Baglow v Free Dominion has become an Internet test case!

From Connie and Mark Fournier:


New news in the Baglow Trial

The court has now appointed an expert witness (that the parties have to pay for), and the “three-day” trial that turned into seven, now has seven additional daysscheduled in September!!

It is obvious that the court is serious about wanting to make case law regarding internet defamation, and that Baglow vs Free Dominion is now the test case.  We are doing our best to make sure that the decision is one that will help put an end to frivolous internet defamation lawsuits for good!

We’ve started a fundraiser to help pay for the court-appointed expert and for the additional court days.

You can help us by making a donation and/or by sharing our fundraiser link on your social networks!

The outcome of this case is important to all of us!

We can add offline donations to our fundraiser total now, so, if you prefer:

You can use PayPal by clicking this link:  Donate

If you feel more inclined, you can also help out using an Interac Email Money Transfer to .

Alternatively, our mailing address is:

Connie Fournier
2000 Unity Rd
Elginburg, ON  K0H 1M0

As always, your thoughts and prayers are appreciated more than anything else!  Thank you so much for your faithful support! 

Fondest Regards,
Connie and Mark


Rep. Ted Poe (TX-2) on the Path to Digital Privacy Reform

Very well phrased and clearly explained – it’s like this guy’s not even a politician!




A message from Fight For the Future:

Yesterday, a Federal judge issued a fiery ruling condemning the NSA’s bulk phone record collection program as “likely” unconstitutional. Judge Richard Leon went on to call the program “almost Orwellian” and stated in no uncertain terms that it “infringes on ‘that degree of privacy’ that the Founders enshrined in the Fourth Amendment.” (1)


Congress needs to hear this. The NSA’s programs are illegal. Tell them before they ram through a bill that will give the NSA even more power.


This is a huge blow to the NSA’s programs — and one that would not have been possible without the massive grassroots movement that YOU helped us build. We’ve been saying these programs are unconstitutional since even before Snowden came along — it feels good to be vindicated, doesn’t it?


”They’re pushing a bill called the “FISA Improvements Act” that would legalize, and even expand, the very same program that Judge Leon just declared unconstitutional.


We won’t let that happen. Help us tell Congress that we won’t accept any fake fix to NSA abuses. Click here to demand an end to illegal spying — nothing less.


Make sure you take action on this one — it’s really important — but also take a minute today to savor how awesome this all is: the NSA’s power is crumbling. They’re taking a beating from the courts, the tech community, and even the UN, who recently de clared digital privacy a human right. (3)


It’s important that we keep the pressure on. We’re working on our campaign to take our privacy campaigns to an epic level in the coming year. There are incredibly powerful interests doing everything they can to muddy the debate and keep the NSA in the shadows. And even if Judge Leon’s ruling is upheld, it’s only a beginning, since it would primarily protect the rights of Americans and we all know that EVERYONE deserves freedom and privacy, regardless of where they live.


One thing is for sure. If NSA defenders in Congress pass the FISA Improvements Act, things will go from bad to worse. Click here to speak out in defense of our most basic rights.


When I started writing this email, the first thing I wanted to say was “BOOH YAH NSA!” We have a long way to go, but everyone should savor this moment. It’s another big win to add to our streak.


This fight is in Congress, but if you’re not in the U.S. we still need your help to spread the word. U.S. laws unfortunately affect all of us, so share this image to voice your demands. We’re planning more action soon to tackle government surveillance internationally, so stay tuned.


Glad to have you on team Internet,

-Tiffiniy and Evan

Fight for the Future


P.S. We’re just about to start our year-end fundraising drive. Not everyone has the ability to donate, so if you do, please chip in whatever you can here.


P.P.S. We thought we’d leave you with this awesome quote from Edward Snowden himself about Judge Leon’s ruling. The last sentence will give you goosebumps. Also, be sure to read this fascinating account from a current NSA employee that seriously calls into question many of the government’s’ claims about Snowden.


“I acted on my belief that the N.S.A.’s mass surveillance programs would not withstand a constitutional challenge, and that the American public deserved a chance to see these issues determined by open courts. Today, a secret program authorized by a secret court was, when exposed to the light of day, found to violate Americans’ rights. It is the first of many.” — Edward Snowden



1) New York Times, Federal Judge’s Ruling on N.S.A. Lawsuit
2) Maplight, Senate NSA Data Collection Bills -Top Intelligence Contractors Contribute Three Times More to Feinstein Than Leahy

3) United Nations General Assembly, Third Committee Approves Text Titled “Right to Privacy in the Digital Age.”


CCF oral submissions in Bernard at the Supreme Court of Canada

Legal Challenges to NSA Abuse (Laura Donohue)


CISPA: when governments take ‘secret votes’, you know you will not benefit from their actions

Here is an email I received yesterday:  it took me a while to blog it because I just did not want to think about it….it’s that bad.

Having lived in a totalitarian state, I can honestly explain the number 1 tool totalitarians government use for keeping control over their populace:  pass laws that NOBODY can ‘not break’ at one time or another.  Then, if someone becomes ‘uncomfortable’ or ‘too uppity’ or starts saying things the people in power (usually the apartchiks – the bureaucrats who make the totalitarian regime possible), they will selectively enforce the laws against them.

CISPA not only ends all expectation of privacy in ALL online activity, it also creates an environment where regular citizens will, inevitably, break one or another of its provisions:  and THAT makes it a very dangerous thing!


If you’re a Google, Facebook, or Twitter user, or if your friends are, you should be worried.

Today, Congress held a secret vote on CISPA, the modern government surveillance system that every website, including Google, Facebook, and Twitter could participate in, if it becomes law.

