Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Guy Earle Media fallout: "Get rid of destructive human rights commissions" and "Nanny-state interference now extends to stand-up comedy"

 

Get rid of destructive human rights commissions

On April 21, a verdict came down in a human rights tribunal case dating back to 2007. That was when Guy Earle, a stand-up comic, got into an altercation with a couple who’d dropped in on his open mike night.

 

Lorna Pardy and her (then) partner exchanged words with Earle while he was onstage. According to Earle, Pardy threw a drink at him. He broke her sunglasses and remarked upon Pardy’s sexual orientation after she and her partner began making out in the front row.

 

It wasn’t pretty and it sure wasn’t comedy. Sounds like a matter for management, maybe the police. But the British Columbia Human Rights Commission?

 

Pardy thought so. She complained to the BCHRC about Earle’s “homophobia,” insisting she’d subsequently suffered “post-traumatic stress disorder.”

 

Now Guy Earle is out $15,000, the club owner another seven grand, and both men have already spent thousands in legal fees.

 

Pardy? Her legal fees are covered by you, the taxpayer. That’s just one of the quirks that make Canada’s unelected, $200-million a year human rights ideological complex a blot on our international reputation.

 

REST AT: http://www.canada.com/destructive+human+rights+commissions/4675438/story.html

 

 

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Steyn:  NO LAUGHING MATTER

 

This is an assault on one of the most basic principles of justice - equality before the law. Instead, one citizen has different rights than another according to which preferred identity groups he (or more often she) falls into. In his newspaper column, my friend Ezra Levant wonders if, under the Geiger-Adams Comedy Regime, it's okay for Chris Rock and Eddie Murphy to use racist words for which pastier types would be prosecuted. But this isn't even a hypothetical fancy: This very month at the University of Connecticut, an anthropology professor teaching a class on the cultural significance of "the N-word" showed clips of Chris Rock and Richard Pryor using "the N-word". Shortly thereafter the professor was reported for, er, using "the N-word". The prof is white. The student who reported him is the "Multicultural and Diversity Senator" on the student council, a member of the Black Students' Association and an activist who wants to "instigate unity on campus". And let's face it, the easiest way to "unity" is to "instigate" it, isn't it? So the hapless professor is now being forced to take "diversity training", because nothing says "diversity" like mandatory "unity". And to think American students have run up a trillion dollars in college debt for the privilege of being "taught" by the kind of pansies who agree to submit to "diversity training" for commiting the crime of using "the N-word" in a class about the cultural significance of "the N-word".

The great strength of Common Law is its antipathy to "collective rights" - because the ultimate minority is the individual. If you elevate group rights over individual liberty, you're mainly empowering not "minorities" but the state, which becomes the sole legitimate arbiter of relations between various groups. And empowering the state means empowering the likes of Commissar Geiger-Adams to preside over four-year investigations into the precise degree of smooching between two patrons of a late-night comedy club. That's why group rights are "the key Nanny State concept". What we are witnessing, from the comedy clubs of Vancouver to the groves of academe in Connecticut, is not just the collapse of liberty but the death of the human spirit. There is something deeply sick about the willingness of freeborn citizens to submit to statist enforcers like Geiger-Adams.

REST AT: http://www.steynonline.com/content/view/3987/26/

 

 

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Nanny-state interference now extends to stand-up comedy

 

 

Question: How do you turn a nasty confrontation between a stand-up comic and a heckler — something, I would guess, that has happened more than a few times before, without state interference — into an international embarrassment?

 

Simple. Get one of Canada’s government-backed busybodies — a.k.a. human rights bodies — involved.

 

 

Stand-up comedy shows are notoriously raw and edgy. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea. But do we really need the government’s do-gooders policing the scene?

 

If this was worth $22,500, I won’t be surprised if people with very thin skins are soon out trolling comedy clubs looking to get, you know, offended.

 

Cha-ching.

 

The overreaching of Canada’s human rights commissions and tribunals into matters of free speech, as regular readers know, has been a problem for many, many years. But most politicians have lacked the fortitude to tackle the problem.

