Toews feeds trolls

Fighting Anonymous is impossible by design, but it’s funny to Anonymous when someone tries

Adrian Wyld/CP Images

They never forgive, they never forget. Vic Toews should expect them.

Our Public Safety Minister painted a giant digital bullseye on himself today by continuing his silly crusade against an organization that doesn’t really exist. “Anonymous,” he told a Parliamentary committee, “is a threat to us all”. You could almost hear the lulz.

One has to feel a bit sorry for Toews. Few middle-aged technology neophytes have so successfully summoned the dregs of the Internet as Toews did when he told Canadians that they either stood with his Internet snooping bill or they stood “with the child pornographers”. Quicker than you could say “Beetlejuice,  Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice,” Toews was dealing with a tell-all Twitter account and a threatening ultimatum video from Anonymous. In it, Toews is asked to withdraw Bill C-30 and resign, or face the consequences.

As it turned out, the @vikileaks30 Twitter account was the partisan work of a Liberal staffer, who fumbled the ball by accessing his account through a Parliamentary computer. He was traced, exposed and forced to resign. Emboldened, Toews is now pursuing a far more nebulous foe- the “group” that posted that nasty video. He doesn’t know how to proceed, but asks for the help of the police and of “experts” to help him gain satisfaction. He won’t get it, but may end up with more than he asked for.

My instinct is to mock, but instead, I will educate. Vic, if you’re reading, here’s how it works:

  • Anonymous is not a group.  There’s no clubhouse, no membership fees, no secret handshake. Anyone can drop in and participate for a moment and then leave without a trace. Members have no persistent identities, even to each other. Anonymous is better described as an online culture. Or just, y’know, this thing that happens.
  • The threatening ultimatum that scared you so might have been whipped up in 10 minutes by a 10 year old. As chilling as they seem, these “official” Anonymous videos are trivial to make, often created by inputting a few sentences into a text-to-speech program and laying it over stock footage with scary movie-trailer music. Thousands of these videos have been created, lobbing threats at everyone from NATO to Justin Bieber .
  • Usually nothing happens as a result of these videos. Each is a piece of bait, and most wriggle away on the hook and die un-nibbled. But if a target responds and throws some punches into the air- then it’s on. The more high-profile the victim, the bigger their response; the more attention it gets, the better.
  • Video “operations” then become full-on “raids,” and soon thousands of faceless goons the world over come at you with whatever they can. This usually means hacking, mockery, and sending pizzas to your house. It can feel like you’re under physical attack, but it’s usually all just zeros and ones. Ignore it, and it goes away. Lean into it, and it never ends.
  • Fighting Anonymous is impossible by design, but it’s funny to Anonymous when someone tries. The more laughs (lulz) a target creates, the longer a raid lasts.

This could be a long one.

Jesse Brown is the host of TVO.org’s Search Engine podcast. He is on Twitter @jessebrown

 

 

 




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Toews feeds trolls

  1. Hey, the Speaker ruled Anonymous ‘out of order’,  so more than one of them thinks it’s a real person.

    • Shorter Jesse Brown:

      Do nothing about hackers.

      •  Well to be fair, there’s no point doing anything about hackers prior to any actual hacking taking place – or any signs that actual hacking is going to take place.

      • “Do nothing about hackers ( videos) that can be whipped up
        in 10 minutes by a 10 year old(s)… often created by
        inputting a few sentences into a text-to-speech program and laying it
        over stock footage with scary movie-trailer music.”

        Fixed.

      • Anonymous isn’t “hackers” lol

  2. These Anonymous guys are like Harper Government “ethics”……. you may as well be looking for “soul” at a Nickelback concert 

  3. I see that #TellVicEverything is still chugging along as well. This is going to be a long one for sure!

  4. I found the points Anonymous made disturbing especially that a 50+ Vic admitted to sleeping with a then 17 year old girl ( I cannot find out whether she started the affair as a14 year old since court records show it was a 3 year affair)   who he employed. By current Canadian standards he implemented this would  be pedophilia. I think this is totally pertinent he accuses loyal Canadians of siding with child pornographers. I am saddened when this news comes to light in public documents we attack the sources yet it is fine if we hire vile men to torture people to death for information and we will use that as long as it is deniable. I am a proud Canadian we are better than this it is not a matter of left or right.

    P.S. if someone could provide the public record of Vic divorce I would like to see how old the child was when this public official may have violated her

    • Would you like some candy little girl? Now come with Uncle Viki. He has something that he wants to show you.

      • Now uncle Viki is gonna video tape you taking off your cloths.  Don’t be shy now!  You are either with Uncle Viki or you are with the child-pornographers!

  5. Toews has spent his political life as the very definition of a troll, always making reactionary comments and decisions, often just to get a dig in at his opponents, obviously not actually serious about law and order (or he would have followed Maniotba election law scrupulously) not actually concerned about family values (or he would have lived by those values). Why anyone sees a need to defend or in any way feel sorry for this guy is beyond me; he has pointed his finger and now 4 more are pointing back at him.

  6.  What is there to
    say? TwinkleToews wants to take up valuable time whining about what? A
    video he didn’t like?? BooF’ingHoo!! If he’s that thin-skinned, he
    shouldn’t be in office!! How can he expect to be ‘respected’ when he
    doesn’t respect Canadians? We’ve been called terrorists, traitors,
    supporters of child pornographers, and lots more!! He cannot scream
    ‘privilege’ when he continually abuses his!!
    And as far as vikileaks – He did it, cut off support to his ex-wife and child while
    preaching ‘family values’ and ‘obligations’… Sorry, he left himself
    wide open to ridicule and ‘threats’ – that is, if you can call that
    video a threat! Besides, whom exactly is he speaking of?? Got a name?
    or names?? No?? O well, swatting at ghosts then ….. Maybe TwinkleToews should head up a Pixel Posse – and ride ‘the tubes’ of the internet til he catches those pesky pixels!!
    What an obscene
    and bloody waste of our tax dollars!! This govt. disgusts me to no end
    and the sooner they are turfed for all their c.r.a.p., the better!

