Friday, July 25, 2014

Police Use of Force Report

An independent report aimed at reducing the Toronto Police Service’s use of lethal force against people in emotional crisis urges body-worn cameras and possibly tasers for first responders, but these and dozens of other sweeping recommendations are already raising questions about cost and privacy issues.

Former Supreme Court justice Frank Iacobucci, whom Chief Bill Blair asked to study the charged topic after an officer killed 18-year-old Sammy Yatim almost a year ago, unveiled 84 recommendations on Thursday.

Access the full report

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CCLA Report:  "Set up to Fail: Bail and the Revolving Door of Pre-trial Detention"

The Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) has released a report: Set Up to Fail: Bail and the Revolving Door of Pre-trial Detention, which questions the extensive rise in pre-trial custody populations and identifies the extreme personal and financial costs of current practices in Canadian bail courts.

Despite a falling crime rate, the remand rate in Canada has nearly tripled in the past 30 years. Currently the majority of people detained in provincial and territorial jails are legally innocent, waiting for their trial or a determination of their bail. 2005 marked the first time in Canadian history that our provincial institutions were primarily being used to detain people prior to any finding of guilt, rather than after they had been convicted and sentenced.

Access the full report.

Police reported crime statistics, 2013

The police-reported Crime Severity Index (CSI), which measures the volume and severity of crime, declined 9% in 2013 compared with 2012. This was the 10th consecutive decline in the index. The CSI was 36% lower than 10 years earlier.

The traditional crime rate also declined in 2013 compared with 2012, falling 8%. It continued its long-term downward trend that began in the early 1990s, reaching its lowest level since 1969. Since 1962, the traditional crime rate has measured the volume of crime, but does not take into account the severity of crimes.




See Canadian Civil Liberties Association reports on police record checks and the New Police Record Checks Guideline, released by the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police


Disciplinary measures against Canadian prison guards skyrockets http://t.co/hT97fnLBSg via @torontostar— Crim Library UTL (@CrimLib) July 24, 2014

Documents obtained under the Access to Information Act show a sharp rise in the number of disciplinary measures taken against Correctional Service Canada guards.

Correctional Service Canada prison guards have seen a sharp rise in punishment meted out against them over the past five years, documents obtained by the Star reveal.

Overall, the number of penalties received by guards working in this country’s 43 federal institutions soared from 47 in 2009-2010 to 337 in 2012-13.
Stealthy new online tracking software puts your privacy at risk

A growing number of websites are employing a stealthy new form of hard-to-block Internet tracking software that may pose increasing privacy risks for customers.

Canvas fingerprinting, which can command your browser to draw a unique identifier and then log your online behaviour, is nearly impossible to detect, does not fall under “do not track” voluntary systems and evades most conventional ad-blocking software. It is already tracking users on 5 per cent of the biggest sites on the Internet, including The White House, Starbucks, Re/Max Canada, Canadian retailers Metro and Home Hardware, Postmedia website Canada.com, as well as a number of pornography sites.

A team of academics from Princeton University and Belgium’s KU Leuven University released a study Tuesday that says canvas fingerprinting has spread to at least 5,542 of the Web’s top 100,000 sites, largely thanks to software from a Virginia-based company called AddThis.

Related Articles:
President Obama needs to cancel Executive Order 12333
Prosecutors are reading emails from inmates to lawyers
Prosecutors snooping on legal mail
U.S. Government doesn't need evidence to call you a terrorist

A key government document obtained by The Intercept confirms that the Obama administration does not require “concrete facts” or “irrefutable evidence” to brand Americans or foreigners as suspected terrorists.

Read the full text report issued by the National Counterterrorism Center
Tories introduce Common Sense Firearms Licensing Act

The Harper government has introduced a major overhaul to Canada's gun laws.
During a press conference at a shooting range in northern Ontario, on Wednesday, Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney announced his government's intention to introduce the Common Sense Firearms Licensing Act.
The Common Sense Firearms Licensing Act would:
  • Merge the Possession Only License (POL) and the Possession and Acquisition License (PAL);
  • Restrict the ability of provincial Chief Firearms Officers to make arbitrary decisions;
  • End paperwork around Authorizations to Transport by making them a condition of a license;
  • Require mandatory firearms safety courses for first-time gun owners; and
  • Strengthen firearms prohibitions for those who are convicted of domestic violence offences.