 

Instead, they’ve mouthed their dismay but, for the most part, left it to the courts to slap down the most outrageous decisions of these powerful quasi-judicial bodies.

 

The complainant’s case is argued on their behalf by the state, at taxpayers’ expense. The accused, meanwhile, must pay for their own defence.

 

In this case, Earle, who readily admits he’s not a man of great means, asked if he could testify electronically — it being 2010, video conferencing was well beyond the experimental stage — rather than have to fly back to Vancouver and pay for lodgings. The tribunal said no. Its ruling, however, noted only that oral submissions were heard from "all parties who chose to participate."

 

The tribunal deserves all the scorn now being heaped upon it.

 

 REST AT: http://thechronicleherald.ca/Opinion/1240170.html

 

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Canada's kangaroo courts strike a rocky mountain low

 

But because Earle made a dyke joke, he was found by the government of B.C. to have been a law-breaker. That’s why he has to pay Pardy 15 grand.

 

And the bar owner has to pay her $7,500, too.  His name is Sam Ismail, a refugee from Iraq. He’s actually a booster of gay rights. The bar’s clientele was 60% gay, and he hosted a weekly lesbian comedy night. But he’s being punished because one of his comedians said something that he didn’t censor.

 

So what’s the rule now? If Guy Earle can’t call someone a dyke, even if they’re necking with their girlfriend at a comedy club, can a lesbian comedian say that? Is there a special rule that you can be offensive, if you’re part of the offended group?

 

If you took the n-word out of Chris Rock or Eddie Murphy’s stand-up routine, there really isn’t a lot left. Is it OK if minorities say racist words, but not whites?

 

How would that rule apply to Barack Obama, who is half black and half white? Could he only tell PG-rated jokes?

 

Let’s accept that Earle was rude. So what’s that got to do with the government? Do we now have official joke-testers?

 

Does Commissar Geiger-Adam, the chief kangaroo, have some special, official sense of humour? So if he laughs, it’s legal, but if he doesn’t, it’s not?

 

Should we have a 1-800 number that comedians can call to be directly connected to a government agency that will give them a quick answer on whether or not a particular joke is OK?

 

Guy Earle told some bad jokes. But the biggest joke of all is the B.C. human rights tribunal — and our freedom is the punchline.

 

REST AT: http://www.torontosun.com/2011/04/21/canadas-kangaroo-courts-strike-a-rocky-mountain-low

 

 

 

Monday, April 25, 2011

iPhone and the police [Your PRIVACY at serious risk]

If you have an iPhone or Andriod device.  Take note of this article.  Your privacy is at serious risk and this information will enable you to make an informed decision on what geo-information you would like Apple and Google to store on you.

 

See:

 

·        Your iPhone's watching you. Should you care? (FAQ)

·        iPhone in privacy crosshairs (week in review)

·        Ask Maggie: iPhone 5 rumors and iPhone-tracking woes

·        What the app privacy investigation means to you (FAQ)

 

 

 

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http://news.cnet.com/8301-31921_3-20056344-281.html

 

How police have obtained iPhone, iPad tracking logs

Law enforcement agencies have known since at least last year that an iPhone or iPad surreptitiously records its owner's approximate location, and have used that geolocation data to aid criminal investigations.

Apple has never publicized the undocumented feature buried deep within the software that operates iPhones and iPads, which became the topic of criticism this week after a researcher at a conference in Santa Clara, Calif., described in detail how it works. Apple had acknowledged to Congress last year only that "cell tower and Wi-Fi access point information" is "intermittently" collected and "transmitted to Apple" every 12 hours.

At least some phones running Google's Android OS also store location information, Swedish programer Magnus Eriksson told CNET today. And research by another security analyst suggests that "virtually all Android devices" send some of those coordinates back to Google.

Among computer forensics specialists, those location logs--which record nearby cell tower coordinates and time stamps and cannot easily be disabled by someone who wants to use location services--are not merely an open secret. They've become a valuable sales pitch when targeting customers in police, military, and intelligence agencies.