  7. Not often you read a blogger on this sort of topic who actually knows what she or he is talking about.

  8. “One has to feel a bit sorry for Toews.”

    Nope. On one hand, he’s a sanctimonious, judgemental, moralizing religious hypocrite. On the other hand, he’s a shameless, fearmongering political hack.

    Vic Toews deserves every scrap of mockery and humiliation that comes his way, and I only hope I have the opportunity to further them in person someday.

    Uh oh – somebody at the door with a Parliamentary summons. Gotta go!

    • Don`t worry. Nobody cares how you deal with your bitterness.

      • I care!  I wanna know! 

        Is it the same way Vic deals with underage babysitters?

    • “On one hand, he’s a sanctimonious, judgemental, moralizing religious hypocrite. On the other hand, he’s a shameless, fearmongering political hack.

      Other than the adjective “religious”, the irony here is killing me.

      • Please explain. And if you’re calling me all of these things (except religious), please show your work.

        • *crickets*

          Speaking of trolls…

    • Actually, I do feel a bit sorry for the guy, I don’t think he’s got any idea of how deep the pile of crap he’s stepping into is.

      Thing is, anonymous knows no boundaries. And with what caused this whole dustup, not to mention the advances in photoshop — as well as attempting to threaten anonymous directly.. well.. I don’t think he’d have to be particularly unlucky to find that he’s having to deal with pictures of himself actively involved in child pornography. If he is unlucky though, it might be hard for people to tell that the pictures are faked.

      I mean, some of these are people that found it funny to put a video designed to provoke epileptic seizures onto a website designed to help people with epilepsy find support. And while sometimes Anonymous nails targets that deserve it, that doesn’t mean that as a group they’re at all nice people.

      Making yourself a target for anonymous is a way to make yourself very unhappy.

      • This particular individual making himself a target for Anonymous has the potential to make our entire nation unhappy.  That is uncool.  I hate Vic Toews, but I’m afraid that teetering draconian internet legislation will come sliding into home once they hit him and everybody gets scared.

        • I beg to differ that making yourself a target for Anonymous is a way to make yourself very unhappy. They can take the heat with grace… if it’s deserved.

          I have been extremely vocal on many popular blogs and on Twitter about my displeasure at Anonymous’ habit of releasing the non-redacted personal information of innocent bystanders. I personally think that these releases are acts of cyber terrorism. They’re certainly not acts of publicly declared war against any specific country, and to call it protest is just plain insanity. In any case, Anonymous is well aware of my opinion, and I think perhaps some of them have even come to see it as the truth. I mean, how can you win the hearts and minds of people if you treat them like dirt? Wasn’t Anonymous founded to stop the government from treating their people like dirt in the first place?

          Who knows. Maybe they’ll dox me yet. I just think people should know that if you have a sane objection to what Anonymous is doing… they’ll listen. They may be misguided, and downright criminal, but they’re obviously not entirely stupid nor entirely immune to bouts of sober self-reflection.

          •  P.S. I’m pretty certain that Vic Toews thinks that I am the Mad King of Anonymous, and that Anonymous thinks that I’m a government spy. It’s cute when people start labeling you for having a strong opinion.

          • Ah. And you’re so important they’d obviously be motivated to bother with you Mr.. uh.. who the hell are you again?

          • Me? I’m just the one guy that got into a dozen or so verbal brawls with Anonymous and LulzSec on Twitter last spring over privacy violations. Oh believe me, they called me all kinds of nasty names, told me that I was an idiot, threatened to “get me”, etc. In other words, I’m the one guy that was unafraid to publicly stand up for your right to privacy while the police sat there and whined about corporate server breaches and other relatively unimportant things. In the end, I think Anonymous and LulzSec all took it rather well. Barrett Brown even gave out “terrorist fistbumps” as a token of their good humour, which really put a smile on my face and made my day. Clearly Anonymous and LulzSec do know boundaries, and you don’t know what you’re talking about.

            So… you’re welcome, and there’s no need to be so ungrateful. In case you haven’t been paying attention, the target of their latest large-scale privacy violation was military, not civilian. I’m sure you can add 1+1.

            As for your attitude about me being “unimportant”, please give me a break. You have the same attitude as these politicians, where one is assumed to be nothing unless one has a vast sum of money or a public position. This makes you just as bad as the politicians are, and yet here you are slamming them (with veiled threats of faked kiddie porn, no less). Let me spell it out for you in block letters, since you and Toews are having so much trouble comprehending: EVERY CITIZEN COUNTS. Even Anonymous and LulzSec are smart and principled enough to know this.

            My quasi-rhetorical questions to you are: What did you do? Where were you? Did you just sit there and whine like the police, or did you stick your neck out to stand up for what is right like I did, damn the repercussions? I say quasi-rhetorical, because here I am ridiculously asking these questions to someone that’s hiding behind a pseudonym.

            No wonder why this country’s still so screwed up. I’m an anomaly, not the norm. So much cowardice and apathy, it makes my skin crawl. LULZ!!!1!

            Oh, I’m also the only person in this entire comment thread who has had anything constructive to say.

  9. I will add the Anonymous and Lulzsec and Antisec were doing a lot ‘meaner’ things to people and groups even when the FBI had already flipped Monsegur and they and the latter were tracking their comrades.

    I think Toews got off pretty easy. Anonymous was/were (don’t go there, please) dumping some pretty sensitive data, passwords, accounts, emails, and the fuzz were letting them do it. I don’t think Toews’ record of dalliance with youngsters was even on their radar.

    Toews should resume his dyslexia corrective therapy and get back to work on learning to read his own bills.

