Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Big Brother 1984 Double Plus Good

I don't know about you, but I find this a bit scary, it seems like in response to our fears we see enemies everywhere, is it just me or does it feel like Big Brother maybe just maybe might be making a comeback, and folks it's not 1984.

OTTAWA - Federal government departments are profiling some access requesters, a veteran Ottawa researcher charged Monday.

Testifying before a parliamentary committee, Ken Rubin revealed that he learned recently he has been the subject of just such a profile.

Documents Rubin obtained from the Canadian Border Services Agency revealed a memo prepared in January 2004 for then-public safety minister Anne McLellan outlining an access request that Rubin had filed for information concerning the department's Advance Passenger Information project. In the memo, which the department told Rubin was never transmitted all the way to the minister, the department outlines details of telephone calls officials had with Rubin, other access requests he had filed and the fact that he had volunteered to help Maher Arar and his wife get information about their case.

At the time, Arar was still under suspicion by the government of being a terrorist and was on a watch list along with his wife and children.
The memo was released to Rubin earlier this month under the Access to Information Act after he filed a complaint.
''This is unacceptable,'' Rubin told the committee. ''Matching up my background data and work and separate access requests should not be used to create a profile and discuss my access usage or that of other requesters. I do not consider this kind of data being prepared and shared internally or going, or potentially going, to a minister, a positive part of, or within the spirit of the Access to Information Act.''

New Democrat MP Pat Martin said he was shocked to learn that a government department had prepared a profile of an access requester.
''I think it is an absolute bombshell that they are not only asking the identity, which I think undermines the integrity of the whole system, but they are asking about confidential personal information.''

Jason Kenney, parliamentary secretary to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, said Rubin's testimony about being profiled corresponds with some of the testimony that the committee has already heard about the way the privacy of some access requesters has been treated in the past.
''This would be, I guess, the third concrete instance that we know about. There seems to be sufficient evidence to conclude that this practice of furnishing names to political staff has happened in the past. Just how widespread or how frequent, we just don't know.''

The comment came as the committee wrapped up another day of hearings into reports that the government appears to have broken the privacy law by disclosing the name of Canadian Press reporter Jim Bronskill during a telephone conference call in which public servants from several departments discussed which reporters were working on stories related to security and to pandemic preparedness.

The information was then sent to several officials in the prime minister's office who had not participated in the call, including communications director Sandra Buckler. None of those officials reported a possible violation of the privacy act.
Privacy Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart is investigating.
Kenney could not say Monday whether the government has reviewed the minutes of the weekly security conference call to ascertain whether there were other instances of the names of access requesters being discussed.

Act Of War ?

Well, this is becoming very interesting and maybe not in a really good way. This brings about a few questions, is this just rhetoric? Or are they serious and do they mean to go to war?

I Don't know the answers, yet I do know the world just become much more unstable and dangerous, and this is more dangerous than the old cold war days at least then the people who had control, it could be argued were somewhat rational.

N. Korea: Sanctions are war declaration By JAE-SOON CHANG, Associated Press Writer

North Korea said Tuesday it considered U.N. sanctions aimed at punishing the country for its nuclear test "a declaration of war," as Japan and South Korea reported the communist nation might be preparing a second explosion.

The North broke two days of silence about the U.N. resolution adopted after its Oct. 9 nuclear test with a statement on the official state news agency, as China warned Pyongyang against stoking tensions.

"The resolution cannot be construed otherwise than a declaration of a war" against the North, the statement said. North Korea is known officially as the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

The chief U.S. nuclear envoy, Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill, said the North's response was "not very helpful."

"I think there is a fundamental misunderstanding about what the international community feels about its actions," Hill said in Seoul after a meeting with his South Korean and Russian counterparts.

Hill said he could not confirm South Korean and Japanese reports that the North may be preparing another nuclear explosion, but said a second test would force the international community "to respond very clearly."

North Korea "is under the impression that once they make more nuclear tests that somehow we will respect them more," Hill told reporters after a meeting with U.S. and Russian counterparts. "The fact of the matter is that nuclear tests make us respect them less."

In its statement, North Korea said it would not be intimidated.

The communist nation "had remained unfazed in any storm and stress in the past when it had no nuclear weapons," the statement said. "It is quite nonsensical to expect the DPRK to yield to the pressure and threat of someone at this time when it has become a nuclear weapons state."

