A series of emails released through a Freedom of Information Act request shine light on collusion between the United States government and TransCanada, a corporation building a controversial pipeline from the Canadian Athabasca oil sands into its southern neighbor. The controversy extends beyond the currently poor safety record for delivering oil between the two countries, and beyond the environmental and health consequences of the oil extraction process for locals and the cost of climate changes it will contribute to, all the way to legal wrangling between Canadian media and Saudi Arabia over the "death panels"-like term "ethical oil", based upon a conservative group's advertising that argues that the purchase of Canadian-sourced oil is a morally superior act, because of oppression of women and human rights violations by the Saudi kingdom.
The Combating Terrorism Act (C-17) has passed second reading in Canada's House of Commons with the support of both Liberals and Conservatives. The bill would allow terrorism suspects to be jailed without trial for up to 12 months. So far it has been completely ignored by Canada's mainstream media. [more inside]
Microsoft collaborates with the Department of Homeland Security, Interpol, and the Canadian Mounties to produce the ultimate people-tracking database, mining email aliases, "chat room" logs, and arrest records. This open-source software developed by MS Canada will be given away free to police departments, says the company. "The initiative was the result of a January 2003 e-mail sent to Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates from a member of the Toronto Police Service sex-crimes unit, asking for help in battling child pornography," reports the Seattle Times. "The billionaire, known for his philanthropy in the area of AIDS research and education, called on Microsoft Canada to develop software that would aid police officials." Buried in the enthusiastic accounts of how the Child Exploitation Tracking System (CETS) will nail "child sex fiends" is any consideration of how such a system could -- and will undoubtedly someday -- be used against such lesser offenses as drug use, sharing illegal music files, or discussion of political beliefs that could be construed as supporting "terrorism."
Canada gets it own Star Chamber. New "anti-terrorism" bill allows police to arrest and hold "suspects" for 72 hours without a charge, allows the government agency that monitors foreign communications to spy on Canadians, and creates "investigative hearings" in which you can be compelled to testify before a judge.