  10. It’s quite amusing to see people abusing their station by trying to associate an entire culture and people with such an obscene practice. Simply because someone does not support a bill does not mean they take the side of an illegal. Is there no station to abstain….. Oh I don’t know…like the Swiss?

    Toews needs to understand… Acting with such a gestapo and dictatorship attitude is not the way to win people over..it’s very very much the oposite.

  11. I’m less inclined to think he’s making any kind of mistake here. Didn’t the threat basically amount to nothing? Presumably because there’s nothing Anonymous can do to Vic Toews reputation that hasn’t already been done? At this point the more vicious they are toward him, the better. A useful enemy for a guy who really needs one.

  12. Jesse, you have efficiently summed up my thoughts for the past week. I got a good chuckle out of how Toews is ranting and raving about cowards hiding behind masks, threatening the 20th century democratic process.

    The way I see it, this whole Anonymous video inquiry hoopla is mostly a smokescreen meant to mask the real threat to the 20th century democratic process: the #tellviceverything campaign and the active, informed, average Joe/Jane citizens behind it.

    Jim Prentice was one of the first to experience this new 21st century democratic process where citizens expect to have their opinions respected, and of course he reacted with undisguised disdain at the very idea of sharing power. Well, we all know how poorly his government career went after his little public tantrum.

    When you act like a tyrant, and then act even more like a tyrant when people scoff at you, it only goes to show that you’ve got a screw loose. Someone needs to sit this man Toews down and explain calmly to him that his time has come and gone, and that people really aren’t going to sit around and let a bunch of brats control their destinies.

    As for cowards in masks threatening the 21st century democratic process, perhaps we should look to the RIAA and MPAA as examples. American lobbyists have no business running Canadian politics, period. This applies equally to the US politicians who have absolutely no problem with warrantless wiretaps and GPS tracking. I’m sorry, but your version of freedom fries are cooked in unsaturated baby kitten fat — not as tasty as advertised.

    • I noticed today on slashdot.org that the ACLU decided to release information on warrantless cell phone tracking in the US. Mmmmmmm… baby kitten freedom fries. Yummy (if you don’t mind a whisker here or there in your food).

  13.  Toews even had the audacity to have his office write to me, saying “thanks for writing to us for information on Bill C-30″. What a shmuck.

  14. What is really scary, is that it appears neither Vic Toews, nor the folks he had draft Bill C-30, understand as much about the internet as most teenagers.  Good luck with trying to regulate the internet this way Vic! 

  15. Oh Vicki, if you ignore them and stop causing a fuss, they’ll get bored and leave you alone. Stop feeding the trolls.

  16. Vic is a pedophile and just wants to deflect attention from that.

  17. In this scandal we found out:

    Adam Caroll (aka vikileaks30) is a Liberal nobody.  He published some public information on twitter.

    Vic Toews banged his children’s 16 year old baby-sitter.  He got her pregnant.  He dumped his wife to go live with the baby-sitter.  He stopped paying his child-support.  He committed and was tried and convicted for a crime.  He is the Minister of Public Safety.

    The result:

    Adam Caroll is being questioned by an ethics committee.  Welcome to the assbackwards world of Canadian politics.

  18. The problem with this is that if Anonymous unleash the dragon on this guy, he’s going to do everything in his power to stop it.  Which he of course won’t be able to, but it’ll be a hell of a lot more convincing to the fence-sitters to sign all these shitty SOPA-like bills that Canadians are currently fighting.  So, no more fuel for the fire please.

  19. Leave  Vic Toews alone and let him find his next Baby sitter for for SEX

  20. Wow, there are some very ignorant people on here. If you could be so kind as to keep your rude comments about sexual abuse to yourself, that would be great.

  21. Is the right to referendum via secure and private online vote just a silly concept, or what? The politicians can still have veto, obviously. This way we can officially gauge which politicians have the greatest problem sharing power with Canada, so that we can help get them the appropriate medical care for their condition. I’m being absolutely serious.

    The NDP did a successful online vote just the other day. That’s a pretty big test group. It’s not like what I’m suggesting is downright impossible.

    It is quite odd to me that the voice of Canada can be dismissed with a simple wave of a hand by politicians. Some issues deeply affect the destiny of all Canadians, and tyrannical control over these issues isn’t really acceptable anymore. You can see that this conflict of ideologies is causing a kind of neurosis in society (especially Twitter), if you look hard enough. Isn’t this how revolutions start, if left ignored? I have no faith in the sanity of people in general, given how insane hockey riots alone can get, and so I’m very uncomfortable with the possibility of a horde of neglected, pissed off activists revolting in the streets. If things ever came to that, then I hope someone would have the good sense to sue the government into non-existence for gross negligence, and worse if necessary.

    On Feb 3, 2012 I wrote to the government about these things using a delicate tone, for the Kanishka project, but they did not accept my research proposal. I don’t know if they could foresee #tellviceverything, but I’d like to think that I did. Like, did these people just not remember the momentum behind #elxn41, or what? I’m pretty sure JFK has a quote or two regarding this kind of thing. Essentially, if you ignore the people, they will revolt.

    I am betting that people won’t find my ideas so crazy when they finally have no privacy or freedom left and it’s too late to do a thing about it.

  22. Who in the heck elected this Yosemite Sam look-alike?

  23. I almost forgot about Stockwell Day. His retirement announcement came rather quickly after his little tyrannical outburst on TV.

    I believe that Day had an article on a major news network just a very short time after his retirement. My impression is that this kind of thing is or should be unlawful. If I recall correctly, just around the time of Day’s retirement there was a Quebecois politician who was scheduled to have a regular show on the network but it was cancelled at the last minute because there’s some kind of moratorium on recently retired/fired politicians from doing such a thing. I don’t recall exactly which network it was. CBC, CTV, Global, one of the big ones. I would just love to introduce Day to a Supreme Court justice over this one.

