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Headlines 26/06/10

Here are my thoughts on today’s headlines. Everything but the titles is written by yours truly.

How the Supreme Court keeps information from us by Peter McKnight:

The right to information is not acknowledged in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, meaning that it doesn’t exist.

Having access to public or government records falls under “freedom of expression:” in other words, the only way to gain access to information is “where the access is necessary to permit meaningful discussion on a matter of public importance,” according to the Supreme Court.

Another thing that doesn’t exist is a clear and concise definition of the words “meaningful” and “importance.”

What all of this means, is that access to information will be granted on a case-by-case basis.

It also means that what is considered “meaningful” and of¬† “public importance” can be interpreted to include a wide and varied number of cases, or to exclude almost any case.

At the heart of Facebook is an old-fashioned kaffeeklatsch by Shelley Fralic:

An interesting observation: the fastest-growing demographics on Facebook are women aged 35 to 50 and people over the age of 55, according to David Kirkpatrick, author of The Facebook Effect.

As older generations begin using newer technologies and social networking sites, will new media apps, sites and technologies be created to cater to the baby-boomer population?

Fortress Toronto: Loss of civil liberties part of an absurd price by Craig McInnes:

The G8 and G20 summits are underway in Toronto, with the help of $1-billion in security measures.

The six-kilometre long, three-metre high security wall complete with metal sheeting and concrete blocks, and over 10,000 police officers to guard it, is just a little menacing. However, the most menacing measure to protect the world leaders was not a part of the $1-billion budget.

From June 21 to June 28, police can arrest anyone who comes within five metres of the wall and refuses to provide identification or submit to a search.

The person “trespassing” on public property does not have to have been doing anything suspicious either.

But isn’t this a violation of our civil liberties?

Of course it is, but that doesn’t matter: the Ontario government passed the regulation June 2.

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