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The Tragically Hip Live

The Tragically Hip‘s last performance will air live from Kingston, Ontario tomorrow at 8:30pm Eastern on CBC television and CBCmusic.ca.

Non-Canadians will also be able to watch the show on CBCMusic.ca and on the CBC Music app (click here for the android version/click here for the apple version).

This concert will also stream live on CBC Radio One, CBC Radio Two and channel 169 on SiriusXM (Canada/USA).

Enjoy.

Goodbye Rdio.

Rdio will be discontinuing their services on December 22nd, 2015 in order to merge with Pandora. But unfortunately Canadians will not be able to use Pandora “due to licensing constraints”.

A listing of other music services can be found by clicking here.

Cyberbullying vs Privacy

Bell Canada customers have just received noticed stating their internet bills will be raised by $5 per month, effective June 1st,2014. And of course people who are unaware of the issue would not know why I have just mentioned this in relation to cyberbullying and privacy.

Unfortunately people are unaware that Bill C-13 calls for an extensive amount of record keeping in relation to cyberbullying and other crimes than can be performed online. And this will require equipment and staffing by internet providers, whose associated costs will be handed down to customers.

As a victim of harassment online you might think that I would support such a measure but the costs to Canadians is not only limited to these higher rates. Bill C-13 proposes questionable leniencies in regards to privacy and even cyberbullying victims like Carol Todd are concerned about privacy :

“I don’t want to see our children to be victimized again by losing privacy rights. I am troubled by some of these provisions condoning the sharing of Canadians’ privacy information without proper legal process.” – Carol Todd, mother of Amanda Todd.

Carol Todd has asked a Parliament committee on Bill C-13 to separate to more controversial portions of the bill to "allow this bill to be free of controversy and to permit a thoughtful and careful review of the privacy related provisions that have received broad opposition". And I agree because these more questionable parts of the bill may be challenged legally, causing the whole bill to fail.

Harassment should be addressed as should the distribution of illegal photographs and video recordings. But other issues have been added to the bill to justify the loss of privacy and none of the proponents of this bill appear to want to address the possibly failures in the technicalities of this bill.

In interview after interview they deny it will cost Canadians their privacy yet are unable to explain why certain parts of the bill cannot be rewritten to address the concerns.

Warrants can be invalidated in law if certain conditions are not met and this bill proposes that no warrants are required to collect, share and store information, circumventing the conditions imposed on warrants. 

Warrants in no way facilitate luring and the creation and distribution of child pornography so why is it necessary to bypass warrants ? And warrants can address cases of cyberbullying that involve death threats, threats of bodily harm and threats to property because of our current criminal code.

Internet providers can also implement their own policing on other cases by enforcing their own terms of service agreements on their customers, some of which restrict the use of their services to impede the use of the internet by others and include provisions allowing them to provide information to the authorities when a crime is alleged.

Could they not restrict the use of their services to send unsolicited requests for a recipient’s suicide or threats involving the distribution of an image or recording of the recipient ? Could they not state that such acts would result in information being shared with law enforcement, with or without an account holder’s consent or knowledge ?

As a person who has never asked someone to commit suicide or threatened someone with death, bodily harm or with the distribution of an image or recording, my privacy would remain intact under a split Bill C-13. And a guilty party would be convicted under the conditions of a properly issued warrant, without the more controversial portions of the bill, so why am I being asked to sacrifice my privacy ? 

Netflix To Hike Rates ?

It appears that Netflix may be raising their monthly subscription fees to $8.99 soon for new members.

Current members will continue to be able to pay $7.99 until May 2016 and the company claims the hike is necessary to add more content to their service.

Free Television Online ? Tou.tv Update.

Francophone service Tou.tv has decided to offer extra content to their subscriber. But again it appears that some people will get this content free and some people will need to pay $6.99 per month for the service.

Now rebranded as ici.tou.tv, the Radio-Canada affiliate will offer their extra content free to Telus and Rogers subscribers but this commercial free content will only be available as a subscription to everyone else.

Personally I used the service to catch up on Radio-Canada Television programs La Facture, L’épicerie, Découverte and La Semaine Verte whenever I missed an episode of these series. But now I don’t know if the service will remain accessible on my Smart TV, as is, or if it will only be able to access a few episodes because I am not on Telus or Rogers.

The site is currently in beta so details are light. But it appears that users might already be limited to one or two seasons worth of episodes online.

I have checked the recordings for the aforementioned series and they appear to be limited to the most recent season, which is acceptable. But hopefully they are not considering further cuts to the free content.

I have noticed that they have added quite a few Pierre Richard films so I’m a bit tempted to take advantage of their $3.49 offer, which is valid for three months. And I’m sure if they were to offer more films from TV5, TFO and Telé Québec I would possibly consider subscribing. But I’m guessing they will take some time to get the site up and running at full speed.

Privacy Threats Not Limited To The United States ?

Everyone has heard about the Verizon data mining performed by the United States government in the name of national security. But are you aware that it might be happening in Canada as well ?

Communications Security Establishment Canada is a security agency that collects various information to protect national interests and according to Ronald Diebert there is a possibility that they are collecting data right now.

Like in the United States this data is likely just cross referenced because it would take an enormous effort to listen to every call or read every email, for example. But we should ask ourselves if this information is stored securely enough so that it cannot be accessed by someone else and how long this data remain accessible, waiting to be abused.

A June 13th, 2013 press release from Commissioner Robert Décary of the Communications Security Establishment Canada addresses some of the issues and he states that the “CSEC does not direct its foreign signals intelligence collection and IT security activities at Canadians — wherever they might be in the world — or at any person in Canada.” But he also confirmed that the CSEC may “unintentionally intercept a communication that originates or terminates in Canada” and that metadata is being collected by the CSEC “for purposes of providing intelligence on foreign entities located outside Canada and to protect information infrastructures of importance to the government”.

We’ve already had serious security breaches with data stored on hard drives and USB sticks within the past six month courtesy of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, who managed to loose a hard drive containing data on over half a million Canadians in January and a USB key containing private information on an additional 5000 Canadians in December. And in 1999 we had sensitive top secret documents stolen from a CSIS agent’s car while he was at a Toronto Maple Leafs game so Canadians should know what is being stored and by whom.

If you are concerned about this issue contact your local Member of Parliament and/or sign this petition.

Thank you.