    Clearly, I’m not a super big fan of double standards that favour mentally unstable Conservatives while ruining the affairs of everyone else.

    In any case, I hope they found a nice little troll bridge for Day to live under. Here’s some baby kitten freedom fries for you to feed on, little troll. Come get ‘em. Gooood boy.

  24. Toews should stick to banging his assistants.
    Provided they are of legal age,,,.

  25. I gotta say, of all the news releases and editorials concerning Anonymous from North American sources, Jesse is the first one to accurately describe what the organization actually is. Thanks for doing your homework JB

  26. Right on… there’s major news articles today about 1) how the Department of Homeland Security does not think the world is ready for online voting, 2) how every major credit card provider has now likely been “hacked”, and 3) how Minister Flaherty is saying that RIM will be “the masters of their own destiny.” *** Gotta love coincidence!?

    *** Awesomesauce, very poetic choice of words.

  27. sounds to me like jesse brown may be anonymous.

  28. So, apparently the lead singer of Faith No More*** requests that Toews’ medical privacy be respected at this time. If I recall correctly, I have had medical privacy issues here in Canada, and so I honestly don’t believe that any out-of-scope government representative deserves this privacy that he is so naively and humourously requesting.

    Sorry guy, but what’s good for the goose is good for the gander… and this isn’t even taking the “child pornographer” swipe into account. Now, since you weren’t the one to abuse my medical privacy, I won’t be the one to abuse your medical privacy. However, I’ll surely enjoy it if/when your medical privacy is abused by someone else. I’ll probably giggle with delight, perhaps even do a little jig. If you feel that my attitude is untenable, then perhaps take it up with the Information Commissioner of Canada, if they aren’t too busy dealing with their budget crisis that is.

    Welcome to the real world, where people don’t care about your right to privacy on so many levels. Get used to it, you naughty little troll. Why the citizens of Canada haven’t already demanded to know the medical history of the people running this country is beyond me. I think it’s reasonable to know if we’re being led by a bunch of alcoholics with mental stability issues, don’t you?

    *** … or someone with the same name, anyway.

  29. Oh good times!  #TellDaveEverything

  30. So now that the British people are starting to complain about government-approved tax evasion in offshore havens (which seemingly benefits the Vory, no less), and the US CFTC has charged the Royal Bank of Canada with government-ignored pseudo-”tax evasion” in offshore havens… may I finally ask JUST WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON HERE EXACTLY without being looked at like I am imagining things?

    And here Toews thought people were talking about him when they said “you have no idea what we know…”

    So, who’s the enemy of Canada now… really? Silly trolls, don’t you ever again presume to tell me what it means to love my country.

  31. Ah, so apparently the RCMP are taking very seriously all threats against Ministers, and are investigating such things. I’d be impressed, if the police took all threats to all people seriously. The truth is that they do not. Even so, if what I’m saying here can be reasonably construed as a direct threat to a specific human being, then I’m a monkey’s uncle.

    Newsflash: I am the one demanding answers, not the other way around. Please watch your step and posture in the media, lest it be interpreted as threatening. Everyone is watching, and you’re fooling no one.

  32. I’m not really certain that these people at the Government are fully comprehending what I’m trying to say here, so I’ll spell it out.

    The Argentinian president is not very pleased with the continued claim that the British government owns the Falkland Islands, which happens to be roughly 10,000 km from Britain. You see, the British government doesn’t want to let go because there’s oil in the vicinity. Now, the British government has gone and sent their most advanced warship (HMS Dauntless!) to Argentinian waters today, in order to defend Britain’s claim (ie. to act like total savage pirate hogs on the world stage). If you are a Canadian reading this, then I’m sure that this is all starting to seem like a very familiar tune.

    What the British government fails to realize that is that I’m on the same wavelength as the Argentinian president in this instance, along with a whole lot First Nations people from Canada and every other British colony, not to mention a major portion of Ireland, etc, etc. The list could go on and on and on and on and …, but it’s not very polite to point out how many people absolutely seeth with justified disgust for the British Empire, now is it? Basically my point is that I am just one person in a worldwide “army” of otherwise respectable people who are aiming to take down your psychopathic crusade for world dominance, and your insistance on meeting words with battleships just goes to show who you really are. As far as I’m concerned, Stephen Harper can take his “quiet diplomacy” and shove it. What a bunch of hypocrites.

    Of course, the British government could be smart and just follow the advice of so many: LET GO OF WHAT IS NOT YOURS. Like that will ever happen without a revolution, and so it shall be. Your days of plunder are over, you bunch of scraggly brutish pirates.

    Oh, and this is not a threat. It’s a promise. So, have fun defending your “honour” in the New York justice system. It’ll be a good practice run for what’s yet to come. My oh my, war does make for strange and unexpected partnerships sometimes!

    All said, you shouldn’t have treated me like I was some kind of anomaly. Now I’m really pissed.

    • I think it’s best for everyone to keep in mind that it was not all that long ago that I would have been castrated, drawn and quartered, then beheaded for writing the above comment.

      Context.

  33. So, apparently there are certain members of the press who got the false impression that I am claiming that all of Canada is behind us on this. Read what I said again. Additionally, these member of the press go on to effectively say that there is **no one** behind us on this. Get a grip on reality. I’m sorry if the truth sucks, but my dear God I had hoped that the press of all people would be interested.

    And here these members of the press are screaming for resignations and everything over bungled F-35 tenders and bungled pipeline projects. Must be nice to love money more than people! I guess I am an anomaly. Whew.

    • Really… it’s the people that I did NOT include in the list of supporters that really says a lot about this country, don’t you think?

      You sure had a lot of fun working that Anonymous story, but as soon as the gloves came off and the real fight began, you run and hide? You let me know when you’re interested in being objective, and maybe I’ll give you some tips on how to report the facts. Rank amateurs. LULZ!!!1! You just run along to your Hill now, and be a good little pet robot troll.

