In a society that values liberty, a whistleblower should be a hero. A whistleblower should not be forced to choose between their personal well-being and coming forward. Edward Snowden's insider announcement on the scope of the NSA's ability to gather, archive, and analyze information should come as no shock to the more cynical among us. It was easy enough to assume, but now we're staring down the truth of it. If we don't find a way to pressure the powers that be to give up some of their hidden power, contrary to all of their self-aggrandizing instincts, we're in for a very stark decline into a classically dystopian future.
In the days following the suicide of Rehtaeh Parsons -- the teenage girl from Halifax who committed suicide after being gang raped, photographed, and harassed -- the hacktivist group Anonymous is playing a game of chicken with the authorities in Nova Scotia.I spoke with a member of Anonymous who is directly involved with the operation to bring Rehtaeh's rapists to justice, in order to get a better handle on their motivations.
Since its inception in January 2013, Facebook page Calgary Compliments has taken our city by storm. So what exactly is the purpose to a page like this? Unlike similar "confessions" pages which have been popping all over the interwebs, this compliments page is a civic outreach initiative to help Calgarians bond.
Anonymous sub-group Anti-Sec supposedly holds in its hands 12-million Apple user IDs it acquired from hacking. The hacktivist group refuses to release the IDs until -- wait for it -- Adrien Chen of Gawker poses on the front page of the site in a ballet tutu with a shoe on top of his head. It remains to be seen whether Anonymous does have anything to give the public it strives to supposedly protect, or whether this was just another one of their pranks done "for the lulz," that is to say, for the stroking of their own vanity.
Bill C-309 states that anyone who commits an illegal act while wearing a mask at a protest can face 10 years in prison. While we are grateful for such a bill, it isn't good enough. If someone carries a loaded gun while committing a crime, it can be assumed he is willing to use it; I'd argue that any person wearing a mask or disguise at any controversial protest is up to no good, and can be assumed to be contemplating illegal behaviour.
China and Russia are seen as the worst offenders when it comes to cyber attacks, but Iran is close behind. How is it that a country such as Iran has a cyber-warfare unit with a staff of 2,400 and a budget of $76 million, and Ottawa has only allocated $95 million for our country's defence against this new form of attack?