Privacy

Section: 
Editorial

Events of the past week or two suggest honour is a thing of the past.

 

Donald Sterling, owner of the Los Angeles Clippers of the National Basketball Association (NBA), had an argument with his concubine a few weeks ago. Their private conversation became public and Sterling became a pariah on the world stage for the comments he made about African-Americans.

 

Toronto mayor Rob Ford’s “friends” have a tendency to video his antics while he’s under the influence of drugs and then they try to sell the videos to news outlets. Friends like Ford’s you don’t need.

 

The Ford and Sterling cases raise an interesting question. If you say something in private, should you expect it to remain private?

 

Maybe not.

 

The federal government is spying on all of us. Government security agencies ask Canada’s cellphone carriers for customer information on an average 1.2 million Canadians per year. The big telecom companies simply hand those records over without a warrant.

 

George Orwell’s book, 1984, seems to be coming true, even if it is 30 years late. Do something electronically and there will be a record of it. Big Brother is watching you.

 

I’ve been working with computers since they first hit the marketplace but I don’t put near the faith in them that many Canadians do.

 

I’ll continue to do my banking at the bank and you won’t see me using Facebook and Twitter. Actually, my daughter made me a Twitter account but I’ve never sent out a tweet and never check it.

 

Who knows, I could be under investigation because I don’t have a smart phone and I don’t use the internet enough.

 

Younger Canadians should be more concerned about their privacy. If the government is able to keep track of everything digital, what’s to stop it from one day making public something you said among friends?

 

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Back to Rob Ford, the finally disgraced Toronto mayor.

 

The pundits were wondering last week why people continued to support Ford despite his litany of sins.

 

I would guess it had something to do with his thumbing his nose at authority and getting away with it. He’s bad mouthed the police chief, driven under the influence, smoked crack cocaine, etc. and never paid a penalty. Most people who work for a living know that if they were drunk and disorderly in public, driving under the influence, or urinated in a mall parking lot, etc., they would likely spend a night in jail.

 

Not so Mr. Ford.

 

However, I believe his sins have finally caught up with him.

 

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Conservatism: 1. any of several political  philosophies, especially one opposing radical reform, placing value in established institutions, and subjugating individual  freedom to order, rank, security and the good of the community, or one promoting individualism and non-intervention by the state. 2. opposition to change.

 

That’s the Oxford Dictionary definition of conservatism. The Conservative Party of Canada no longer fits the definition.

 

Prime Minister Stephen Harper certainly shows no respect to our institutions.

 

He filled the Senate with hacks and wanted to make major changes to it. The Supreme Court ruled that the Senate can only be changed by opening the Constitution which involves Ottawa negotiating with the provinces.

 

That ruling makes sense. Why would you let the government of the day make major changes to the Constitution all by itself? That could mean changes each election.

 

Anyway, Harper didn’t like the decision of the highest court in the land and now he’s fighting with the Supreme Court.

 

He’d likely eliminate the opposition in Parliament if he could.

 

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Finally, here’s a suggestion for sayings for new municipal T-shirts to promote tourism.

 

A picture of an ice flow on the lake with the saying: Chill out in Kincardine. A picture of a wind turbine with the saying: Kincardine blows you away.