      In any case, self-reflection is a super rare quality amongst the press and Canadians in general, so it’s no shock that people are denying all of what I’m saying. Sad, perhaps a little frustrating, but definitely not shocking. Maybe I should have included the 41% or so of the recently polled Quebecois who said that they are interested in separatism/sovereignty. Alas, perhaps there is some anti-First Nations and anti-Quebecois sentiment in the press? Aren’t rhetorical questions annoying?

  34. Here’s a not-at-all-hypothetical situation to consider:

    Someone robs you blind, then rapes and beats you to within an inch of your life. For compensation, you receive a bit of your stolen money back.

    Sounds like a real winner of a deal to me!?!?!

    If the past treatment of First Nations people was not the first thought to come to your mind when you read this comment, then you’re just as crazy as the British Empire. And here you are denouncing my relatively civil war. Fuck you.

  35. Well, that was an interesting week full of self-deluded politicians and members of the sensationalist press.

    Oh, and Anonymous… you’re welcome for showing you how to not be a bunch of total cowards. Try it some time. It really pisses the press off when you outfperform them in their duties!

    Until next time. Thanks for the platform Jesse.

    P.S. To the announcer on [unnamed radio network, because you don't appreciate the mention] last night, talking about the rights of transsexual people… YOU GO GIRL! <3

    • P.P.S. Oh, I missed this one, via CD (I’ll skip crediting you by name, since you’d probably be horrified by that):

      See the blog post “Justice Committee Report Recommends Expanding Lawful Access Legislation” by M Geist. The blog post gives a link to the House of Commons report “THE STATE OF ORGANIZED CRIME”. The tail end of the report has a section called “THE STATE OF ORGANIZED CRIME IN CANADA: SUPPLEMENTARY REPORT FROM THE OFFICIAL OPPOSITION” which is very interesting to me.

      Essentially, everything I said over the past week about requiring revolution in order for the citizens to be taken seriously is true. Of course, the bitter irony of it all is that there is white collar organized crime going down in our own Commonwealth’s financial system — in broad daylight, witnessed by the British Empire, yet ignored — and somehow I’m the enemy of Canada for helping to point it out.

      Is all of this really shocking, from a world where you are banned by the government from calling guys like presidential wannabe John McCain a racist pig for blaming forest fires on illegal immigrants without putting forth viable evidence at the time (and despite the fact that the US Forest Service says that there is no evidence)? *** No, it is not shocking. That’s right Arizona State Government, you rock. Come get me. I’m so scared. I’ll be waiting here, munching on some baby kitten freedom fries!

      *** Yes, there are still insane people who label First Nations people as “immigrants”. Isn’t that hilarious, and a little bit sad? [self-edited for common decency]

      • I love that part where they get to try you in a court of law without your presence, if they somehow deem your presence to be unfeasible (ie. you’re too crazy, or you’re too awesome). Is this not a serious invitation for abuse by the Government, or what? This is actually a law right now, I believe!

        I also love that part where they say “we automagically want to know the name of a particular subscriber, based on their known IP address, without oversight… but we promise to get a warrant if we want to know about the traffic to/from that IP address”.  If this isn’t the most ridiculous horse-before-the-cart scenario, then I don’t know what is. How do you develop an interest in a particular IP address if you don’t already have a reasonable suspicion (ie. evidence) that there’s illegal traffic flowing through it? Is this not a serious invitation for abuse by the Government, or what? I seriously hope that this does not become an actual law. It’s totally fucking insane.

        Imagine the nonsense one could uncover if more than a mere casual skim of the document was performed! It blows my mind. I think I may have found something to do after the weekend is over!

  36. I think I’m going to close on a low note:

    The British and Canadian governments (amongst others in the Commonwealth) are absolutely petrified of people coming to the realization that their entire system is, and has been for centuries, a towering, monopolistic, unlawful, global wash trade. Not only that, but they’re illegally trading in stolen goods and property that weren’t even theirs in the first place! Double awesome! As for the possibility of a few exiled members of the Russian mafia taking advantage of the situation, well, that’s pretty much inconsequential in the grand scheme of things, now isn’t it?

    I would most certainly enjoy meeting with the Government of Canada and/or the Royal Bank of Canada in a court of law in order for them to explain to the citizens of this country — well, to the world actually — exactly how the system that they actively participate in (ie. the Commonwealth) is not monopolistic in spirit. Not only do I promise to take off my gloves, but I will also unsheathe my claws. I promise that it will be monumentally ugly, and that there will be a boatload of witnesses.

    It’s really too bad that no one else is brave enough to take the Commonwealth to task for it (excluding one writer on Al Jazeera, and the US CFTC, that is). Such is the life of an anomaly, I guess. Oh well, I wasn’t planning on sharing my baby kitten freedom fries with you anyway.

  37. I felt bad for closing on a low note. Here’s a high note:

    Various sources covered the Royal Canadian Mint’s public MintChip Challenge. I left the following comment on Venture Beat, because it’s true:

    “The very sweetest thing about the solution to this problem is that it should automagically be applicable to the open problem of secure, anonymous online voting.  A dollar, a vote, they’re the same in this context.

    This problem is worth a million dollars, or more. Good luck.”

    Perhaps Elections Canada has already come to this conclusion?

    Perhaps it’s time for Anonymous to step up to the plate and do their very best for democracy?

    For what it’s worth, there is a quantum xerox principle (ie. no cloning principle). Hmm, maybe the Government of Canada should ask those geniuses at the Perimeter Institute to see if… ahh, nevermind… I’m just a left-wing nutjob.

