • Poutine

    Poutine — French fries generously slathered in gravy and cheese curds — is a classic Canadian treat that is said to have originated in Quebec in the 1950s. Since then, it has been adapted in many weird and wonderful ways from gourmet versions with lobster and foie gras to —believe it or not — a doughnut version. It’s also inspired a crop of trendy “poutineries” and a “poutition” to make it Canada’s official national dish.

  • Ketchup Chips

    There are some snacks that define a nation, but not many that taste good to only those who live there. What do we love? The fact they leave our fingers dyed red after we’ve had a whole bag. Ketchup has never tasted so salty, non-tomatoey and outright good. Our U.S. friends may go nutty over Doritos, but we love our ketchup chips. Did you know that Lay’s dill pickle and Munchies snack mix are also exclusively Canadian?

  • Maple Syrup

    What could be more Canadian than syrup that comes from the maple tree, whose iconic leaf has come to symbolize Canada and its national pride? Quebec is the largest producer of maple syrup in the world, accounting for about 75 to 80 percent of the supply. Maple syrup — superfood.html” target=”_blank”>recently elevated to “superfood” status — is a classic sweet topping on pancakes and waffles. Still, that hasn’t stopped some people from thinking of surprising savoury pairings such as maple-bacon doughnuts.

  • Bacon

    It’s no secret that Canadians are obsessed with bacon. The delicious cured pork product can be made oh so many ways, including ever popular strip bacon and peameal bacon, often referred to as “Canadian bacon” abroad. In fact, Canadians are so passionate about their favourite food that many would probably choose it over sex.

  • Butter Tarts

    A butter tart is a classic Canadian dessert made with butter, sugar, syrup and eggs — filled in a buttery (yes, more grease) pastry shell, and often includes either raisins or nuts. They can be runny or firm — so it’s hard to mess them up when you’re baking. Also, they never seem to go out of style.

  • BeaverTail

    BeaverTails, or Queues de Castor in French, is a famous trademarked treat made by a Canadian-based chain of pastry stands. The fried-dough treats are shaped to resemble real beaver tails and are often topped with chocolate, candy, and fruit. These Canadian delicacies go hand in hand with skiing, and even gained White House recognition during U.S. President Barack Obama’s 2009 trip to Ottawa.

  • Nanaimo Bars

    These legendary Canadian no-bake treats originated in (surprise!) <a href=”http://www.nanaimo.ca/EN/main/visitors/NanaimoBars.html&#8221; target=”_blank”>Nanaimo, B.C.,</a> and are typically made with graham-cracker crumbs, coconut, walnuts, vanilla custard and chocolate. Need we say more? Common variations include peanut butter and mint chocolate.

  • Game Meat

    No one likes to think of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer as dinner, but game meat is abundant in Canada and can be found in butchers, restaurants and homes across the country. Among other popular Canadian game is boar, bison, venison, caribou and rabbit.

John Baird Defends Canadian Foreign Policy
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Head of Congressional Intelligence Committee: “You Can’t Have Your Privacy Violated If You Don’t KNOW Your Privacy Is Violated” | Washington’s Blog

Head of Congressional Intelligence Committee: “You Can’t Have Your Privacy Violated If You Don’t KNOW Your Privacy Is Violated” | Washington’s Blog. (source/link)

Argues Spying Okay As Long As Government Doesn’t Get Caught

The chair of the House Intelligence Committee – Mike Rogers – said yesterday in an NSA spying hearing which he led that there is no right to privacy in America.

Constitutional expert Stephen I. Vladeck – Professor of Law and the Associate Dean for Scholarship at American University Washington College of Law – disagreed.

Here’s the exchange:

Rogers: I would argue the fact that we haven’t had any complaints come forward with any specificity arguing that their privacy has been violated, clearly indicates, in ten years, clearly indicates that something must be doing right. Somebody must be doing something exactly right.

Vladeck: But who would be complaining?

Rogers: Somebody who’s privacy was violated. You can’t have your privacy violated if you don’t know your privacy is violated.

Vladeck: I disagree with that. If a tree falls in the forest, it makes a noise whether you’re there to see it or not.

Rogers: Well that’s a new interesting standard in the law. We’re going to have this conversation… but we’re going to have wine, because that’s going to get a lot more interesting…

What Rogers is really saying is that the government has the right to spy on everyone so long as it doesn’t get caught doing so.

How’s that different from arguing that it’s okay for a thief to takes $100 from your bank account as long as you don’t notice that the money is missing? Or that it’s okay to rape a woman while she’s passed out so long as she doesn’t realize what happened?

That’s beyond ridiculous.

It flies in the face of more than 200 years of American law. In fact, experts say that the NSA spying program is wildly illegal, and is exactly the kind of thing which King George imposed on the American colonists … which led to the Revolutionary War.

 

Q&A: Privacy implications for aerial drones – Features – Al Jazeera English

Q&A: Privacy implications for aerial drones – Features – Al Jazeera English. (FULL ARTICLE)

New York, US – The Drones and Aerial Robotics conference – a weekend-long event highlighting innovations and uses in civilian drone technology – was a thing to behold.

A certain cognitive dissonance was necessary to ignore what many think of at the mention of the word “drone” (pilotless crafts used to kill thousands in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Yemen). Instead, participants were urged to focus on how small, unarmed crafts carrying a camera and, perhaps, sensors could be used for educational and recreational purposes.

There were, of course, participants at the New York University conference who brought up the consequences of drone warfare, and others who questioned the legal issues surrounding the widespread use of civilian drones.

Woodrow Hartzog, an assistant law professor at Samford University in Alabama, was among those voices. He specialises in privacy, human-computer interactions and cyberlaw.

Al Jazeera: We’re at a conference where the focus seems to be on the whiz-bangery of this technology. What’s being lost in all this when it comes to privacy issues?

Woodrow Hartzog: There’s a fair amount of hand-wringing over drones and privacy, but I think in many instances it’s often dismissed because drones fly in public and they fly in public spaces and the law, as it’s traditionally been conceived, does not protect privacy when you’re walking out in the middle of the street. But I don’t think that’s entirely true….

 

Lack of Privacy Destroys the Economy | Washington’s Blog

Lack of Privacy Destroys the Economy | Washington’s Blog.

Mass Surveillance Destroys Innovation, Trust, the U.S. Internet Market, and a Prime Ingredient Needed For Prosperity

Edward Snowden said this week:

The success of economies in developed nations relies increasingly on their creative output, and if that success is to continue we must remember that creativity is the product of curiosity, which in turn is the product of privacy.

He’s right. Anonymity and privacy increase innovation.

Anyone who has ever played a musical instrument knows that you need time to experiment and try new things in the privacy of your home – or your band’s garage – in order to improve. If every practice was at Carnegie Hall in front of a big crowd, you would be too self-conscious to experiment and try something new…

 

Ontario Privacy Watchdog Is Not Amused With The NSA (VIDEO)

Ontario Privacy Watchdog Is Not Amused With The NSA (VIDEO).

 

Google: Gmail Users Can’t Legitimately Expect Privacy

Google: Gmail Users Can’t Legitimately Expect Privacy.

 

The Fact that Mass Surveillance Doesn’t Keep Us Safe Goes Mainstream-Washington’s Blog

Washington’s Blog.

 

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