17 Jan

Google is a massive tech company that paved the road of web search. With adding tools like Google maps and earth, Google drive, gmail and developer tools, the little search engine became a large well-rounded hub, where people can access what they want, when they want, where they want. Google is able to access all the information a user inputs into it’s services, even wifi information used on phones run by android/Google. There has been much controversy over Google and its power when it comes to the tech giants ability to gain and access sensitive information.

Google has recently been under a lot of bad media due to rival companies like Microsoft. Google is a leader in app sales, and its because google hands over all the sensitive information mined and in putted by the Google users, according to Microsoft. The company is not transparent in what it’s doing with the user information, and users do not have an option to opt out. Not only is google accused of this in North America, but allegations overseas are being made against google as well. According to the fairsearch coalition, Google is using its android platform to dominate and monopolize the market, as well as to control consumer data. In 2013, Google had to pay $7 million to settle charges against the company for improperly collecting data from user’s wifi and the Google streetview application. The tech company also had to pay more to settle allegations that they had placed unauthorized cookies in the browsers of unknowing users. Although, Google didn’t admit to doing it during the case. While Google is giving out it’s users personal information, they are left to wonder, what exactly are other companies receiving about them. Google automatically stores our credit and debit card numbers, what we purchase, where we purchase it and how often it occurs, especially in the android app store. This is perfect information for a firm to better launch aggressive sales campaigns and ads targeting the users. With all the brainpower at google, what could happen with all of the personal and sensitive information such as age, gender, credit card number etc if someone decides to hack and steal the information saved, whether its from inside the company or not.

Google’s privacy policy says it collects any personal information the user gives including telephone numbers, credit card numbers, email address etc, what websites the user visits, device and login information, location information, and storage and cookie identifiers. This is fine since it’s all secure, right? On the privacy policy, there is mention of transparency and how the user may control what google can know about you. Only it mentions nothing of what they do with the information after they have it. Google states that they will not share user informations with companies unless they have our consent or believe the company will use the information properly. (in other words who has the biggest wallet?) Google encrypts a lot (not all) of the user information added to its services, offers a two step verification when logging in, as well as a safe browsing feature in Google chrome. Great, now users can safely browse the web, but google will still be seeing a lot of information in putted, and what happens with that? That’s where transparency is lost.

The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) is a Canadian act that governs how organizations collect and use the personal information they receive in commercial business. This law passed in April 2000 to promote trust in e commerce. Some of the key features of this act for the individual include: know why an organization collects, uses or discloses their personal information; expect an organization to collect, use or disclose their personal information reasonably and appropriately, and not use the information for any purpose other than that to which they have consented; know who in the organization is responsible for protecting their personal information;expect an organization to protect their personal information by taking appropriate security measures.

For the company, features of this act include: obtain consent when they collect, use or disclose their personal information; supply an individual with a product or a service even if they refuse consent for the collection, use or disclosure of your personal information unless that information is essential to the transaction; collect information by fair and lawful means.

While PIPEDA has good intentions, it is not fully protecting the average Canadian. This is because the act follows a ombudsman model which means complaints are taken by the privacy commissioner of Canada, where they will follow up and write a report. But it is not binding on any of the parties, so the company can take it as a recommendation and not something they actually need to do. Any company can say they’re only doing legitimate things with the users data, but behind closed doors might not be. In this society, if a Google user, or any internet user for that matter wish to have internet privacy, they should consider selling their computer; because no matter how hard a person tries, information will always be sent somewhere, whether its a phone number, credit card number or what website you visit the most.


The Misjudgement of Socialism

11 Nov

First off let’s start with a definition.

Socialism: An economic system characterised by social ownership of the means of production. Also a political philosophy advocating such a  system.

Let us take a deeper look at this, because socialism is a very broad term. In economics the original idea was to produce goods and services for their use-value. The goal of this system is for physical units to be produced for use, rather than profit. Which means goods are produced based on usefulness rather than the exchange-value (price). Now we have the political theory of socialism. There’s quite a few terms within this, Anarchism, Leninism, religious socialism, but I will focus on Libertarian Socialism. This term describes a non-bureaucratic society without a private business sector. This form of socialism is highly anti-capitalist. The goal of this theory is to distribute power among the people to promote equality and freedom.

Now that things have been cleared up, we can start on the issue of “Entitlements” and how it is assumed socialists believe they are “entitled” to everything. I believe in Political Socialism, while I am not partial to Economic Socialism. The reason being I know a country could not survive solely on socialism; the economy would more than likely fail. Having some sort of private business sector, regulated and free of greed, would keep the economy afloat without compromising socialist political values. I do not believe that socialism means handouts to those who don’t deserve it while others work for the benefit of them. Socialism is for the benefit of everyone. It is crucial to understand that socialism is not communism where everyone regulated within an inch of their lives; but higher taxes for a stronger social security net.

