David Akin - December 5th, 2013
November 19, 2001. Mandela becomes a Canadian.
OTTAWA — We were proud to make him one of us.
In 2001, Canada made Nelson Mandela an honorary citizen. Accepting his place in the Canadian family, Mandela called it a “high honour.” The honour, though, was all ours.
And now with his death, Canadians, like the millions around the world who were inspired by his life, are left to consider how we can continue to be worthy of that honour. Some thoughts on that in a moment. Read more…
David Akin - November 23rd, 2013
The New York Times reports on a jaw-dropping report produced by the U.S. National Security Agency — America’s spy agency — in which it pushes for even more powers:
…existing American laws were not adequate to meet the needs of the N.S.A. to conduct broad surveillance in what it cited as “the golden age of Sigint,” or signals intelligence. “The interpretation and guidelines for applying our authorities, and in some cases the authorities themselves, have not kept pace with the complexity of the technology and target environments, or the operational expectations levied on N.S.A.’s mission,” the document concluded.Using sweeping language, the paper also outlined some of the agency’s other ambitions. They included defeating the cybersecurity practices of adversaries in order to acquire the data the agency needs from “anyone, anytime, anywhere.”
Read the story: N.S.A. Report Outlined Goals for More Power – NYTimes.com.
David Akin - August 11th, 2013
Prime Minister Stephen Harper meets Russian President Vladimir Putin in Vladivostok in the fall of 2012.
In our papers on Saturday and here on this blog, I wrote about Russian President Vladimir Putin, who I believe to be an anti-democratic despot with little concern for respecting the rule of law or upholding universal human rights. Many readers agreed but some did not. Here’s a lightly edited pair of responses which were typical of those who disagreed:
We’ll start with this rant from a computer sciences professor at London’s Western University: Read more…
David Akin - August 10th, 2013
Waiting for Prime Minister Stephen Harper to show up, Russian President “was fidgeting, tapping his foot, and sent verbal daggers at his minions over the delay,” I write. See below (AFP PHOTO/RIA NOVOSTI/POOL/MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV)
OTTAWA – In less than a month, Russian bad boy Vladimir Putin will host Prime Minister Stephen Harper and other world leaders at the G20 summit in Putin’s hometown of St. Petersburg.
It’s shaping up to be a heck of a summit, if only because every leader who steps off the plane at St. Petersburg’s drab grey airport will have a giant chip on their shoulder because of their host’s recent behaviour on the world stage.
With Syria and gay rights and fugitive Edward Snowden, Putin has been offside with most of the Western world.
U.S. President Barack Obama just cancelled a one-on-one summit with Putin out of pique over Snowden, a sign of rapidly cooling Russia-U.S. relations.
But Harper and Putin haven’t exactly been getting along either. Read more…