The U.K-based company Forensic Telecommunications Services advertises its iXAM product as able to "extract GPS location fixes" from an iPhone 3GS including "latitude, longitude, altitude and time." Its literature boasts: "These are confirmed fixes--they prove that the device was definitely in that location at that time." Another mobile forensics company, Cellebrite, brags that its products can pluck out geographical locations derived from both "Wi-Fi and cell tower" signals, and a third lists Android devices as able to yield "historical location data" too.

Alex Levinson is the technical lead for a competing company called Katana Forensics, which sells Lantern 2 software that extracts location information from iOS devices.

"The information on the phone is useful in a forensics context," Levinson told CNET today. Customers for Lantern 2, he said, include "small-town local police all the way up to state and federal police, different agencies in the government that have forensics units."

Research by security analyst Samy Kamkar, a onetime hacker with a colorful past, indicates an HTC Android phone determined its location every few seconds and transmitted the data to Google at least a few times an hour, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal. It said that the Android phone also transmitted the name, location and signal strength of nearby Wi-Fi networks, as well as a unique identifier for the phone.

Apple did not respond to a request for comment. Google could not immediately be reached for comment.

Apple's iOS operating system does not appear to make geolocation logs readily available to applications, but storing records of an owner's physical meanderings raises novel security and privacy concerns. Not only is the log stored on the device itself (a lock code can easily be bypassed by forensics software), but it's typically backed up on the computer to which it's synchronized.

One concern is the circumstances under which law enforcement can gain access to location histories. Courts have been split on whether warrants are required to peruse files on gadgets after an arrest, with police typically arguing that the Fourth Amendment's prohibition on unusual searches doesn't apply. (The Justice Department under the Obama administration, in a series of prosecutions including one in Nebraska involving a crack cocaine dealer, has taken the same position.)

In addition, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has publicly asserted the right to copy all data from anyone's electronic devices at the border--even if there's no suspicion of or evidence for illegal activity. The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has blessed the practice.

All of this has led to a spike in law enforcement interest in the topic. Micro Systemation, a Swedish firm that announced last year the U.S. government had placed the largest order in the company's history, offers a course on how to extract "GPS information" from the "Apple iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad devices." A now-deleted description of the course, retrieved from Google's cache, says students will "learn how to acquire data and retrieve GPS location" from iOS devices. O'Reilly Media, too, offers a two-day workshop on iPhone forensics for the princely sum of $3,500. (Police get a discount.)

Micro Systemation said in a post on its Web site that this week's news "will come as a surprise to most iPhone users, as their devices do not give any visual indication that such data is being recorded." But, the company said with some apparent glee, they're "no surprise to the developers here at MSAB who have been recovering this data... for some considerable time."

The U.S. Department of Justice has funded tests of which "mobile device acquisition tools" are most effective in forcibly extracting information from iPhones. Test results (PDF) for the iXAM software say it was able to "acquire SIM memory and review reported location related data." Another evaluation of a competing product called Mobilyze 1.1 (PDF) said "if the cellular forensic tool supports acquisition of GPS data, then the tool shall present the user with the longitude and latitude coordinates for all GPS-related data in a useable format," although neither report appears to have tested that feature. The U.S. Embassy in Bogota, Colombia, even pays for training for local counter-narcotics agents to learn about iPhone and BlackBerry forensics.

A book titled iOS Forensic Analysis ($59.99 list) published by Apress in December 2010 elaborates on how the information is stored. Here's an excerpt:

Cell tower data also has geospatial data. This data covers all cell towers that the iDevice comes into contact with. This list can be very extensive and can assist in investigations of placing a phone in a general area from a cell tower on a given date and time. These data points have changed file types over time...This property list appears to give not only the latitude and longitude from where the cell phone was in relation to the cell tower but also the compass heading from it. The compass heading is very important so you can get an azimuth from the cell tower to the iPhone. All these values--latitude, longitude, and azimuth--combined can give an approximate location of the iPhone. A date and time value is also given in the property list...This, on top of other artifacts on the device, adds up to giving you a complete picture of the travels of the iDevice and could place the phone in a general area in reference to a crime.

