Monday, May 5, 2014


While I may write something of my own later today, the letters in this morning's Star are both incisive and damning of the Harper regime's penchant for insinuating itself into our lives by bribing telecoms and social media to turn over our private date at the rrate of $1 to $3 each. Enjoy:

They are watching you, April 30

Alex Boutilier makes it clear why the telcom companies are so willing, indeed delighted, to cooperate with government spy agencies and deliver up, for just the asking, our private communications for scrutiny. They get paid for it. This is part of their business model, and they profit well from it.

George Orwell, author of “1984” (in 1934), would be so smiling today.

Edward A. Collis, Burlington

You don’t suppose that the bulk of these searches are for information on people who posted Liberal or NDP signs on their lawns during the past federal election? A certain Canadian political party having nothing but an address might want to know the names and telephone numbers of these “enemies of the people” that they might be directed to the wrong polls by the famous “Demon Dialer” during the next vote.

Richard Gibbons, Hamilton

Big Brother's busy friends, Editorial May 1

I thank the Star for highlighting this latest, crucial breach of public trust, and I couldn’t agree more with your editorial. I’ve never felt so hopping mad as I do on learning of this latest, sickeningly brazen violation of the sanctity of private information.

The scale and scope of it is a clarion call to all Canadians, that if we sleep walk through this outrage, we’ll almost certainly have passed the point of no return. We will spiral ever faster downwards into a police and surveillance state, something unthinkable a generation ago. Mr. Harper is either with us or with the dictators and despots. Which is it?

If I were the Leader of the federal Opposition, I would putting this question to the Prime Minister: “Mr. Speaker, there are those among today’s conservatives who feel that if you’ve nothing to hide, you shouldn’t mind the state invading your privacy. By that token, I call on the Prime Minister to cooperate with the federal privacy commissioner and disclose what information on private citizens has been given up by the media companies — and why, and which agencies are now in possession of it — and why. If he and his government have done no wrong, then they’ll also have nothing to hide.”

Ted Nasmith, Bradford

Is it not ironic that a government that claims to be honest, transparent and accountable would lie to us, hide information from us and consistently block the release of information requested in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act?

Is it not ironic to have a majority government that was opposed by 60 per cent of the voters? Is it not ironic that this government’s “fair elections act” completely ignores the current system’s failure to represent the will of the “majority” of citizens?

Is it not ironic that a government so obsessed with its own secrecy and privacy is so anxious to violate the privacy of the public it supposedly serves? Is it not ironic to have the leader of this government present himself as a committed defender of Ukraine’s democracy?

Why would Ukrainians deserve democracy more than us?

Randy Gostlin, Oshawa

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