Showing headlines posted by beirwin

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Lawful Access Signals Canada Is Open to 'Big Brother Inc.'

Privacy International, one of the world's leading privacy organizations, last year released the results of a multi-year investigation into the shadowy world of the commercial surveillance industry. Dubbed "Big Brother Inc.," the investigation placed the spotlight on dozens of companies that specialize in covert surveillance technologies that are typically sold directly to governments and law enforcement agencies.

How the CRTC Helped Stifle Internet Throttling

Hockey may be Canada's national pastime, but criticizing the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) surely ranks as a close second. From the substitution of Canadian commercials during the Super Bowl broadcast to Canada's middling performance on broadband Internet services, the CRTC is seemingly always viewed as the target for blame. Yet if the commission is criticized (sometimes wrongly) when it makes mistakes, it surely deserves kudos when it gets things right.

Could SOPA Pervade Canadian Copyright Law?

The battle over the Stop Online Piracy Act in the United States may have concluded with millions of Internet users successfully protesting against the bill, but many Canadians are buzzing about the possibility that some of its provisions could make their way into a copyright bill currently before the House of Commons.

The ACTA Fight Returns: What Is at Stake and What You Can Do

The reverberations from the SOPA fight continue to be felt in the U.S. (excellent analysis from Benkler and Downes) and elsewhere (mounting Canadian concern that Bill C-11 could be amended to adopt SOPA-like rules), but it is the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement that has captured increasing attention this week.

Geist: The day the Internet fought back

Last week’s Wikipedia-led blackout in protest of U.S. copyright legislation called the Stop Online Piracy Act is being hailed by some as the Internet Spring, the day that millions fought back against restrictive legislative proposals that posed a serious threat to an open Internet.

What's in a Domain Name?

While much of the attention has been focused on the implications of adding everything from dot-lawyer to dot-microsoft, the bigger story is the link between new domain extensions and the future of the current Internet governance system.

Michael Geist’s website went dark to protest U.S. restrictions on Internet

  •; By Michael Geist (Posted by beirwin on Jan 20, 2012 9:18 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: Editorial
Yesterday my website,, went dark for 12 hours with thousands of posts replaced by a single page warning against proposed U.S. legislation called the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA). My site was not alone as the online protest included some of the Internet’s most popular sites, including Wikipedia, Craigslist and Reddit.

Wikipedia joins web blackout in Sopa protest

Wikipedia plans to take its English-language site offline on Wednesday as part of protests against proposed anti-piracy laws in the US.

Are Canada's Digital Laws Unconstitutional?

Why a recent Supreme Court decision may spur challenges to e-privacy laws.

What's new in Linux 3.2

  •; By Thorsten Leemhuis (Posted by beirwin on Jan 6, 2012 3:36 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: Newsletter; Groups: Kernel
Improvements to the Ext4 filesystem, network code optimisations and thin provisioning support in the Device Mapper are some of the major improvements in Linux 3.2. Further additions include new and improved drivers – for example, for graphics hardware by Intel and NVIDIA, as well as Wi-Fi components by Atheros and Broadcom.

Zittrain in Technology Review: The personal computer is dead

  •; By Jonathan Zittrain (Posted by beirwin on Dec 6, 2011 8:27 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: Editorial; Groups: Community
The PC is dead. Rising numbers of mobile, lightweight, cloud-centric devices don't merely represent a change in form factor. Rather, we're seeing an unprecedented shift of power from end users and software developers on the one hand, to operating system vendors on the other—and even those who keep their PCs are being swept along. This is a little for the better, and much for the worse.

ephcom-2.0.2 has been released

The ephcom-2.0.2 software package gives users convenient access to the JPL ephemerides, which represent mankind's best knowledge of the positions and velocities of all major bodies of the solar system over centuries (short ephemerides) and millennia (long ephemerides).

ephcom-2.0.1 has been released

The ephcom-2.0.1 software package that gives users convenient access to the JPL ephemerides has been released under the LGPL.

Secret Identities Online and Defamation

Ontario Superior Court [Canada] grapples with legalities of anonymous postings on the Net.

Plplot 5.9.8 Has Been Released

Version 5.9.8 of PLplot has been released. This is a development release of PLplot. It represents the ongoing efforts of the community to improve the PLplot plotting package. Development releases in the 5.9.x series will be available every few months.

The Biggest Issue for Canadian Digital Policy

Last November, Industry Canada released a Consultation on a Policy and Technical Framework for the 700 MHz Band and Aspects Related to Commercial Mobile Spectrum. While the title alone is likely enough for most to look elsewhere, no issue will have a greater impact on the next 10 years of Canadian digital policy.

Fixing Canada's Uncompetitive Internet

Last week, public concern with Internet bandwidth caps hit a fever pitch as hundreds of thousands of Canadians signed petitions against Internet provider practices of "metering" Internet use. The government responded with a commitment to order the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission to revisit the issue.

ROSE Blog Interviews: Barbara Irwin, Loads of Linux Links Maintainer

  •; By Rikki Kite (Posted by beirwin on Feb 11, 2011 5:59 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: Interview; Groups: Community
Recently I received an email from Barbara Irwin, a Linux user since 1997. After 30 years in the library business, Barbara retired about nine years ago. "After retiring, I was looking for a useful and interesting project in Linux and/or open source," she says. [Scott, I know this is shameless plug for my project, but I thought fellow LXer readers would be interested. :-)]

Privacy Superhero Reveals Her Plan

"By virtually every measure, 2010 was a remarkably successful year for Canadian privacy commissioner Jennifer Stoddart. Riding the wave of high profile investigations into the privacy practices of Internet giants Facebook and Google, Stoddart received accolades around the world, while garnering a three-year renewal of her term at home."

Don't Take Digital Innovation for Granted

In Canada, powerful actors want to make the Net more expensive, less open. [Canadians, let's start rock and rolling on this issue -- see for additional info. - Barbara]

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