As China braces itself for the possibility of an omnipotent digital dystopia — a credit rating system aimed at reducing the resources, choices and activities of every citizen to a single trustability score — one Chinese newspaper has revealed a Big Data menace already underway. For a small fee, anyone in China can invade your private data sphere.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s approval of the Kinder Morgan pipeline has raised a storm of protest about its predicted impacts on the orcas, climate change, First Nations’ rights, as well as concerns about the project’s “flawed” approval process and lack of “social licence”. Lawyer Andrew Roman contextualizes some of the hot-button issues raised by critics.
The Law Society of Upper Canada expresses grave concern about the sentencing of human rights lawyer Xia Lin in China
In response to the harsh sentencing of a respected lawyer on what many claim are trumped-up charges, the Law Society of Upper Canada, in a public statement released this week, urged the People’s Republic of China to comply with its obligations under international human rights laws, including the United Nations’ Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers.
Since it was devised in the 1980s, Canada’s Freedom of Information law has not been significantly updated or reformed to reflect the needs of the data revolution. On the heels of the 250th anniversary of Sweden’s freedom of the press act last week, TVO’s The Agenda looks at the state of FOI law in Canada.
Environmentalists celebrate as Beijing appears to abandon plans to build mega dams on its Grand Canyon of the East. Although dam-building isn’t off the table in other parts of China, activists say Beijing is deterred in this case by growing concern for the environment, the wisdom of dam construction in areas of high seismicity and – most importantly – the economics of large-scale dams that no longer make financial sense in a slowing Chinese economy, in combination with the scale of difficulty in transmitting electricity from remote regions to the rest of the country.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s “sorry” last week for the organization’s role in Haiti’s deadly cholera outbreak, called a “half-apology” by some for omitting to mention the likely source of that outbreak: Nepalese UN peacekeepers. Ban Ki-moon’s statement nevertheless marks the first time the organization has publicly acknowledged its role in the spread of the cholera epidemic in Haiti that killed at least 10,000 people after the 2010 earthquake.
Despite substantially increasing their renewable energy sources, those sources are “still a tiny fraction” of China’s energy mix, says Probe International’s Patricia Adams in this interview with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
The problem isn’t with winner-take-all electoral systems, it’s a problem within Canada’s political parties.
Beijing played the Paris climate agreement for money and kudos. But no country that ratified the agreement was in it to win the war on global warming, says Patricia Adams, executive director of Probe International, in this radio interview with the Australian current affairs program, Counterpoint.
A populist third party could form to capitalize on the demographic Trump crystallized.
Taiwan’s first female president, and its most defiantly democratic, faces increased pressure from Beijing over the island’s national identity. Canada’s “quietude” amidst the ongoing squeeze has been noted.
Closing the rift between privacy, public safety and Big Data is the focus of a new organization launched by global privacy and security experts.
As we all know now, Xia Lin, a 46-year-old lawyer whose clients have included dissident artist Ai Weiwei and free speech champion Pu Zhiqiang, was sentenced to jail for 12 years — a verdict meant as both payback and warning to China’s human rights lawyers. Legal activist and scholar, Guo Yushan, penned this essay in the lead up to Xia’s sentencing reflecting on the price paid by Xia and his colleagues for work that has been described elsewhere as “all that is hopeful and optimistic about China”.
New academic research and analysis shows President Xi Jinping’s high-profile anti-corruption drive has fallen short of its goal. Citizens blame local graft on the central government rather than regional authorities. The Financial Times reports.
Former Liberal justice minister Irwin Cotler and an all-party alliance of MPs call for Canada to vote down countries known for their human rights violations – Russia, China, Saudi Arabia and Cuba – as they seek re-election to the United Nations Human Rights Council. Michelle Zilio reports for the Globe and Mail’s Ottawa bureau.