Is Google stealing your garden furniture?

Violations of personal privacy occur on a much larger scale than anyone thought possible. But new EU rules address the problem

Is Google stealing your garden furniture?I first started to realize how dangerous social media was a few years ago. I was on the phone with a friend and I could feel his growing sense of outrage. “I can't believe it,” he said. “Google is reading my mail. They targeted me with ads that could only have come from specific words…

Kicking the American politics addiction and steering homeward

We need to start thinking about Canada’s future rather than the orchestrated media-borne chaos to the south

Kicking the American politics addiction and steering homewardA good friend said the other day that he had almost completely turned off Canadian politics and that British Columbian politics had “all but disappeared.” He then noted, “Well maybe I am keeping up with the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion debate.” The bottom line is that American political blather, mostly about you know who, is…

A twisted path brings the Cambridge Analytica scandal home to Canada

The links between Christopher Wylie, Victoria-based AggregateIQ and the Liberal Party of Canada must be probed

A twisted path brings the Cambridge Analytica scandal home to CanadaIt’s the biggest political scandal in the world. And it involves a bunch of Canadians. For some time, it’s been known that Vladimir Putin’s Russia and assorted other outlaw states, like North Korea, have been engaged in acts of cyber war against democracies around the globe. Long before special counsel Robert Mueller was hired to…

Data breach tsunami sweeps toward Liberals

In the wake of Christopher Wylie's revelations of personal information mined for political purposes, there will be damage enough for everyone

Data breach tsunami sweeps toward LiberalsIt almost seems kind of quaint. Back when the Conservative Party of Canada was running things, the commentariat were apoplectic about something called CIMS: the Constituent Information Management System. “Tory database draws ire of privacy experts,” went one CTV News headline. An “unethical invasion of Canadians' privacy,” thundered Conservative-turned-Liberal MP Garth Turner. It was “chilling,”…

The Cambridge Analytica furor is mostly bunk

The truth is that gathering and deploying information to influence people’s voting behaviour has long been a staple of politics

The Cambridge Analytica furor is mostly bunkIf you were an innocent in the world of politics, you might have been shocked by the Cambridge Analytica revelations. There are accusations of “harvesting the private information of millions of Facebook users” and then deploying it to “wage psychological warfare against American democracy.” But let’s be candid: At its core, the handwringing horror is…

Stuck in our cozy cocoons, ignoring the vast and varied world

We take steps to keep anything from seeping into our lives that may be contrary to our already congealed way of thinking and being

Stuck in our cozy cocoons, ignoring the vast and varied worldIn case no one has noticed, it seems we’re greatly divided as a society, with more than a smidgen of bitterness, intolerance and outright hostility towards our fellow citizens thrown in for good measure. I don’t mean the United States or Canada specifically, nor do I mean it in a strictly political sense. It goes…

The Internet’s progeny undermining democracy’s foundations

Here’s what happens when Facebook and Twitter are permitted to cheerfully provide a platform for hatred and lies

The Internet’s progeny undermining democracy’s foundationsNewspapers are no longer very relevant politically, with a few exceptions. Sure, the Toronto Star uncovered that Mayor Rob Ford used crack. And, yes, the New York Times and the Washington Post have done exemplary work exposing the venality and the criminality of the Trump administration. But, in recent years, the roles daily newspapers played in the body politic – helping…

Tax reforms may be a turning point in Liberal political fortunes

Trudeau’s political blindness when it comes to “unfair” small business tax loopholes is staggering

Tax reforms may be a turning point in Liberal political fortunesIt all seemed perfectly reasonable: tax the low hanging fruit of "fat cat" professional corporations to fund programs for the poor. Who could object to that? Turns out plenty of people object. A Hurricane Harvey of resentment has landed in Canada and its torrent of political backlash is growing stronger by the day. The Liberal…

Tweeting to “mourn” celebrities a sad commentary of our times

Using social media to “mourn” the passing of celebrities you never knew makes it all about you, you, you

Tweeting to “mourn” celebrities a sad commentary of our timesOTTAWA, ONT. Jan. 11, 2017 /Troy Media/ – It’s never diplomatic to speak of funerals as good news. Still, a silver lining in last weekend’s return of Debby Reynolds to the dust from which she came is that it should put an end to the necrotic cataloguing of celebrities who kicked it in 2016. Given…

It’s high time to hold social media platforms accountable

A U.S. law basically provides social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter de facto worldwide immunity from litigation

It’s high time to hold social media platforms accountableMany of us have probably regretted something we posted on Facebook – or had posted about us – but how many of us have ever thought about suing this powerful social media company? A 14-year-old Northern Ireland girl is doing just that. She is suing after a nude photo of her was posted on a…