Up to 90 per cent of Canadian Internet traffic flows through the U.S.
State surveillance programs spell serious consequences for business -- could Canada be next? A few weeks ago the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) rendered a judgment that invalidated the Safe Harbour Decision that heretofore had allowed U.S. companies to transfer and store personal data of EU citizens in the U.S. as long as they voluntarily agreed to respect certain principles.
Anyone who uses a social network, a website, app or a gadget that regularly collects some personal information about them is a product. Companies increasingly know more about you than your family and friends. The fear is what happens when the information you provide in one context is used in an entirely different context because it is sold. Internet spying and surveillance according to a 2012 Wall Street Journal report is one of the fastest growing businesses, estimated to be worth $156 billion a year. Mostly private companies capture data from countless channels.
The Pirate Bay is a popular website for the BitTorrent downloading of music, movies, games, software and much more. Swedish police raided the site by seizing its servers in Stockholm, allegedly in connection with violation of copyright law. The Pirate Bay shutdown isn't the first and likely won't be the last of its kind. Law enforcement agencies have been raiding the Pirate Bay service since 2006. The key challenge to pursuing consumers who share and download content in violation of copyrights is identifying them. Proposed solutions to this challenge pose serious privacy law concerns.
But a new battle is raging, and as pleased as I am to see so many people outraged by a young actress' right to sexual privacy being violated, I can't help but ask; why such an outcry for Jennifer Lawrence? It has always been disgusting to see so many young women, celebrity or no, be abused by the absurdity of non-consensual pornography, so why are we choosing to be outraged now? Shouldn't we have brought this up a long time ago?
If you're using Owen Mundy's app, chances are the cat's out of the bag and on his map of over three million felines around
Because, I don't know about you, but I'm starting to really get tired of living in a world that facilitates and celebrates the culture of crass and the glorification of stupid. And make no mistake about it. While stupid is everywhere, nowhere is it more pronounced than on the web these days. Mainly because it's easy, it's free, it's everywhere, and it's the fastest route to notoriety and fame. There's good stuff out there. Stuff that both manages to communicate something good and entertain at the same time. One doesn't cancel out the other. It's not an either/or proposition. We just need to sift through the flotsam rising all too often on the top of the information cesspool to get to it.
Before we rehash our collective rage towards Facebook, Google and any other elective service that subsidizes our online interactions, the pervasive reality must be stated: We want our personal information in cyberspace, and we wouldn't lock it up if given the chance. The collection and leveraging of private data is perhaps the single defining characteristic of what we consider to be an attractive, familiar internet.
If you use the Internet, you've likely used something in the last month, but it's not something at the top of your lips: the
CISPA -- which on the surface is meant to allow for voluntary information sharing between private companies and the government in the event of a cyber attack -- is a surveillance bill that is dangerously lacking in transparency and oversight. This would turn websites into government spies.