  38. Vic toevs is an ideot of the highest magnitude.but so are harper, mckay, flarity & baerd.

  39. Mary Sheppard wrote a really nice story on CBC today called “Canadian launches court action over ‘stolen’ offshore data”, about CRA cracking down on the use of offshore havens to unlawfully evade taxation… in Switzerland. Percy Downe lays it out all quite well. I notice that CBC is asking people to email them any information about ongoing investigations. Anyone doing so may wish to do it using a cheap netbook paid for in cash, via a newly minted pseudo-anonymous email address, through a public Internet connection (ie. McDonald’s, Starbucks, CommunityNet), just in case the Government of Canada has, like, a tap on your home Internet connection, ya think? CBC, you may also want to think about publishing an RSA public key — of reasonable quality — so that people can encrypt what they’re sending to you.

    Oh, another good one from CBC today is called “Man denied Canadian citizenship over oath mix-up”, which points out that 95% of Canadians polled wish for new citizens to swear allegiance to Canada rather than to the Queen. Stupid deluded 95%!!! I’ll skip the unnecessary jokes about Conservative plants at oath swearing ceremonies. I feel a joke about swer

    [self-edited for common decency]

  40. Wow, apparently some of the media got really offended when I called them a bunch of lazy pet robot trolls for calling me deluded — because I told the truth. Well, forget you, and forget your pity party. It’s fine if you don’t like my attitude, but don’t pretend that I’m talking total nonsense. If it was personal, I would have mentioned you by name, don’t ya think?

    Did it ever occur to you sniveling bunch of whiners that I’m writing all of this on a media website? Perhaps I don’t think all media are like you? Stop dragging your “colleagues” down with you. It’s not classy to twist reality and pretend that causality isn’t a law of nature.

    The most ridiculous part is that I’m being chastized for having a “pet issue of the week”. That’s pretty rich, given how these people just love to cover the Anonymous movement whenever they feel like stirring the pot on the Hill. If you don’t know a raw socket from raw salmon — which I am highly certain of — then you’re the one with the pet issue, not I. Get off of your high horse, ZOMFGBBQ.

  41. Yeah… being a member of the public with an opinion/fact that has sharp teeth is just not worth it in this country. I’m certainly not perfect, but that’s no reason to call me totally deluded. I generally respected the job that you did before this little non-fight, and I’ll continue to respect it. If you don’t feel that’s appropriate, then just block me on Twitter. Best of luck to you all. Sorry CBC, but that includes you too.

    My pet story for today: THEY HAVE ERASABLE PENCIL CRAYONS NOW!? THAT’S GENIUS.

  42. Ah, that’s cute. I would most certainly love to sit down with that radio network and Anonymous to “discuss” what does and does not constitute bullying. Gotta love deluded, half-assed altruism based on nothing but imagination. Ironically, that’s what I’m being slammed for here.

    Judging from the stern tone in your voice, I presume you didn’t bother to check that I am a highly vocal activist for transsexual rights, and instead just jumped to the conclusion that I was making fun. That’s just not so. Just ask the FBI/NSA. I recently ripped them a new one for insinuating that gay and transsexual adult pornography is somehow even remotely close to illegal, which was their extremely disgusting way of retaliating against Anonymous’ breach of their teleconferences. To be sure, if the police had a lead on a hacker with “naughty” images on their computer — as they clearly insisted was the case — and it was animal or child pornography, the police would and should and could have already arrested that hacker, but they hadn’t. So here, yet again, the public is stuck in the middle of a giant homophobic pissing match, largely funded by their own tax dollar. Awesome!!1!

    That said, do I really need to explicitly mention that the police do a wonderful job most of the time, and that not every member of Anonymous is a cyber terrorist? Whatever. You all just keep thinking your black and white thoughts, and enjoy your little black and white world where everything is crystal clear. Just to make things easy, I’ll switch to MBC. This way everyone wins. Thank you for mentioning transsexual rights, in any case. I really wasn’t joking when I cheered you on. What you did requires the kind of bravery beyond what most people have, and obviously I find that kind of behaviour fascinating.

  43. Thanks to Toronto Star and Morozov for covering the RIM / India story. First Saudi Arabia… next, Canada. No seriously, RIM’s possible sellout to the Canadian government is already making rounds on the global news circuit. I’m not making it up… yet again.

    RIM’s new motto is clearly “When you can’t sell to customers and make a buck, just sell your soul instead”. Sweet! The unveiling of this new motto on an Easter Sunday really does make it all the more magical.

    For those claiming “lawful access” is just super wonderful on all fronts… do recall that India and Saudi Arabia’s free speech laws are total jokes in the first place. Of course, Public Safety doesn’t seem to agree with me that there is a connection. Whatever, dudes. You just keep pummeling your citizens into the mat and see how they react.

    Anyone want to bet that my exercises in “free speech” have not caused the RCMP to monitor and document my Internet activity? I’m looking for some easy money, you see. Seriously, it’s not actually free speech when it automagically makes you a target. It’s more like… speech with an amortized cost. ***

    *** Yes, I know that free as in beer is not the same as free as in freedom. Give me some leeway here.

  44. Fear is the modus operandi of the covertly subversive, but I’m preaching to the choir, now aren’t I? ;)

    Name a time and place… by replying to this comment… or not. Your call.

    • Well, a serious court of public opinion can indeed strike fear into the hearts of those who are afraid of the truth. I already knew this, and now you do too.

  45. What I don’t see is a whole a lot of people talking about the fact that there is a developing, less than first world nation smack dab in the middle of Canada. I also don’t see a lot of people talking about the fact that the citizens of this developing nation were for a very long time corralled like animals, and forced into a life where they owned their corral no more than an animal would own its cage. This is not the distant past, and I’m not exaggerating. Some of the laws meant to change this situation are just going into effect now, not decades or centuries ago.

