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The Canadian Archivist Blog

Jun. 6th, 2011 09:05 am FBI Allies' Passwords Stolen


InfraGard, an associate of the FBI that deals (ironically enough) with U.S. physical and internet infrastructure and threats against the same, had 180 passwords stolen. Lulz Security, the same group that spanked Sony again last week, is the culprit this time. Lulz Security also hacked Nintendo last week, according to Nintendo, though it says no data was lost.

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Jun. 6th, 2011 08:44 am WikiWater Fight


In 2005 the United States began releasing water from Devil's Lake into the Manitoba watershed via a specially constructed channel to the Red River. Manitoba tried to stop this process, because Devil's Lake was aptly named: with no natural drainage, it had invasive species and was seriously polluted. The whole thing went to court.

But apparently it was a lot more bitter than even the news coverage let on, if the diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks are to be believed. The US advised "downplaying" it and denying that there were any invasive species, and it called Canada an empty moralizer on the subject.

Fun fact: the Manitoba premier during this time was Gary Doer, currently our ambassador to Washington. That must be fun this morning!

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Jun. 3rd, 2011 08:32 am The Friday Hack and Slash: Computer Problems


First we go to Japan, where Sony has taken another kick to the teeth in its security, according to a group of hackers calling themselves LulzSec. They say they took 1,000,000 pieces of personal information in what they called an "elementary" hack. For confirmation they gave the phone number of a little old lady who confirmed that the other info they'd given (like her password) was indeed correct.

Sony has just reopened its websites after the first hack. They say they're investigating the claims.


That Government of Canada hack from earlier this year that sent Department of Finance employees to Starbucks to enjoy free wifi? Apparently it was a successful hack and not just the gentle probing job the government claimed. Of course, former Auditor General Sheila Fraser had warned them in 2002 that this kind of thing probably would happen. Stockwell Day, former Treasury Board head, says he went out of office believing that the hack had been unsuccessful.


Meanwhile, China is insisting the hackers that attacked Google earlier in the week had nothing to do with the Chinese government. The attack was traced by Google to Jinan, China, which is home to a military vocational school whose computers were used before on Google hacking. (Fun fact: Jinan is Regina's twin city!)

China says it respects data security and privacy, but hasn't said whether it's going to investigate this hack attack.

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Jun. 1st, 2011 01:05 pm Palin Away Your Eyeballs: Sarah's Emails Being Released


It'll be like watching paint Palin away, folks! Alaska is Palin back the veil of secrecy on its former governor's email account. They're Palin on the emails over there, releasing 24,000 of the suckers. But the news agencies will have to be Palin off the bills: it's gonna cost $725.97 in fees if you want the inside scoop not just on the gov's work account but on the infamous Yahoo account that had its password stolen!

Wikileaks will be Palin in comparison.

They'll be Palin back 2400 of the emails, though, for security purposes.

So, conspiracy theorists, start your engines! We'll be pulling the Trig on those rumours, I'm sure! Palin off in a blaze of glory!

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May. 30th, 2011 08:30 am SGI Sharing Info With Charity


Saskatchewan Government Insurance has been sharing its database information with the War Amps as part of its key tag return program for years. SGI says it's the only charity they share info with, and they don't sell anything else. But a mother has complained that her teenage daughter has gotten mail solicitations from the War Amps and she's mad about the privacy violation.

This is one of those privacy violations where I have to shake my head, because they're going to get (righteously) dinged by the SK Privacy Commissioner, and it would have been such an easy fix - a check box on your license saying "Do you agree to have your information shared with the War Amps? Your personal information will not be shared with any other companies or charities." Most people would check yes. The end. Yeesh.

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May. 27th, 2011 08:39 am Global Witness: Big Banks Helped Gadhafi


Yeesh, that's a hard name to spell. I think they changed it. I thought it had a Q when I was a kid.

Anyway, big banks like the Bank of Scotland and HSBC have been investing funds for the Gadhafi family, squirreling the cash away in nice investment funds for a rainy day, like when NATO is bombing your palace so that the rebels in your country can fight you on the ground. You never know when you'll need some walking-around money to go live in a remote cave somewhere, amirite?

Note to big banks: stuff like this doesn't help your image problem. I mean, I know, I know, free enterprise etc, etc. But when a lot of people think of bankers as evil incarnate it isn't helping your rep much to help psycho dictators pick out nice safe investment vehicles, you know? Just sayin'.

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May. 27th, 2011 08:21 am Yay Rae, But They Don't Like Mike: Wikileaks


Apparently American diplomats prefer their Canadian politicians strong, like their Canadian beer. They found Bob Rae forceful, dominant, and eloquent, while they found Michael Ignatieff to be less substantive and more inclined to stick to pleasantries and generalities. When Dion was in office, the diplomats warned that he was about to get run over by the Rae charisma train as well.

This is after thinking that our new Foreign Minister, Shouty McYellsalot (uh, John Baird) was a standout character. They clearly have a type they find sexy...

With all these leaks, I'm kind of surprised that the American analyses are as accurate and astute as they are. I think Canadians have the idea that Americans are ignorant of everything outside their own borders and think of us mainly as "America's hat". Most of these diplomatic cables, though, could have been written by Canadian political pundits.

Maybe we're not as complex as we think we are.

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May. 25th, 2011 01:16 pm Sony Struck Again by Data Breach


Jeez, Sony's really taking it in the teeth lately. Now it's the Sony Ericsson branch that saw passwords and identities taken. No credit card info was lost this time though.

2000 Canadian clients may be affected by the latest breach.

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May. 25th, 2011 01:04 pm A Toast To You, Ms. Fraser


Sheila Fraser, Auditor General for Canada, is on her way out at the end of the month after 10 years on the job. She had her final formal speaking engagement today at the Canadian Club of Ottawa, and she reflected on her achievements and how far the office has to go. Spoiler alert: she reminded everyone about the election-time shenanigans that took place around the helicopter purchase, and pointed out how important it is to keep the position neutral to government and reporting directly to Parliament.

The ad's been in since October of 2010, but no new Auditor General has been announced so far.

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May. 19th, 2011 08:41 am Sony Problems Continue


Sony has shut down its password changes on Playstation again, just a few days after starting it up, because they are still having problems with security. The password change feature needs to be fixed before it can be reactivated, Sony says, and it encourages people to change their passwords as soon as the site gets back up.

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