Blog

May 13
2019

Google’s “Urban Data” Plan: Evading Regulation While Promoting the Appearance of Transparency


If you care about corporations monetizing data generated by people’s desire to communicate, you may have read worrying stories featuring some of the Google octopus of companies, including Sidewalk Labs, whose ‘smart city’ proposals for Toronto’s waterfront have drawn much critical attention in this blog and elsewhere.


By Mariana Valverde / Posted Monday May 13, 2019

Smart Cities

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Apr 2
2019

Revisiting the Maclean’s Human Rights Code Complaint


Almost 12 years ago complaints were made under the Canada Human Rights Act [CHRA] and the BC Human Rights Code [BCHRC] against Maclean’s Magazine following its publication of an excerpt from Mark Steyn’s book, America Alone. The substance of the complaints was that in publishing this material (on-line and in and print) Maclean’shad exposed Muslims to hatred and contempt contrary to s. 13 of the CHRA and s. 7 of the BC Code.   


By Richard Moon / Posted Tuesday April 2, 2019

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Mar 6
2019

Where is Canada’s Tinker?


In February 2019, public school students of the United States marked a major victory. Fifty years ago, the decision in Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School Districtexonerated one middle school and two high school students who had been forbidden to wear black arm bands to school to protest the war in Vietnam.


By Danielle S. McLaughlin / Posted Wednesday March 6, 2019

Teachers & Students Speech Rights

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Mar 1
2019

A Travesty of Fairness: Your Ward News, Canada Post, and the CPCA Review Board


Your Ward News (YWN) is a publication of unremitting offensiveness – in truth it is little more than a senseless and grotesque cartoon. Yet that is largely beside the point under the Charter. Though it took time and a concerted campaign by those offended by YWN’s existence, the law’s force was eventually brought to bear on its publishers.


By Jamie Cameron / Posted Friday March 1, 2019

Censorship

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Feb 19
2019

Toronto's Leadership Dithers While Sidewalk Labs Plans City Revenue Grab


The ‘smart city’ proposal, concocted by Google-affiliated Sidewalk Labs behind the backs not only of citizens but of all our elected officials, was leaked to the Toronto Star on Thursday Feb. 15. 


By Mariana Valverde / Posted Tuesday February 19, 2019

Smart Cities

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Jan 28
2019

Winning the battle but losing the war: Your Ward News conviction a win against hate? 


The editor and publisher of Your Ward News willfully promoted hatred against Jews and women. This is both a plainly obvious conclusion to draw after a 30 second review of the "paper" and the decision of a recent criminal case against the editor and publisher. While much of the public response to the conviction has celebrated it as a victory against hate, history may prove otherwise. 


By Abbas Kassam / Posted Monday January 28, 2019

Speech Restrictive Laws

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Jan 14
2019

What Is a Data Trust and Why Are We Even Talking About It? Sidewalk Labs’ Magic Tricks


Sidewalk Labs, a unit of Google’s parent company, with a big assist from Waterfront Toronto, started their career in magic over a year ago. They directed our collective attention to artsy pictures of imaginary buildings and gadgets – and away from anything financial. And anything legal. 


By Mariana Valverde / Posted Monday January 14, 2019

Smart Cities

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Jan 7
2019

THE SUPREME COURT OF CANADA’S VICE MEDIA DECISION: THE GOOD, THE BAD, THE UGLY AND THE QUESTIONS THAT REMAIN.


On November 30, 2018, the Supreme Court of Canada rendered its decision in the closely watched VICE appeal.  The big question at the heart of VICE was simple:  when will courts compel the media to give police material relating to a journalist’s previously published communications with non-confidential sources for the police to use against those sources?  


By Justin Safayeni / Posted Monday January 7, 2019

Freedom of the Press

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Dec 19
2018

Ontario’s Colleges Embrace Free Speech, Or Do They?


Unlike universities, Ontario’s colleges have resisted making explicit commitments to academic freedom for academic staff and to affirming the foundational importance of freedom of expression for the work of the college.


By James L Turk / Posted Wednesday December 19, 2018

Academic Freedom

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Dec 11
2018

Are there limits to the criticism or ridicule of religion?


The European Court of Human Rights in the recent judgment of E.S. v. Austria, ECHR 360 (2018) held that the conviction of woman in Austria for denigrating a person who is an object of veneration under the Austrian Criminal Code did not breach Article 10 (freedom of expression) of the European Convention on Human Rights.


By Richard Moon / Posted Tuesday December 11, 2018

Speech Restrictive Laws

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