Police drop privacybreach case against Halifax teenNo grounds to lay charges

first_imgHALIFAX – Police have dropped the case against a young Halifax man alleged to have breached a Nova Scotia freedom-of-information website, shifting the issue squarely back to whether the province had basic measures in place to protect its citizens’ private information.In a news release, Halifax police say that after a thorough investigation, “the police have determined there to be no grounds to lay charges in the matter.”The young man’s lawyer, David Fraser, had said repeatedly that the youth — who was arrested after a dramatic raid on his family’s home — had no malicious intent when he downloaded 7,000 documents from the public site.The 19-year-old was collecting information about a teachers’ labour dispute, and hadn’t realized the site didn’t protect other information from a simple download program, Fraser said.“Even though anybody who has looked at it has said these charges would never succeed, there’s always going to be some anxiety associated with it. So, to have this resolution, it’s just a relief,” he said Monday.Personal information ranging from social insurance numbers to documents meant only for the eyes of the applicants were accessed, according to the province.Fraser said the case has “raised awareness about how the government secures information.”NDP house leader Dave Wilson said the onus is now on the government to take responsibility for what happened.Wilson pointed to previous warnings from the province’s auditor general about potential security problems with the website.“Obviously enough wasn’t done to fix those problems and I think the government, the premier, the minister need to take full responsibility for this,” said Wilson.“Definitely I think the government at a minimum should owe this young gentleman an apology,” said Wilson. “They need to take ownership of this.”Police arrested the man on April 11 and said they gave him notice to appear under a rarely used section of the Criminal Code that prohibits unauthorized use of a computer with fraudulent intent.However, in Monday’s news release, Supt. Jim Perrin, said, “as the investigation evolved, we have determined that the 19-year-old who was arrested on April 11 did not have intent to commit a criminal offence by accessing the information.”The family and the youth have said the search with 15 officers left their home in disarray and the 19-year-old deeply distressed over the prospect of potential charges, said Fraser.Police have said any complaints about the search could go through a complaints process, but Fraser said it was too early to comment on whether the family intended to explore that avenue.“Whether the police acted proportionately and appropriately depends on what they were told by the province, and we don’t have insight into that yet,” he said.His client was not immediately available for comment.Perrin said in an interview Monday that when the province first told investigators that a large number of files had been taken, “there was a level of seriousness around the allegation, and our officers did a thorough investigation.”“As you can appreciate it’s more complex when executing a search at a residence than one officer knocking at the door,” he said.“We were looking for computer evidence, possible documentation evidence and there are a lot of places in a residence where these things can be kept.”In a statement, Internal Services Minister Patricia Arab said the government respects the police decision.“We will continue to offer supports for those affected by this breach. Our priority from the outset has been containing the data,” she said in the statement.“As we go forward, we will co-operate fully with the investigation of the Nova Scotia Auditor General and the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner.”Karla MacFarlane, interim leader of the Progressive Conservatives, reiterated her party’s call for Arab to resign over the lack of oversight for the province’s web services.MacFarlane also called on Premier Stephen McNeil to apologize to the 19-year-old.“Right from the very beginning, they threw this young man under the bus in my opinion, and without knowing the facts,” she said.McNeil initially referred to the young man’s actions as “stealing,” but has since backed away from this strong language.Fraser said, “I disagree with that conclusion vehemently, but I don’t know what he was told. So much of this is unknown.”A number of experts on internet law have raised concerns about the arrest, saying if it had led to charges then groups ranging from journalists to archivists could face similar prosecutions for searching public websites without proper security measures in place.last_img read more