If the people who have been attacking me lately knew what I stood for, maybe they would realise how utterly idiotic they sound. People believe that I think I do not need to lift a finger, and that everything will be done for me… For us socialists. This is a ridiculous notion and highly untrue. I never believed I was entitled to food or money when my mother was not being paid well. I did not think I deserved to take other people’s food because I was starving. However I was very thankful for the food bank which fed my mom and myself while she got on her feet. I never came to close to thinking or saying “Hey, we live in someone elses basement and do not have a high income, so we should be entitled to welfare and free food.” Keep in mind, I was also just a kid. I highly doubt I even understood the term “government hand-outs” but I was smart enough to realize without the food bank and the kindness of the people we lived with, I would have never survived. The way things were when I was younger could quite possibly be the reason for my political beliefs now. Everyone deserves to have the basic needs met; food, water, and a bed to sleep on. I work for the things I own, I do not want handouts, because there is no better feeling than working for something that you really want, and achieving the goal. But the resources should still be there, because in reality, there are economic busts. We don’t live in a perfect world and people need help. I’ve received this help before, many people across the world are right now.

It’s been quite tiresome hearing the “insults” that involve the word entitled. If you want to attack my beliefs at least do it with facts and proof, if you want to attack me, think about yourself first. Think about what things you might have been through, think about things people you know and love have been through. Discussing ideas and opposing viewpoints is quite interesting, and a lot more productive than launching attacks.

An Inside Hacker

19 Oct

The RCMP has arrested a former IT employee for allegedly hacking the Quebec government website. It is believed that back in spring he tried to disable the government website during the height of the student protests. Janvier Doyon-Tremblay was working at the House of Commons and hacked into the system to give himself more privileges. Then proceeded to upload malicious programs to shut down the site.
Now you have got to be kidding me. This guy has now been charged with two counts of unauthorized use of computers and one count of mischief in relation to data under the criminal code. He had the privilege to work with the House of Commons and the RCMP; and totally let that go to waste. He chose to follow Anonymous, the group who spearheaded the Occupy movement. Would someone please explain how hacking and shutting down or defacing a website will change anything in the world? Their presence on the internet has done nothing but promote fear about our governments. Their presence in the real world? Masked people gathered in protests, which usually end in violence.
Alright now someone explain, why would a guy with a degree in information technology waste that? What company or organization will hire a man who has been charged with misuse of computers? I wouldn’t.

Scientology, What is it really?

11 Oct

Here is a little post I wrote few months ago!

Scientology teaches people that they are immortal beings who have forgotten their true nature… (sounds cool, right?)
To get you back on the path to your true nature, you go through counseling, known as auditing, in which the practitioners aim to re-experience painful or traumatic events from their PAST lives in order to move on and free themselves of the effects.
The core beliefs of Scientology is that each person is a ‘Thetan’ or a soul. To unlock your ‘true power’ one must go through auditing, which is very COSTLY. (Auditing removes the ‘negative’ influences and psychic barriers)

Only after large amounts of auditing, Scientologists are shown the esoteric origin MYTH involving an ALIEN OVERLORD and GENOCIDE.

Sure, that sounds cool… But is it?
The dangers of Scientology are great. Many former Scientologists and anti-Scientology activists have leaked many serious secrets by the organization.
Scientology violates the right to free speech.
Scientology is ‘legally recognized’ as a tax-EXEMPT religion in the U.S.A.
They violate HUMAN rights such as suspicious DEATHS, TORTURE, coerced ABORTIONS and human trafficking.
Illegal actions have been committed such as slander, libel, extortion, harassment and lawsuits (encouraged when directed toward those who challenge Scientology.)
They practice unsafe drug rehabilitation, and BOGUS educational organizations designed to infiltrate schools to recruit young people.

Spread the word and make people more aware!

Mitt Romney- Not The Problem?

29 Sep

As we all know, Obama’s support has been soaring in the polls, while Mittens is left in the dust, begging for some support. But why? Wouldn’t a man who founded one of the countries most successful financial firms, and fluent in the language of economics, be popular among the Americans? There is no denying, when the election season first started, Mitt had a great reputation, and it seemed very likely his inauguration would be around the corner. Twitter had become lively, chattering about the new man on the field, Mittens. People were running.. sprinting to get a piece of this guy, to finally have a republican president again; although he still does have a decent “fan base”, His VP, Ryan dissolved many of his early supporters. Mitt was your “ordinary” conservative candidate, nothing to crazy coming from his side… and then BOOM their policies on rape, birth control, abortions etc blew up.

