Showing posts from March 29, 2017

B.C. must unlock environmental information

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[BC ELECTION 2017!!! Secrecy serves the hidden interests of the Liberals and the corporatocracy. See also: B.C.'s students serve notice to Kinder Morgan and Premier Clark for provincial election. *RON*]

Calvin Sandborn & Vincent Gogolek, Victoria Times Colonist, 26 March 2017.

Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin said: “Access to information is essential to democracy.”

It is a fundamental democratic principle: The public must be able to see government’s environmental decisions. Yet for far too long, the B.C. government has kept such information under lock and key — which has endangered both the environment and public safety.

For example, in 2010, a dam near Oliver collapsed, unleashing a mudslide that destroyed several houses. The Environmental Law Centre subsequently discovered that government had inspection reports warning of danger — but had failed to alert the public. In 2013, the information commissioner agreed with our argument that t…

US Senate votes to let internet providers share your web browsing history without permission

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["Pure bad news," just what no consumer asked for. "This resolution is a direct attack on consumer rights, on privacy, on rules that afford basic protection against intrusive and illegal interference with consumers' use of social media sites and websites that often they talk for granted." *RON*]
Jacob Kastrenakes, The Verge, 29 March 2017

The US Senate has voted to overturn consumer-friendly internet privacy rules that would have prevented internet providers from sharing your web browsing history without permission.

The privacy rules, passed last year by the FCC, required internet providers like Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T to get each customer’s permission before sharing personal information like which websites they visit. But internet providers want to be able to sell that data and use it to target ads, so they’ve been vocal about opposing the rules since around the time President Trump took office.

This vote uses the Co…

Analysts predict the YouTube advertiser boycott will cost Google $750 million

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[Estimates vary widely, but some are now putting Google's anticipated losses in the range of a billion dollars. *RON*]

Julien Rath, Business Insider, 27 March 2017

Google could lose up to $750 million from the advertiser boycott related to ads appearing next to extremist content like videos, according to a note from analysts at Nomura Instinet.

According to the note, Google-owned YouTube, which relies on big brands' advertising, could take a 7.5% hit to its revenues, which are estimated to be $10.2 billion for 2017.

Five of the top 20 US advertisers have frozen their advertising with Google, as have dozens more around the world. Those five companies make up 7.5% of US ad spend, according to the note.

Traditional TV companies will likely look to capitalize on the boycott during the upfronts — when networks try to sell the bulk of their advertising — which run from March to May and emphasize the view that advertising on TV guarantees brand saf…

Did Putin put out a contract on a Russian whistleblower and critic?

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[Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko: "The despicable murder of Denis Voronenkov ... is an act of state terrorism by Russia, [a country] he was forced to leave for political reasons. Russia's special services were involved in it."]

Traci Tong, Public Radio International, 23 March 2017

Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko did not mince words about neighboring Russia following the assassination of an outspoken Kremlin critic in Kiev.

Denis Voronenkov, 45, was gunned down in broad daylight in front of a luxury hotel in the center of the city Thursday. He was a former member of the Russian parliament before he renounced his citizenship and emigrated last October to Ukraine where he became a citizen.

While in Kiev, Voronenkov was openly critical of President Vladimir Putin and other pro-Russian leaders. Correspondent Anna Nemtsova, with Newsweek and The Daily Beast, remembers the last time she spoke to Voronenkov.

"Just imagi…

Liberal Plan To Legalize Marijuana Has Some Provinces Worried

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[I thought the Provinces' biggest concern would be how to divvy up the massive tax windfall. *RON*]

Kristy Kirkup, Canadian Press / Huffington Post, 28 March 2017

OTTAWA — The federal government's plan to make Canada the first G7 country to legalize marijuana is creating political friction domestically, amid fears it will be the latest bone of contention between some of the provinces and Ottawa.

A number of provincial governments are expressing concern in the wake of signals that federal legislation to legalize pot will be introduced the week of April 10 — just 10 days before annual "Weed Day" celebrations held across the country.

Quebec's outspoken Health Minister Gaetan Barrette said Tuesday that Ottawa tossed out a date for the proposed legislation without warning.

"It's not normal for a national government to address its partners in this way," he said in Quebec City. "For a government that often has the w…

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