Turkey US clash at talks on Syria pullout

first_imgThis handout photo shows Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin (R) speaking with US National Security adviser John Bolton following their meeting at the presidential complex in the capital Ankara, on 8 January. Photo: AFPTurkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday condemned comments by a key US envoy over the future of a US-allied Syrian Kurdish militia as a “grave mistake”, as tensions flared over Washington’s planned withdrawal from war-torn Syria.Erdogan’s comments came shortly after US National Security adviser John Bolton held talks in the Turkish capital with Erdogan’s adviser Ibrahim Kalin, in a key meeting focusing on the surprise US decision to withdraw its troops from Syria.But it was comments made by Bolton on Sunday in Israel that had already raised hackles in Ankara, when he suggested the retreat was also conditional on the safety of US-backed Kurdish fighters, considered terrorists by Turkey.”John Bolton has made a grave mistake on this issue,” Erdogan told his party’s lawmakers in parliament.US president Donald Trump caused a political storm last month when he announced the troop pullout, claiming to have succeeded in the battle against the Islamic State (IS) group.Fighting continues however, with Syrian Observatory for Human Rights saying IS suicide attackers had hit the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces in eastern Syria late on Sunday, killing 23 of its fighters.The pullout, which Washington has since stressed will be gradual, was hailed by Erdogan as the “right call” in a column published Tuesday in the New York Times.But it has also raised concerns that Kurdish fighters would be exposed to the threat of a cross-border operation by their archfoe Turkey.No promisesUS-led coalition forces have provided air power and other support to the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in its operation to flush out IS from the last rump of its now-defunct “caliphate”.As part of this, American forces have worked closely with the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) militia, seen by Ankara as a “terrorist offshoot” of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has waged an insurgency against the Turkish state since 1984.That US military support for the YPG has shaken relations between Washington and Ankara.US secretary of state Mike Pompeo drew the wrath of the Turkish leadership last week when he said Washington would ensure “the Turks don’t slaughter the Kurds” in Syria as American troops withdraw.”That Turkey targets the Kurds is the most vile, the most dishonourable, the ugliest and the cheapest slander,” Erdogan said on Tuesday.But the Turkish leader made it clear that Ankara would not soften its stance against the YPG.”Those who are in the terror corridor in Syria will learn necessary lessons,” he said.After meeting Bolton on Tuesday, Kalin also urged Washington to take back all the weapons provided to Syrian Kurdish militia forces.He denied comments by Pompeo that Turkey had promised the US not to attack the Kurdish fighters.”Nobody should expect Turkey to provide assurances to a terror organisation,” he told journalists in Ankara.Bolton’s spokesman Garrett Marquis described the talks as “productive” and centred on “the president’s decision to withdraw at a proper pace from northeast Syria”.Military win ‘first step’When Trump first announced the pullout of 2,000 ground troops on 19 December, Ankara was a lonely voice among NATO allies welcoming the decision.Erdogan has promised Trump that Turkey could finish off the remnants of IS in Syria.”A military victory against the terrorist group is a mere first step,” he said in the New York Times, warning against premature declarations of victory.Nicholas Heras, an analyst at the Center for a New American Security, said Ankara would need so much support from Washington to completely eradicate IS, that it would be “to the point where the US military would essentially still be inside Syria”.Trump on Monday conceded that the fight against IS was not over.”We will be leaving at a proper pace while at the same time continuing to fight ISIS and doing all else that is prudent and necessary!” he tweeted.Last month, Erdogan threatened to launch a cross-border operation against the YPG, east of the Euphrates River, which he said later would be delayed after Trump’s pullout order.Turkish military forces supporting Syrian rebels launched incursions into northern Syria against IS in August 2016 and against the YPG in January 2018.last_img read more

Conduct of the mind

first_imgShowcasing the conflict between the sub conscious mind and the outward behaviour, the Cineaste group will be performing their critically acclaimed play Kirdaar. The play tries to establish the behavioral patterns of human nature, which keeps on absorbing feelings of grief, happiness, and anger subconsciously and this absorption is reflected in actions which create contradictions with one’s own natureThe story unfolds after two characters come out of a book and confront it’s writer with their tragedies and misrepresentations. The play written in a mixture of english and hindi,  takes an interesting turn when these characters do not agree with the way they have been written. Starring Deep Singh, Rishi Sharma, Komal Gupta, Radha Bhatt, Shiv Dutt and Shubham the play is written and directed by Devesh Nigam. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The Cineaste group has come up with 15 stage productions along with three critically acclaimed short films. The group has created a niche for itself in a short span of time and they are  known for their experimental and innovative approach in theatre.Director Devesh Nigam has so far written nine plays and directed 15 productions. He has received critical acclaims for his work which includes Kafan, Moteram ka Satyagrah, Hawalaat, Bahut Bada Sawal, 5 Kahaniyan, among others. He believes that playwrights should respond to their urban realities while willing to experiment with style and narrative.Where : Akshara Theatre, Baba Kharag Singh MargWhen :  1 Novemberlast_img read more

Even Steve Wozniak said he fell victim to a bitcoin scam

first_imgEven the Woz has been stung by a cryptocurrency scam.Image: Anton NovoderezhkinTASS via Getty ImagesBy Johnny Lieu2018-02-27 02:18:45 UTC Like a growing number of people, Steve Wozniak has been stung by a cryptocurrency scam.The Apple co-founder told the Economic Times of India that he had seven bitcoins stolen from him via fraud. While there’s been plenty of attention on pesky fake Elon Musk cryptocurrency scams, the Woz was swindled by an arguably antiquated tactic: A stolen credit card. “The blockchain identifies who has bitcoins… that doesn’t mean there can’t be fraud though,” he told the newspaper. “I had seven bitcoins stolen from me through fraud. Somebody bought them from me online through a credit card and they cancelled the credit card payment. It was that easy! And it was from a stolen credit card number so you can never get it back.”Wozniak added that he initially bought the bitcoins as an experiment, curious if one day he could use the cryptocurrency instead of cash or credit cards. Still, he told CNBC in 2017 that he bought them at $700 a piece, after watching bitcoin rise from a price of $70 many moons ago. However, he’s pretty much sold them all, keeping just a handful — mainly because he doesn’t care about the wild rollercoaster that is bitcoin’s price. With an estimated net worth of $100 million, Wozniak doesn’t really need to worry.[embedded content]last_img read more