There has been some speculation saying maybe it’s not Romney, but the new Republican party. Many members of the Republican party have been quick to blame their new figure-head, yet if Romney would preach some sort of economic policy, the party would revolt against him, even our one and only Mittens knows there needs to be some tax raises and spending cuts. oh, but for the Republican party to be able to wrap their heads around tax increases? Yeah, right. As the months have been passing by, I’ve almost started to feel bad for Romney. He’s becoming like Bush, in a sense that, if something isn’t written for him, he sounds utterly ridiculous. Romney is definitely a smart man, he proved this during his run as governor. It’s almost like he’s stuck in between a rock and a hard place, trying not to outrage his supporters and party, and to manage the hate from the other side of the spectrum.

Romney has been tied into a knot, as he tries to campaign without straying from his party strictures. There is a new political correctness with the Republican party, which includes not uttering the word taxes, nor speculate about immigration policies.

Waging War: Conservatives and Liberals

2 Sep

This is coming to you in a Liberal perspective.

This “war” has been getting utterly ridiculous. What is going on right now you cannot call politics.
Conservatives are slinging insults to Liberals, and vice versa. What ever happened to listening and debating about one another’s opinions?
I can no longer post about being liberal, my ideas, and supporting Obama without some conservative getting riled up and telling me I’m wrong.
I try not to sling insults, but when someone is telling you to kill yourself when all you did was post your opinion, it is hard to not get mad.

If you don’t agree with what I say, and approach in a respectful manner, I will respect you. One of my favorite things about being involved with politics is talking to people who are complete opposite of me, and hearing their opinions on issues, current events, bills etc, It gives a bigger perspective and a better understanding. When someone messages me telling me to kill myself, or that I’m stupid and uneducated, I do not rebuttal with “huurr duur no u so stupyd y u no kill yoself?” because that’s wrong. You don’t believe the same thing as me? Okay, that’s cool, tell me what you believe and we can share opinions!

I wonder if it makes people feel good to tell a young girl to kill herself? And do you know what’s worse? When you get used to people saying these things. When it becomes so regular that you almost expect it to happen.
“Hellooooo this is America/Canada/where ever, we have freedom of speech!”
Yes, we have the right to speak our minds, but we all have the responsibility to respect one another. We all share the same air, eat the same kind of food, buy the same cars, do the same activities, Yet we are letting political differences put a wall between our fellow human beings?
I have some friends who are conservatives, and you know what we do? We will talk about it respectively or not talk about it at all.

Religion and Politics

24 Jul

Probably one of the oldest debates known to man: Should religion and politics go hand in hand, or never be considered together?

Before I continue, I should point some things out. I am a christian, I believe in God. I’ve read the bible and I am a left-wing libertarian. I suppose this makes me biased. Maybe, maybe not.

Let’s start with the average day beliefs. A good relevant example of religion reigning over politics is the Gay Rights Movement. Many conservatives and republicans are known to be closely associated with faith and not support gay rights. This is because they think homosexuality is a sin, because that’s what the bible says. So, as politicians, they make the decision that everyone should be heterosexual, and anything else should be illegal. Basically, if you’re happy and different, stop it, because then you wouldn’t be a model cookie cutter citizen in the eyes of a republican. Modern day society is hardly the same as it was 50 years ago, where if you weren’t at church on sunday morning in your best, then you had to be sick at home. We are all surrounded by many different cultures and religions, immigration is bringing so much diversity into our westernized atmospheres.
Using religion to make decisions as a politician in modern-day society just does not work. Doing that is assuming everyone is ruled by said religion, when, a large amount of the population differs in beliefs.

When I’m thinking about politics, I push all thoughts of religion aside. We do not live in a theocracy, and we should not pretend like we do. As I mentioned, the diverse cultures we are surrounded by have different beliefs, and I would never, as a politician decide that what I believe is the only way. Everyone deserves happiness, I’m not going to be someone who denies such a basic right to humanity.
Often this belief gets many challenges. How could I be a Christian and support what is wrong and sinful? Everything comes down to morals, I happen to believe everyone should be happy, and that everyone deserves equal rights. Happiness isn’t a sin.

Isn’t it funny how those who preach homosexuality is a sin, are sinners themselves?
In this day, people are fueled by greed, they lie and cheat to get to where they wish to be. Are those not sins?
If you preach it, you better practice it.