On The Wire

Dancing With Killer Robots

Lethal autonomous weapons are a type of robot that can independently search out and engage targets without meaningful human control. They are also called lethal autonomous weapon systems (LAWS), lethal autonomous robots (LAR) and autonomous weapons systems (AWS). The international non-governmental organization, Human Rights Watch, has expressed "serious doubts" whether ...
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An Affront to Privacy: Clearview AI in Canada

Clearview AI scraped billions of photos from the internet and turned them into a powerful facial recognition tool used by at least 30 Canadian law enforcement agencies. Earlier this month, Canadian privacy officials released a report of their investigation into Clearview AI's activities. The message from Daniel Therrien, the Privacy ...
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Rudy Giuliani and the Big Lie

On January 25, 2021, Dominion Voting Systems filed a defamation lawsuit against Rudolph W. Giuliani who was a central figure in the efforts of former President Donald J. Trump to subvert the 2020 election in the United States. Dominion claims that Mr. Giuliani carried out a "viral disinformation campaign" comprised ...
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Dominion Voting Systems Sues pro-Trump Lawyer Sidney Powell

On January 8, 2021, Dominion Voting Systems filed a defamation lawsuit against lawyer Sidney Powell demanding over $1.3 billion in damages caused by her proliferation of "wild" and "demonstrably false" accusations that it rigged the 2020 U.S. election, was created in Venezuela to manipulate elections for Hugo Chavez and that ...
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Canada’s New Data Protection Bill: Is It Adequate?

On November 17, 2020, the Canadian federal government tabled Bill C-11 in the House of Commons. If passed, the Digital Charter Implementation Act will enact two new pieces of legislation: the Consumer Privacy Protection Act and the Data Protection Tribunal Act. Together, they form a long-awaited overhaul to federal privacy legislation. 1 ...
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The SolarWinds Hack

On December 14, 2020, SolarWinds announced that its network management software, Orion, had been targeted by a cyberespionage operation. The hackers inserted malicious code into Orion software updates rolled out to nearly 18,000 customers. The initial reports confirmed that the scope of the breach includes the U.S. Treasury Department and ...
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Information Privacy and Government Silos

Gone are the days when hard boiled detectives sat at their desks in smokey offices banging out reports on a Remington typewriter immortalized in film noir. In the digital world law enforcement now regularly hoovers personal information from smartphones, computers and social media. Data bases maintained by government and private ...
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Border Searches Ruled Unconstitutional

Canadian constitutional law recognizes that international travellers have a reduced expectation of privacy when crossing the border. Border officers have extraordinary powers to question, detain, search and seize that are grounded in the right of Canada to protect its national sovereignty. Until recently, border officers could demand passcodes and rifle ...
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The Sandworm Conspiracy

On October 15, 2020, a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, indicted six military officers in Unit 74455 of the Russian Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) for worldwide hacking campaigns designed to advance Russia's strategic interests. The hacker team, known as Sandworm and operating out of a building simply called "the ...
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Facial Recognition: The People Push Back

Fully-automated identification technology can undermine personal privacy and public anonymity in an instant. Combined with other tools of mass surveillance, it bridges the gap between the physical and digital worlds. Despite serious privacy and human rights concerns, the use of facial recognition software has spread across the globe with breathtaking ...
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