    I really think it’s disgusting and ironic that representatives of the government can go on and on about how resource royalties are the property of all citizens equally, as if the history of this country can be wiped away. Indeed, I am absolutely certain that the modus operandi of the government is to keep this developing nation as poor as absolutely possible, so that this developing nation may dissipate and generally merge with the rest of Canada. This is most certainly an opinion that I do not exclusively hold. If the poverty does not fully cause this merger, then I’m sure that the rampant death by HIV / AIDS will likely finish the job. We all talk about how forced homogenization is genocide, but yet it’s still happening, and it’s really quite sad that not a whole lot of people talk about it. Anyone who says that things are equal is just simply lying.

    I totally support the BC pipeline protests, and I hope that is just the beginning of a habit. Like I said, keep treating your citizens like garbage and see how they react. Anyone suggesting that I’m being “radical” for inciting “racial hatred” might want to take an inventory of their own racist and worse thoughts. I’m sorry, but the reign is already over. You just simply refuse to see it.

  46. Haha funny Wall Street guy saying that Anonymous is helping the banks. I think it’s more like Anonymous is not hurting the banks.

    Anonymous runs around in masks, and that’s fine by me. The cyber terrorist section of Anonymous runs around ripping the masks off of innocent civilians by releasing their non-redacted data. Do I need to spell it out any clearer? EPIC H FAIL!

    No thanks to the media for not pointing this out. Y’all rock. As for the rest of Anonymous who just sat back and enjoyed watching it happen, all the while screaming “we love humanity, we’re here to save you, blah blah blah”… do you wonder why you have credibility issues?

    Let me guess, the next thing to pop up will be an Anonymous anti-bullying campaign. That would be extremely hilarious.

  47. Deluded media crying foul over being called out for calling people deluded is … deluded beyond deluded. Meh.

  48. Media who are game theory fanatics (awesome!), ignoring legalized tax/royalty evasion in Canada (and other countries that contain developing nations)… are not helping to illuminate the situation in any way, shape, or form. Indeed, we are not witnessing a zero-sum game, because the outcome for one of the players involved is unfairly negative. It’s more like the pirate game. Alas, this deluded lack of self-reflection is the critical flaw of homo economicus that has caused so much ruin for centuries, so why should I expect them to change now?

    Oh, and when they banned the potlatch, they tried to kill homo reciprocans stone dead. That wasn’t very nice at all. Genocide is not cool.

    Some say that mercantilism is officially dead. I think that statement is untrue, and you only have to look at a world map for evidence. I could go on and on and on… but surely no one is reading this boring economics stuff.

  49. I missed this one: An Elementary Quantum Network of Single Atoms in Optical Cavities, Nature 484, arXiv:1202.5955v1 [quant-ph]

    Silly left-wing nutjobs!

  50. So… apparently, people don’t like it when you present opinion as fact. Duly noted!

  51. Yesterday, a great person said something to the effect of “everyone makes mistakes”. I think that this statement is probably the meaning of life itself, and the timing of this statement could not have been more perfect.

    Also, Ai Weiwei asked the other day if censorship is the mother of creativity. If you buy the whole idea of death drive and the shadow archetype, then yes, it would seem that censorship — oppression — is the mother of creativity. It seems that opposite of the shadow is some kind of lightness (not quite ego, not quite hero, I’m not sure), where freedom and life drive reign. Quite simply, this lightness is the mother of destructivity.

    Perhaps all of this psycho-babble seems far-fetched at first, but consider the following people who were so committed to freedom, life, and altruism that they ended up doing much more harm than good:

    - Myself
    - The cyber terrorist section of Anonymous
    - Governments who neglect the child soldier status
    - Governments who colonize and subsequently attempt to “civilize” other cultures
    - Governments that spy wholesale
    - Governments that forcibly sterilize the mentally “disabled”, LGBT people, and others
    - The Chinese, Cuban and Iranian governments for a whole lot more than just spying
    - Absolute monarchies
    - Gigantic religious establishments
    - Gigantic anti-religious establishments
    - My most dedicated stalkers (I’m not the only one with too much spare time, trust me)

    The list could go on and on.

    Like that great person said, everyone makes mistakes. If we cannot accept this in general, then there is no hope that humanity will evolve to something beyond what it is today. The truth is that people are addicted to doing good in the world, because they don’t want to focus on their own flaws, and in the course of this, they often destroy. It’s this self-appointed entitlement to actively rule the world that will be the downfall of us all.

    Truly, it is the person who unthinkingly disparages the shadow who does not understand the danger inherent to the lightness.

    I apologize for doing so much bad via altruistic action, and in general. I also forgive those who do so much bad via altruistic action, and in general. If you cannot follow in these footsteps, then you doom your own self, and you have no one else to blame.

    What I was trying to tell Public Safety is that if someone does not forgive the cyber terrorist section of Anonymous, then they will be driven out of their current lightness and back into the shadow where they will create even more diabolical ways of retribution. Like clockwork, this cyber terrorist section of Anonymous will resurface into the lightness, commit more flawed altruistic acts, and the cycle will repeat itself yet again. If reconciliation is not found, and the cycle is not stopped, then it will only bring more destruction. Of course, reconciliation is a two-way street.

    To be sure, reconciliation is the basis of a highly evolved culture. Retribution is the basis of the culture of cavemen. Also to be sure, reconciliation is most definitely not the backbone of today’s version of enlightenment.

    Given that all of this is most definitely not common sense in this day and age, I humbly and obviously unofficially nominate Prime Minister Jean Chretien, National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo, artist Ai Weiwei, and the Supreme Court of Canada for the Nobel Peace Prize. Their efforts to enable reconciliation are astounding.

    Toodles!

  52. Watching some wonderful coverage of Theorizing the Web (#Ttw12). Aleena Chia is talking about Sergei Brin’s notion that knowing — and (as far as I’m concerned) letting be — the inherently non-homogenized collective unconscious is like being divine (or as close as humans can get). I agree. Perhaps we should believe Brin that the shadow is not something to be unthinkingly disparaged, but that’s just my opinion.

