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Laws requiring data retention ill-advised

- August 4th, 2011

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I’m not a fan of laws that require entities such as ISP’s to retain data about its customers so law enforcement can get to it.  To me, that flies in the face of privacy principles that say one should only retain personal information (both quantity and duration) to the extent it is required to fulfil the purpose of the services being offered.

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Easy steps to secure your privacy on the ‘Net

- July 20th, 2011

Protecting your privacy on the Internet

You may have heard about the recent hacking of the Sony Network, including 77 million breached PlayStation Network accounts. The “hacktivist” group behind it goes by the name of LulzSec and they’ve recently taken down the servers of Nintendo, the U.S. Senate, EVE Online, and more. Sony stored over 1,000,000 usernames and passwords of its customers and the hackers have released them via torrents.

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Company laptops now private affair

- May 30th, 2011

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The recent Ontario Court of Appeal decision in R v. Cole establishes that employees have a reasonable expectation of privacy in the personal use and contents of their work-provided laptop computers.

The case involved a Sudbury high school teacher whose work-provided laptop was investigated by a school board computer technician after a higher than normal amount of network use was noticed. The technician accessed the content on the teacher’s laptop through the school server and found sexually explicit images of a student on the hard drive.

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Internet surveillance bills need scrutiny

- April 14th, 2011

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This is not about the election – it is about the need to consider this issue carefully before passing any new laws.

Michael Geist and David Fraser (here and here) have written detailed articles on this issue that I concur with and recommend. I want to weigh in as well as this is an important issue. I have a problem with legislation that erodes privacy and requires ISP’s or others to retain information for the sole purpose of government access to it. And when that access is not tempered by the need for a warrant.

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