From the fictional files of the NSA
Report No.: 466
To: [Name redacted], National Security Agency, Washington
From: [Name redacted], Canada Station, Ottawa
Subject: Prism Program
Revelations of the Prism program have sparked some controversy here. People here are checking their Facebook pages, e-mail, their searches via Google, and even their iTunes purchases.
Online news services are reporting denial of the program’s existence from the major Internet and technology companies, including Google, Apple, Facebook, Yahoo and Microsoft, putting the focus on the National Security Agency for targeting their data under the Prism scheme.
As for the recent results of the program, as I have reported earlier, Canadians are generally a quiet group, so often there is little to learn from my Prism observations here.
(There are also just three big cellphone companies, so it is not difficult to monitor Canadian data.)
What follows is what I have learned since my last report a month ago:
Intercepted BBM message from Prime Minister to Chief of Staff (since resigned from post)
You gave him HOW MUCH?
To: PR Department
From: President, Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver
Re: Approval of monthly sales press release
I don’t like the wording. Can we please refer to it as a “balanced” market?
Recent iTunes purchase by Justin Bieber
The Beatles: Everybody’s Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey
From Harper, Stephen
To: Flaherty, Jim
Subject: Statscan jobs report
Assume you saw the 95K jump in jobs? And that you’ll be out there blowing our horn? Remember, it’s the Harper government.
Keystrokes from Google search by Toronto Councillor Doug Ford
How many T’s in maggot?
YouTube viewing by Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz
How to be a rock star: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UV9jePYNvQo
Recent iTunes purchase by Nigel Wright
Lady Gaga: Money Honey
Intercepted e-mail (you have probably already seen)
From: Harper, Stephen
To: Obama, Barack
Approve the damn thing already, or we’ll re-route it to China.
YouTube viewing by Mark Carney
So long, suckers!: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X6PaLiIl6MA
Recent iTunes purchase by Mike Duffy
Rolling Stones: Ain’t Too Proud to Beg
Recent iTunes purchase by Barrick Gold Corp. vice-chairman John Thornton
Katy Perry: If You Can Afford me
To: Redford, Alison
From: Clark, Christy
Subject: Northern Gateway
Hey, girl, sorry about all those things I said. Election, you understand.
From: Redford, Alison
To: Clark, Christy
Subject: Northern Gateway
Consider it forgotten. Can we do this thing now?
From: Clark Christy
To: Redford, Alison
Subject: ‘We don’t need Alberta’
See original quote in subject line, and add “still.”
- U.S. secretly gathering data on foreigners abroad from Internet firms
- Why Canadians should fear clandestine U.S. snooping program
- Privacy watchdog slams current law, warns Canada 'too far behind'
- Globe Editorial: U.S. surveillance of law-abiding citizens is dangerous and wrong
- Washington Post: NSA slides explain the Prism data-collection program
- Office of the Director of National Intelligence Facebook page
- Opinion: Washington knows what you do online - and Canadians aren't above it
What The Globe and Mail covered this week
Canada’s “middle-skill” employment sector continues to erode alongside the growth of high-skill jobs, an indication that the labour market is splintering between well-paid, interesting, permanent jobs – and the rest, Tavia Grant reports.
Swiss International Air Lines has overhauled its short-haul network with a strategy that uses high-speed railways to feed into hub airports, Eric Reguly reports from Zurich.
Canada’s telecom regulator is making it easier for consumers to switch wireless providers, the centrepiece of a set of reforms aimed at creating greater competition and lower prices. Rita Trichur and Steve Ladurantaye report.
Canadians bought more than 185,000 new vehicles in May – the second-highest monthly total on record – spurred by rebates and cheap loans, solid employment growth and rising consumer confidence, Greg Keenan writes.
After sparking a dramatic overhaul at Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd., activist investor Bill Ackman is taking some of his money off the table, Richard Blackwell and Guy Dixon report.
The federal government isn’t giving up on its efforts to see a fourth wireless carrier in every regional market, rejecting Telus Corp.’s controversial bid to buy struggling upstart Mobilicity, but leaving the door wide open to industry consolidation down the road, Rita Trichur and Sean Silcoff write.
The International Monetary Fund admitted it underestimated the damage that austerity would inflict on Greece, offering key evidence in the global debate about cutbacks versus stimulus, Eric Reguly reports.
Penn West Petroleum Ltd. is overhauling its finances, chopping jobs and bringing in new leadership, joining a growing list of Canadian energy companies that are rewriting their strategies in an effort to boost flagging returns, Carrie Tait.
Stephen Poloz likes to talk in metaphor, suggesting a new approach in Bank of Canada communication. Kevin Carmichael reports on the new central bank governor's first parliamentary committee appearance.
The week in Business Briefing
- As Tokyo stocks plunge, Japan's Abenomics on 'shaky foundations'
- Is Detroit near bankruptcy after years of exodus, neglect, corruption?
- Canadian homes among most overvalued in OECD ranking
- Game of thrones: Kings and queens grapple with austerity
- As millions struggle, U.S. household wealth hits record
The week in Streetwise (for subscribers)
- For Wallin and other directors, any residence will do
- Canadian Western Bank hit by tough margins
- Mutual fund fee fight goes to regulator
- Ottawa's Mobilicity decision suggests somebody pitched a rescue plan
- What are the odds that Keystone XL gets approved?
- U.S. shale boom could re-write the Canadian economy's oil story
- The economic promise of disruptive technologies
- Will job numbers make the Fed hit the brakes?
- Carney's bold entrance, Poloz's measured exit
- Rogoff-Reinhart put cart before the horse
The week in ROB Insight (for subscribers)