Chun Yung-woo, South Korea's top nuclear envoy, dismissed the statement as "the usual rhetoric that they have been using at the time of the adoption of the Security Council resolution."

China has long been one of North Korea's few allies, but relations have frayed in recent months by Pyongyang's missile tests and the nuclear explosion last week.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao warned Pyongyang against aggravating tensions, saying the North should help resolve the situation "through dialogue and consultation instead of taking any actions that may further escalate or worsen the situation."

The United States pressed on with a round of diplomacy in Asia aimed at finding consensus on how to implement U.N. sanctions on the North. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was expected to go to Japan on Wednesday before traveling to South Korea and China.

Hill stressed that the international community should make the North pay a "high price" for its "reckless behavior."

Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Aso said his government had "information" about another possible blast, and a senior South Korean official said there were signs that the North could be preparing a second test — but emphasized that it was unlikely to happen immediately.

"We have yet to confirm any imminent signs of a second nuclear test," the official said on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the information.

China, whose support for the measures is key to whether they will have any effect on neighboring North Korea, has begun examining trucks at the North Korean border to comply with new U.N. sanctions endorsed over the weekend.

South Korea has said it would implement the U.N. sanctions, but also has been cautious about allowing sanctions to shake regional stability. Seoul has also indicated that it has no intention of halting key economic projects with the North, despite concerns that they may help fund the North's nuclear and missile programs.

"Sanctions against North Korea should be done in a way that draws North Korea to the dialogue table," South Korean Prime Minister Han Myung-sook said Tuesday, according to Yonhap news agency. "There should never be a way that causes armed clashes."

In Washington, U.S. National Intelligence Director John Negroponte's office said Monday that air samples gathered last week contain radioactive materials that confirm that North Korea conducted an underground nuclear explosion.

In a short statement posted on its Web site, Negroponte's office also confirmed that the size of the explosion was less than 1 kiloton, a comparatively small nuclear detonation. Each kiloton is equal to the force produced by 1,000 tons of TNT.

It was the first official confirmation from the United States that a nuclear detonation took place, as Pyongyang has claimed.


Associated Press writers Bo-Mi Lim and William Foreman in Seoul, Audra Ang in Beijing and Kana Inagaki in Tokyo contributed to this report.

All I can say is it's about time, in some ways I still think it's not enough.

I would like to see sex offenders and those who commit violent crimes put away for a long time, with no chances to come back out into society so they can hurt more people, and their friends and family's.

That have to deal with the aftermath, that these criminals create in their wake.

Ottawa to introduce dangerous offender bill

The federal government is expected to introduce on Tuesday a bill that would make it easier to have criminals designated as dangerous offenders.

The proposed legislation would call for tougher sentences and stricter conditions on repeat offenders — those convicted of a third sexual or violent offence.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced the proposed legislation last week in Toronto, saying: "We will work to ensure that those who are truly dangerous will be put in jail for an indefinite period of time."

The onus would be put on offenders instead of the Crown to prove they should not be declared dangerous offenders. Failing to do so means they would be designated as dangerous and be given an indeterminate jail sentence, with no eligibility for parole for seven years.

Currently, the Crown must show at a hearing why an individual should be declared a dangerous offender.

Under the proposed legislation, the person would not be given the benefit of the doubt and would have to prove why the designation should not apply.

It would also increase the maximum duration of peace bonds from 12 to 24 months, allowing additional restrictions and conditions to be placed on released criminals.

At the news conference announcing the proposed legislation, Harper said: "By putting criminals on a tighter leash after release, we hope to better facilitate their reintegration into the community."

Merged Worlds

I found this interesting, it seems our worlds are merging more everyday, from our cyberspace persona to our real world ones, it gives a somewhat newer meaning of Freuds and Jung's ideas of Innerlife.

By Eric Auchard and Kenneth Li

SAN FRANCISCO/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Reuters Group Plc is opening a news bureau in the simulation game Second Life this week, joining a race by corporate name brands to take part in the hottest virtual world on the Internet.

Starting on Wednesday, Reuters plans to begin publishing text, photo and video news from the outside world for Second Life members and news of Second Life for real world readers who visit a Reuters news site at: http://secondlife.reuters.com/

Created by Linden Lab in San Francisco, Second Life is the closest thing to a parallel universe existing on the Internet. Akin to the original city-building game SimCity, Second Life is a virtual, three-dimensional world where users create and dress up characters, buy property and interact with other players.