Canada Wants to See Your Face – At All Times

Canada’s parliament has passed an Act banning the use of masks. The move follows protests, like those staged by the Occupy movement, where protestors sought anonymity. Taking their queue from a dusted-off law used against Occupy in New York City, Canada will use the law to arrest protestors – for protesting anonymously. The Canadian police, and the Canadian government, wants to see your face. It may be no coincidence that governments, like Canada, are insisting on a lack of privacy at a time when facial-recognition technology is moving forward apace.
These governments forget a basic tenet of governance: that it is government’s obligation to maintain transparency. People have every right to be as private as they choose. If a man wants to walk down the street with a sack over his head, that’s his entitlement.
The sponsor of this ridiculous law is the Conservative MP for Wild Rose, in Alberta Province, Blake Richards. You can register your disapproval any way you choose – perhaps by wearing a mask. His telephone number is +1-613-996-5152 at parliament or +1-403-948-5103 at his constituency office. Or email him on blake.richards@parl.qc.ca. You can also visit his website at www.blakerichards.ca/.

The Watchers Want to Stop You Watching Them

Hypocrite

Google’s transparency report is interesting, not so much in what it tells us about countries we already know to be oppressive, but in what it tells us about countries that profess to be free – particularly the United Kingdom where:

Now, the U.K. is reputedly the world’s most watched nation. This small island of about 60 million people contains 20 percent of all state surveillance on the planet. That in itself is alarming, frightening, even. Why would a popular democracy need to watch its people so intently? There is no evidence that the surveillance has had meaningful impact on crime, and a simple study of the numbers show that terrorism kills an infinitesimally small number of people.
Just as alarming are the figures released by Google. It is clear that not only are Britons the most watched people on earth, we now know that the “British Watchers” are among the most likely to act against being watched themselves. In other words, their attitude is clearly, “we can watch you – indeed, must watch you, but you can’t watch us.”
Fortunately Google rarely complies with these requests from U.K. authorities, and that’s quite funny. It’s funny because the rights of British people are being protected by an American company with a silly name, instead of by the people who’re paid to protect their rights – because those paid to protect civil rights are too busy trying to… violate civil rights.

The British Prime Minister, David Cameron, was elected partly on a promise to restore civil liberties in the U,K. Google’s data show his administration has done the opposite. He has continued on a path set by his Labour predecessors, Messrs Blair and Brown, that saw the biggest diminishment of liberties in a century.

Oddly, there’s little outrage on these small islands off the coast of France. People seem inclined to accept the death of liberty with a shrug of their collective shoulders. “Government knows best” is the unspoken mantra. It can only end badly.

Britain’s Morality Police

Police in Kent, an English county, have arrested a man for burning a poppy. Now, poppies are used to commemorate fallen soldiers; soldiers who fell in the fight for, wait for it… freedom. Burning a poppy might easily be construed as obnoxious to many people – perhaps even most people – but as obnoxious as arresting a man for exercising his freedom? This really is a sign of madness, an indication that if Britain isn’t yet Cuba or Burma, it is perilously close to being as intolerant. It is also a sign, not that one’s needed, of the unscalable height of arrogance police in the U.K. have attained. They are not just enforcers of mad laws, they are the morality police, too; the arbiters of good behaviour.
It wouldn’t be right to condemn anyone who stood outside an English cop-shop burning police helmets in a show of anger at this intolerable act. It is disgusting. It is all the more disgusting because those people and organisations that back and promote the British Way of Life, such as the BBC, are rapid in their condemnation of intolerance abroad.