Blog

Jan 13
2017

Journalists, police, and democracy


Last fall the news broke that Quebec police forces had been spying on journalists, over a period of time and almost as a matter of routine. Not only did Montreal police obtain warrants to tap into the phone and electronics of Patrick Lagacé (La Presse), close to a dozen reporters and journalists have been monitored by municipal and provincial forces, acting with and without warrants. The ensuing outrage focused on the alarming invasion of privacy and revelation that some violations took place with the law’s blessing, under warrants issued by justices of the peace.


By Jamie Cameron / Posted Friday January 13, 2017

Freedom of the Press

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Dec 28
2016

A Word worth a Thousand Pictures


Many people understand that humanity and the planetary ecosystem are at grave risk from nuclear weapons and climate change. But many more are only dimly aware or worse, ignore or deny these risks.


By Jon Thompson / Posted Wednesday December 28, 2016

Censorship, Disinformation

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Dec 20
2016

BDS Advocacy, Antisemitism, and Free Speech


The Ontario Legislature has joined a number of other legislative bodies and political organizations in condemning the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign directed at the state of Israel – which according to the campaign website is intended, “to end international support for Israel's oppression of Palestinians and pressure Israel to comply with international law”.


By Richard Moon / Posted Tuesday December 20, 2016

Censorship

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Dec 13
2016

The Right to Be Forgotten


Every interaction by or about a person on the Internet, whether intended as public, semi-private, or private, is vulnerable to instant digital tattooing. For this reason, the right to be forgotten is emerging as a compelling companion to privacy. Privacy, like Article 19, features in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Article 12 states: “No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation.


By Toni Samek / Posted Tuesday December 13, 2016

Censorship, Disinformation

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Dec 5
2016

The Rhetoric of Rape Culture


“Rape culture” has become a surprisingly elastic term.  It stretches beyond perceived injustices, like the acquittal of Jian Ghomeshi, to include things like a catchy hit by Justin Bieber, or a call from CanLit authors for due process in the Steven Galloway firing.  The ambitious concept purp


By Ummni Khan / Posted Monday December 5, 2016

Academic Freedom

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Nov 30
2016

Filter Bubbles and Fake News. How Free is our Individual Expression on the Internet?


A while back, I made the decision to take a longish vacation from all things social media. The weeks (months… years…) leading up to the last American election saw my various social feeds fill with bile, anger and surprisingly little fact-based discussion. It exhausted me to shovel all that stuff out of the way each day in order to get at the nuggets of book news and friend updates I was actually looking for.


By John Degen / Posted Wednesday November 30, 2016

Disinformation

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Nov 24
2016

Donald Trump and public discourse


What is left to be said about the election of Donald Trump and the state of political discourse in the US and Canada?  Not much, I suspect, and so what follows may already seem familiar to many readers.


By Richard Moon / Posted Thursday November 24, 2016

Disinformation

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Nov 18
2016

Hiding From the Bogeyman


My eight-year-old granddaughter told me last week that she was scared. When I asked her why, she told me that Donald Trump had been elected President of the United States, and that everyone in her class was scared too. And yes, she understood that we live in Canada and that Trump does not lead our country.  It seemed to her and other children that the bogeyman had escaped from their nightmares and had been elected to high office.


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Nov 7
2016

On Yelling Fire Falsely in a Crowded Lecture Hall


What are the outer limits to free speech? Oft cited is the example of yelling “fire” in a crowded theatre. University of Toronto psychology professor Jordan Peterson invoked just this image in a contribution to the Washington, D.C.-based paper, The Hill.


By David Schneiderman / Posted Monday November 7, 2016

Academic Freedom, Censorship

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Oct 31
2016

Terrorism Speech Offences Will Undermine Radicalization Prevention Efforts


Many countries are stressing the importance of measures to counter radicalization to violence.  Unfortunately, we really don’t know, at this point, what measures are effective.  So far, the limited research and the experience of other countries have mostly served to show us what is not effective.


By Micheal Vonn / Posted Monday October 31, 2016

State Surveillance

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