Rep. Ed Markey, the Massachusetts Democrat, today wrote a letter (PDF) to Apple CEO Steve Jobs posing a series of questions, including whether the company collects this information from iPhone users and whether the logs can be turned off. Markey also suggested the practice could violate federal privacy law, 47 USC 222, although the language only applies to "telecommunications carriers" and not handset makers. (See related article about Markey pressing wireless carriers for tracking details earlier this month.)

 

 

SEE THE ENTIRE ARTICLE ON CNET AT:  http://news.cnet.com/8301-31921_3-20056344-281.html

 

 

Also see:

 

·        Android data tied to users? Some say yes

·        How police have obtained iPhone, iPad tracking logs

·        Your iPhone's watching you. Should you care? (FAQ)

·        iPhone in privacy crosshairs (week in review)

·        Lawmakers demand answers from Apple on iPhone tracking

·        Android data tied to users? Some say yes

·        Congressmen push for location tracking disclosure

·        Ask Maggie: iPhone 5 rumors and iPhone-tracking woes

·        Amazon's head in the cloud (week in review)

·        What the app privacy investigation means to you (FAQ)

 

 

 

 

 

LEVANT: Canada's kangaroo courts strike a rocky mountain low

Canada's kangaroo courts strike a rocky mountain low

By Ezra Levant ,QMI Agency

 

Last Wednesday, in the People’s Republic of British Columbia, a comedian named Guy Earle was convicted of telling unfunny jokes at a comedy club four years ago. He was fined $15,000 and the club itself was fined another $7,500.

And all of that money has to be paid to a woman in the audience who was offended by his lesbian jokes and sued him.

She didn’t sue in a real court. In real courts, there is no such thing as the human right not to be offended at a night club, or the human right not to have a comedian poke fun at you if you’re sitting near the stage doing some heavy girl-on-girl kissing in public. Seriously.

No. Lorna Pardy, the woman in question, knew better than to go to a real court. She went to one of Canada’s patented kangaroo courts — a so-called human rights commission.
They actually had a four-day trial about this.

And she won. The B.C. Human Rights Tribunal said Pardy’s counterfeit human right not to be embarrassed by a comedian trumps the real right to freedom of speech.

The commissar who issued the ruling — he’s not a real judge; human rights commissions aren’t staffed by real judges — is named Murray Geiger-Adams. He presided over this circus.
And he wrote a 100-page ruling about it.

Seriously — there was an argument between a comedian and an audience member at a club, and this pretend judge went into 100 pages of detail, giving the government’s view about everything from where they were sitting, to the brand of beer they were drinking. He investigated whether Pardy was necking or just kissing her girlfriend.

Earle was mad that the women were making a scene instead of listening to him, so he called them out — as comedians do to hecklers and others who interrupt a comedy show.

And, in the tradition of stand up comedians everywhere, he was rude — calling them dykes and other names that were offensive. Yes, welcome to the world of stand-up comedy.
Things escalated — including Pardy throwing two glasses of water at Earle. That really is against the law, it’s called assault. But like most normal people, Earle didn’t run to the cops for being splashed with a drink.
But because Earle made a dyke joke, he was found by the government of B.C. to have been a law-breaker. That’s why he has to pay Pardy 15 grand.

And the bar owner has to pay her $7,500, too.  His name is Sam Ismail, a refugee from Iraq. He’s actually a booster of gay rights. The bar’s clientele was 60% gay, and he hosted a weekly lesbian comedy night. But he’s being punished because one of his comedians said something that he didn’t censor.

So what’s the rule now? If Guy Earle can’t call someone a dyke, even if they’re necking with their girlfriend at a comedy club, can a lesbian comedian say that? Is there a special rule that you can be offensive, if you’re part of the offended group?

If you took the n-word out of Chris Rock or Eddie Murphy’s stand-up routine, there really isn’t a lot left. Is it OK if minorities say racist words, but not whites?

REST AT: http://www.torontosun.com/2011/04/21/canadas-kangaroo-courts-strike-a-rocky-mountain-low

 

 

 

 

 

It’s time to abolish the “Human Rights” Commissions!

 

http://www.StopSection13.com

http://www.freedomsite.org

http://blog.freedomsite.org

http://canadianhumanrightscommission.blogspot.com