Here’s one important way to protect all that data they have on you right now.

Facebook supported CISPA when it was proposed last year.  This time, even Facebook is saying the bill has privacy problems, but we still haven’t heard from Google or Twitter.

Will they let the government get all of our data against all privacy laws?  Will they share your personal data with the government once you’re no longer able to sue them for it?  We don’t know.

As Congress takes a secret vote on CISPA, tell these companies: “No way! We want to trust your privacy policy and believe you will stand by it! Respect our privacy!”

This is an important moment to get them before it’s too late.

That’s why Reddit’s co-founder, Alexis, called Google’s CEO himself to ask them about where they stand on CISPA.


Alexis Ohanian calls Google, asks to speak to CEO about privacy with amusing results...

We’re making headway — FFTF is delivering 300,000 signatures to CISPA co-sponsors one by one over Twitter. But the threat of CISPA moving forward in the House is very real. The bill passed out of Committee today and will be rushing to a floor vote next week.

Help your friends too and forward this email.

It’s your email; tell Google to support your right to keep it private!

It’s your private information; tell Facebook and Twitter to keep it that way!

Take an important step to protect all that data they have on you right now.

Thank you for everything,

Tiffiniy Cheng, Fight for the Future

P.S. want more awesome stuff like this? Can you kick down $10 to support our campaigns for Internet freedom? Thanks! Oh, and we also accept bitcoins now! Check it out. 

Internet Defense League

Just received this:

Dear Internet Defense League member,

Last year, right on the heels of our historic victory against SOPA, a piece of really nasty legislation almost passed that would have radically undermined online privacy.

It was called CISPA.  And it raced through the US House of Representatives, passing before any of us had a chance to react.  We stalled the bill in the Senate, but now CISPA is back, and we don’t want to make the same mistake twice.  Before there is *any* movement on the bill, we want to send a strong message to Congress that CISPA shouldn’t pass.

That’s why we’re partnering with the Electronic Frontier Foundation to launch an Internet Defense League action starting tomorrow, Tuesday March 19th.

Can you participate? If so, get the code for your site here:

And help get more people signed up by sharing this page with your social network:


Wait, what is CISPA?  And why does it matter so much?

CISPA (the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act) would give companies complete freedom to share your personal data with the US government.  It doesn’t *require* them to do so, but if the government asked it would be hard to say no, and they’d have no reason to– CISPA would free them from any promises made to customers in public statements or privacy policies.

Your emails, your Facebook account, your bank statements, the websites you visit, your real-time location (courtesy of your cellphone company)– all of it could soon belong to a slew of government agencies and even local police, who could use it against you without a warrant.

Get the code:

The IDL action will display only tomorrow. The banner looks like this: The modal looks like this:

And they both link to this action page hosted by the EFF:

Please spread the word.

Thanks!  Sincerely,
Holmes Wilson – Internet Defense League

P.S. If you’d like to learn more about CISPA, the EFF has a great FAQ page here:

A quick guide to current online privacy threats

Google Circumvents Safari Privacy Protections – This is Why We Need Do Not Track

We knew this was happening – but now we have proof.

‘Earlier today, the Wall Street Journal published evidence that Google has been circumventing the privacy settings of Safari and iPhone users, tracking them on non-Google sites despite Apple’s default settings, which were intended to prevent such tracking.

This tracking, discovered by Stanford researcher Jonathan Mayer, was a technical side-effect—probably an unintended side-effect—of a system that Google built to pass social personalization information (like, “your friend Suzy +1’ed this ad about candy”) from the domain to the domain. Further technical explanation can be found below.’

It looks like this was a bit of a case where one division within Google was working on privacy issues – like the ‘no cookies’ option, while another was trying to inject the ‘social networking’ experience into Google (a bad idea, in my never-humble-opinion:  if I want to know what my friends are up to, I’ll ask them – I certainly don’t need Google to pop up a bubble to tell me what they thought of something) and ‘worked around’ the privacy policy with some creative coding.  This, of course, completely undermined all the privacy measures and blew up Google’s privacy policy.

Perhaps Google is getting too big to stay healthy…

xda-developers: The Rootkit of All Evil – CIQ

Do you have a smart phone?

Then you might want to read this article at xda-developers about CIQ (CarrierIQ), which proclaims on their own website:

“…we give Wireless Carriers and Handset Manufacturers unprecedented insight into their customers’ mobile experience.”


‘Unprecedented’ is right!

It is understandable that any business would like to have a deep insight into their customers’ needs and desires in order to serve them better: satisfying customers is good for business.

However, customers also have a right to – and most have at least some expectation of – privacy.

The problem arises when customers are not even aware of the volume and detail of information about them that their mobile devices routinely report to their carriers: this lopsided information level makes any meaningful discussion about privacy vs data-mining virtually meaningless.

From the article:

“This [CIQ software] is given root like rights over the device, which means that it can do everything it pleases and you will have nothing to say about it.”

“…Because of all the metrics that could be obtained via the different triggers, that same network admin will not just know that you got a dropped call at 5 pm in California, but he/she will also know where in California you were located, what you were doing with your phone at that given time, how many times you accessed your apps until that time, and even what you have typed in your device (no, this last one is not an exaggeration, this thing can act as a key logger as well). Scared already? If not, here is a snippet of some…”

“…what kind of permissible purpose is out there that can allow a company to legally place a key logger on something and use it when you are not even getting service out of them?”


And, of course, we know no person or corporation would ever abuse any information they get access to!

Read the full article and weep.

H/T:  CodeSlinger