    It’s pretty clear to me now that the archetype of the lightness that I described yesterday is the God archetype. Powerful, but nothing remotely close to divine. I mean, a forced homogenization of the collective unconscious is indeed as flawed as anything humans have ever done.

    So, when you find a politician entirely ignoring the collective unconscious, you know that something corrupt is afoot; there is a God archetype in the mix, and that’s not good.

    Please know that none of what I’m saying is meant as a slight to people who believe in God, or as a slight to people who don’t believe in God, but as a wake up call to people who believe that they are God. Playing God always ends in disaster, so please don’t do it.

  53. Redaction of private citizen data released by Anonymous. An electronic warrant system for the police, with reduced latency as the design goal.

    These things — this wielding of technology and power without abuse — would make a lot of people happy, don’t you think?

  54. #ajstream

    I don’t mean to sound like I’m retracting my plea for forgiveness, but if you release the data of innocent civilians without redacting it, I do believe that it is blatant cyber terrorism.

    If you do redact the data, which would take a few dozen bytes of code and about a minute to type it in, you are minimizing the collateral damage. If you do not take the one minute, and you intentionally do not redact the data, then you are intentionally committing an act of bullying while also giving an implied threat that absolutely no one is safe from future attacks. That’s not harmless fun, like some would imply.

    If you do not see the God archetype clearly in those who intentionally choose not to redact the data, then I cannot say anything further to convince you that intentional harm is the modus operandi of a terrorist. Just please consider that one day, somewhere, some person will stress out over the invasion of privacy that comes with having their data being compromised, and they will have a heart attack and they will die. It’s bound to happen sooner or later if we are going to continue on as we are. That’s technically manslaughter. Definitely not a laughing matter.

  55. I am wondering if I even have anyone’s attention. I hope so, because there is indeed a war on women, and it occurs globally. Anyone who has ever watched the news or has read about human rights likely already knows this. In any case, there was a performance art recently in Sweden, meant to portray the brutality of certain tribal cultures that initiate female African children through a rite involving genital mutilation. I have to admit that this art was a lot more tasteful than a lot of my own attempts to discuss current affairs, but that’s neither here nor there. What concerns me is that some people are labeling this performance art as sexist and racist, but I don’t agree, and I think that the performers’ hearts were in the right place. I mean, if people can’t take provocation and interpret it in a positive way, then we are doomed.

    Recently I was dealing with asymmetries that we are absolutely forbidden to talk about, lest we are to be labeled as a dyed-in-the-wool this-or-that. Consider that in Canada and elsewhere in the world, if you were to discuss the brutality of certain non-African tribal cultures that initiate male children through a rite involving genital mutilation, you’d likely be slapped with a hate crime charge and labeled as a dyed-in-the-wool racist. Indeed, people don’t seem to be able to take provocation and interpret it in a positive way. Now, I am left baffled at how people can generally deplore this practice of genital mutilation in one culture for one sex, but not others; to me this inconsistency seems to be both sexist and racist in nature. Perhaps you can see now why the Constitution’s anniversary is not being widely celebrated in Canada; free speech is practically an illusion.

    Another thing that I don’t hear a lot of people talking about is how many of the Canadian First Nations were — to a significant degree — a matrilinear/matriarchal culture, and how this female-oriented culture was nearly eradicated in a fit of genocide. Of course, if people actually knew about this and truly cared, there would be an uproar. Instead, people generally vilify you as a deluded inciter of hate if you use no uncertain terms to discuss what happened to the First Nations, but I digress. People may think that I’m on the wrong side of the fight on certain things, but perhaps it’s partially because I didn’t bother to score free bonus points by hyper sexualizing an issue that obviously spans both sexes. In any case, we have stories in the media about a culture who has a lot of members that are crying out for help, looking for assistance to help their fellow citizens overcome the all-too-frequent occurrence of massive drug addiction, HIV/AIDS infection, and sudden suicide. These same stories also tell us about how health services to address these problems are near non-existent on reserve. Unbelievably enough, there are actually health cuts going on. In essence, the genocide continues, and if it suits you best, perhaps you should look at it as a war on women, or a war on the matriarchy. Whatever gets you going in order to raise awareness and stop sitting around while people are dying.

    If you’re still under the impression that it’s sexist to point out that there are bullies of all stripes, then you are indeed committing a war on men. Suppression of this fact through vilification should be illegal, but it’s not. I’d call it ironic, but that would falsely give the impression that it’s something more profound than pure insanity. I’m a little tired of being called deluded for pointing out the obvious, so much to the pleasure of many I’m sure, I shall discontinue caring enough to speak up. Enjoy ripping yourselves apart while you fight over who deserves to be pitied more!

  56. This article is also just too good to pass up on, given the gigantic cross-hair that I put on myself:
    “New hacktivist sect emerges from Anonymous” on NS.

    I’m not going to generally congratulate people for committing crimes past, present, or future, but I sincerely do hope that this MalSec crew sticks to this plan. For these folks to admit that a plan like this could be helpful toward the peace process is a gigantic step forward, and for that I do sincerely congratulate them.

    I’m not going to hold my breath, and maybe this is just a joke on me, but I think that this article likely goes to show these folks aren’t all just mindless robots geared toward hatred. Perhaps all that they needed to inspire them was someone to offer them some forgiveness? Who knows. Maybe, after all is said and done, “fighting” against Anonymous using “weapons” of forgiveness isn’t totally laughable.

    Anyway, can someone please cue Dawkins, so that he can come slam this “unreasonable” forgiveness-based logic? Thanks!

  57. Thank you to the Critic for Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development. It’s not *all* in my head.

  58. Cleaning up Disqus. You know what I said. I guess you could say I’m finally going “anonymous”.

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