Apr 16

Commercial DNA Technologies, Algorithmic Tools, & Secrecy Threaten Fairness in Trials

The increasingly rapid rate of technological innovation has disrupted many spheres of life, but few with higher stakes than forensic evidence. Yet the private sector tools that generate this evidence are far from flawless, and commercial secrecy can confound attempts by those accused of crime to challenge the case against them, leading to devastating consequences for individuals.

Forensic technologies are proliferating and increasingly form the basis for critical evidence and determinations in court (in addition to their more familiar role in the criminal investigative process). 

By Tamir Israel / Posted Friday April 16, 2021

Corporate Surveillance, State Surveillance

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Apr 8

UNWANTED QUESTIONS: Skepticism, not objectivity, is what makes journalism matter

Democracies need reporters who follow their curiosity, ask uninhibited questions, and tell unwelcome stories. 

By Ivor Shapiro / Posted Thursday April 8, 2021

Freedom of the Press

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Mar 25

Free Expression on Campus: Assessing the Alberta Ministerial Directive

In the last provincial election, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney joined other Conservative politicians that have purportedly become stalwart defenders of free expression on campus. Details I have obtained through access-to-information requests tell a very different story. But first, some background.

By Dax D’Orazio / Posted Thursday March 25, 2021

Academic Freedom

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Mar 4

Teaching in the Shadow of Conspiracy Theories

Some years ago, a high school history teacher I know told me that he had received an essay that supported Holocaust denial. The student, who was told to use primary and secondary sources in his research, cited his grandfather. Grandpa had been in the army of an Eastern European country and had assured his grandson that the Holocaust was a hoax. He had seen Auschwitz. It had a swimming pool. It was actually like Club Med, reported Grandpa.

By Danielle S. McLaughlin / Posted Thursday March 4, 2021

Teachers & Students Speech Rights

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Feb 23

What have we learned from the Sidewalk Labs saga? Smart city plans in Toronto

What lessons have been learned for Canadian smart-city governance from the long-running Sidewalk Labs saga? 

By Mariana Valverde / Posted Tuesday February 23, 2021

Co-written by Alexandra Flynn

Smart Cities - Connected Communities

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Feb 1

Violent Hate Groups Must Be Held To Account — Using Rights-Violating Anti-Terrorism Laws Isn’t The Way To Do It

The violent attacks on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on January 6th were, in large part, a culmination of four years of a political regime that incited violence and hatred based on racism, white supremacy and xenophobia.

In the aftermath, governments, law enforcement and the public are searching for ways to hold the perpetrators accountable and ensure such violence isn’t repeated, even as threats of similar mob violence on inauguration day rise.

By Tim McSorley / Posted Monday February 1, 2021

Speech Restrictive Laws

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Jan 26

Ugly voices (continued): can we turn down the volume?

When extremists grab the spotlight, journalists face tough news choices. The question isn't free expression. It's how to do needed reporting while avoiding amplification. A consensus is forming on how to tread that line.

By Ivor Shapiro / Posted Tuesday January 26, 2021

Freedom of the Press

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Jan 14

Why We Defend Nasty Speech

I don’t know about you, but I am not fond of humour that is aimed at humiliating or degrading individuals, even if those individuals are public figures. It is one thing to point out the foibles of people’s actions and another to make fun of someone’s appearance or other characteristics that are immutable. I am truly over racist, sexist, and body-shaming humour.

By Danielle S. McLaughlin / Posted Thursday January 14, 2021

Artistic Expression, Censorship

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Dec 9

Ugly Voices: What's the Point of Covering Hate?

It’s a 44-year-old story that no self-respecting news organization anywhere would publish today—certainly not in the form it took. 

And is that a good thing?

By Ivor Shapiro / Posted Wednesday December 9, 2020

Censorship, Freedom of the Press

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Nov 18

It’s Complicated: Six Things Worth Discussing About Free Speech

Well, hello again. Having ended last month's column with a candid appeal for readers to "talk back" about free speech, I was grateful to those who took me at my word. They made me think new thoughts, which is, of course, the whole idea.

By Ivor Shapiro / Posted Wednesday November 18, 2020

Artistic Expression, Censorship, Freedom of the Press

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