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The criminalization of dissent in the U.S.

Early in the morning on Friday, September 24, FBI agents in Chicago and Minnesota's Twin Cities kicked in the doors of anti-war activists, brandishing guns, spending hours rifling through their homes. The FBI took away computers, photos, notebooks and other personal property. Residents were issued subpoenas to appear before a grand jury in Chicago. It was just the latest in the ongoing crackdown on dissent in the U.S., targeting peace organizers as supporters of "foreign terrorist organizations."


The G20's symbolic violence

This week's mass processing inside (and outside) a Toronto courthouse helped clarify June's Jailapalooza festival during the G20, the largest mass arrest in our history. Of 1,100 detained, all but 227 had the charges dropped or were never charged. Most had no links to burning police cars or battered bank machines. They were picked up while protesting peacefully or looking on.

Why? Police say they wanted to prevent recurrences, after the dramatic events. Some intimate they were embarrassed by criticisms of their earlier inaction, and overreacted. Why had police gone missing at the crucial time? There's been no clear answer. One possibility: to justify the vaulting security costs via shocking images of violence.

| August 14, 2014

To the Cloud: Big Data in a Turbulent World -- book launch with Vincent Mosco

Wednesday, September 17, 2014 - 7:00pm - 9:00pm


Octopus Books at 25One Community
2nd floor, 251 Bank St.
Ottawa, ON
45° 24' 58.86" N, 75° 41' 48.9732" W

In the wake of revelations about National Security Agency activities—many of which occur “in the cloud”—this book offers both enlightenment and a critical view. Cloud computing and big data are arguably the most significant forces in information technology today. In clear prose, To the Cloud explores where the cloud originated, what it means, and how important it is for business, government, and citizens. It describes the intense competition among cloud companies like Amazon and Google, the spread of the cloud to government agencies like the controversial NSA, and the astounding growth of entire cloud cities in China.

| July 19, 2014

Surveillance, empire and the future

No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State

by Glenn Greenwald
(Metropolitan Books,

Way back in July 2000, the Wall Street Journal, reporting on revelations and rumors about NSA snooping, offered the following: 

"The granddaddy of all bogus fears, though, is Echelon. If you believe some European Union parliamentarians, the United States and Britain operate an international network that monitors virtually all communications, and extracts choice nuggets with powerful computers that recognize key phrases in messages like 'assassination,' 'terrorist attack' or 'industrial secret.'"


| July 7, 2014
| June 6, 2014
| June 5, 2014

Canadian Journalists for Free Expression Panel Discussion: 'Should Surveillance Scare You?'

Tuesday, June 17, 2014 - 7:30pm


NOW Lounge
189 Church Street
Toronto, ON
43° 39' 19.1808" N, 79° 22' 35.4396" W

Please join us on June 17th for a lively panel discussion, focusing on the role and significance of digital surveillance in Canada. The panel will feature Citizen Lab's Chris Parsons and Toronto Star National Security reporter Michelle Shephard.

Location: NOW Lounge, 189 Church Street, Toronto, ON
Date: Tuesday June 17, 7:30pm

For more details about the event, see our website:

 If you would like to attend, please RSVP here:

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