Category Archives: Privacy


Macleans story about cellphone privacy now online

The highly talked about story in Macleans regarding Maclean’s ablility to purchase the privacy commissioner’s phone logs online from a U.S. data broker,, for about US$200 is now available online. Apparently they were able to obtain Bell Canada phone logs for her home and cottage, and also her Telus cellphone logs. Reverse phone number lookup engines on federal government and phone company websites provided the identities of many of the people the privacy commissioner had called, or who called her.

Sony faces another spyware problem

Alex Halderman, writing in Freedom to Tinker, reports that Sony may have another spyware problem on its hands. According to Halderman,

Sony uses another copy protection program, SunnComm’s MediaMax, on other discs in their catalog, and that this system presumably is not included in the moratorium. Though MediaMax doesn’t resort to concealing itself with a rootkit, it does behave in several ways that are characteristic of spyware.

Like XCP, recent versions of MediaMax engage in spyware-style behavior. They install software without meaningful consent or notification, they include either no means of uninstalling the software or an uninstaller that claims to remove the entire program but doesn’t, and they transmit information about user activities to SunnComm despite statements to the contrary in the end user license agreement and on SunnComm’s web site.

Each problem is described in more detail on the Freedom to Tinker post.

Another Read the License Agreement Example

Section 5.4 of the Master End-User License Agreement for Microsoft Software (PDF) states:

Internet-Based Services Components. The Software contains components that enable and facilitate the use of certain Internet-based services. You acknowledge and agree that Microsoft may automatically check the version of the Software and/or its components that you are utilizing and may provide upgrades or fixes to the Software that will be automatically downloaded to your computer.
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Canadian Lawful Access Bill Due Nov 15th

According to Michael Geist, the lawful access bill, Modernization of Investigative Techniques Act, is expected to be unveiled on Tuesday, November 15th.

The bill will “compel all Canadian telephone and Internet companies to create and maintain infrastructures that are intercept capable and to provide access to basic subscriber contact information such as a name, address or telephone number.”
Continue reading Canadian Lawful Access Bill Due Nov 15th