These days Facebook is dominating the news. Under fire from regulators and lawmakers over its business practices, Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook is planning to rebrand itself — and will be giving itself a new name that’s going to have something to do with the metaverse.

Critics argue that the re-naming is a just distraction from the controversies Facebook has found itself in. Not the least of which are centered in Canada. In a press conference Monday, Charlie Angus, MP for Timmins-James Bay, called on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government to implement a multi-faceted plan to regulate social media giants like Facebook. The social media company also owns global social media platforms Instagram and WhatsApp.

The Canadian who arguably is most well versed in the policy and regulation questions concerning Facebook is Dr. Michael Geist. Geist is a law professor at the University of Ottawa where he holds the Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-commerce Law. He’s also the author of the 2015 book Law, Privacy, and Surveillance in Canada in the Post-Snowden Era.

National politics reporter Stephen Wentzell spoke to Michael Geist this week for rabble.ca as part of his report on Facebook regulation in Canada.   Geist is a law professor at the University of Ottawa where he holds the Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-commerce Law. He’s also the author of the 2015 book Law, Privacy, and Surveillance in Canada in the Post-Snowden Era.

In Case You Missed It

the stories we think matter most on good ol’ rabble.ca this week, include:

Joyce Nelson writes that both Amazon and Google are planning to expand data centres in Montreal and Toronto. But, she says, if the tech giants don’t renounce militarism and cancel Israel’s Project Nimbus, they may find significant pushback in both of those cities.  Project Nimbus is a cloud-based technology that could provide AI-assisted surveillance tools to the Israeli military and government.

Still on tech, Penney Kome writes about truck “platooning” – one truck driver leading a conga line of autonomous vehicles along Canada’s highways. If that sounds like a train on asphalt, that’s pretty much the idea. But, perhaps rail is more efficient, and maybe only the biggest trucking companies will be able to afford the new cyberconga tech.

Now to Indigenous & political actions. Brent Patterson told us that as carbon emissions increase, Indigenous land defenders opposed to fossil fuel megaprojects have continued to be criminalized despite the commitments made at the COP21 summit in Paris in December 2015. He calls on Trudeau to end the criminalization of frontline land defenders and water protectors opposed to the extractive megaprojects that are accelerating the climate crisis.

And finally,  David Suzuki writes that we should, literally, leave well enough alone and let tree debris to stay on your lawn. Saves you trouble and, he says, helps out pollinators like butterflies whose chrysalises hide out in the duff and tree debris. Who knew? 

Theme Music: composed and performed by Karl Nerenberg.

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