Poi spinning makes you look 100% cooler, even if you bash yourself in the face by accident.
It’s been more than 701 days since Elections Canada first became aware of a nation wide malicious robocalling scheme to misdirect non-Conservative voters away from legitimate polling stations for the May 2, 2011 election where Stephen Harper swept to power as a majority government.
I don’t think Michael Sona, who has been charged by Elections Canada, can be fully responsible for the robocalls made in Guelph on behalf of Conservative supporters, nor could he have had sole access to phone numbers used in other parts of the country. I’ve documented the technical reasons behind these beliefs, over the past 13 months.
“Sona is charged under a section of the Act that makes it illegal to “wilfully prevent or endeavour to prevent an elector from voting at an election.”” We won’t know until Sona is served with the papers charging him, but I’d be more satisfied if he were charged for his interference with a special poll that wasn’t set up to code.
Meanwhile, a perversely smug person who did have CIMS access to the phone numbers of Guelph, and a legitimate robocall account at RackNine, and happened to share a browser session with Pierre Poutine, and used the same anonymizing proxy service as Poutine did when making legitimate robocalls that did not show up on the initial campaign return… is going on vacation.
3… 2… 1… VACATION!!! Out of cell coverage, see ya on the flip side!—
Andrew Prescott (@ChristianConsrv) April 02, 2013
Sona’s lawyer, Norm Boxall, issued a statement late Tuesday afternoon.
“Although the charge is disappointing, it represents an opportunity for Mr. Sona to finally address the allegations in a court as opposed to in the media and resolve it permanently,” he said. “I cannot help but comment, that if the government was interested in the public being fully informed and the issue of robocalls being properly addressed, a Full Public Inquiry would be called, rather than a charge laid against a single individual who held a junior position on a single campaign and who clearly lacked the resources and access to the data required to make the robocalls. I am confident the public agrees.”
A statement by Conservative Party spokesman Fred DeLorey said the party is pleased the investigation “has progressed to this point.”
“The Conservative Party of Canada ran a clean and ethical campaign and does not tolerate such activity. The party was not involved with these calls and those that were will not play a role in any future campaign.”
Oh really? So, how did Sona gain access to CIMS, DeLorey? And who or what enabled him to remove logs from CIMS to cover his tracks? Lying sacks of dog poo…
I went to a show tonight with Jesse, after buying a monthly membership at CrashBang Labs (which is in the same building as The Club at The Exchange on 8th Ave.
You can listen to Zachary Lucky online or in Saskatoon very soon.
Dan Geortz was also good. His song about being sold to the circus he footnoted as fiction, especially since his dad was in the audience.
In CrashBang Labs, I watched an iPod get LASER etched. A 40W laser apparently, but it doesn’t work at quite its full capacity, especially at a high moving head speed.
I grew up thinking that Killer Robots From Venus was a pretty amusing song. Now that we’re living in 2013, the ‘future’, we have to seriously contemplate the implications of building robots that can kill as their intended purpose. Our next-future expectations depend upon what we choose now. I’m not okay with building Terminators, just because we have the technical capability. We should be seriously concerned, even if we don’t think a Skynet scenario will play out as it did in the movies.
The consequences are dire and deadly even if the machines don’t ‘decide’ to turn against their human programmers.
“Giving machines the power to decide who lives and dies on the battlefield would take technology too far,” said Steve Goose, arms division director at Human Rights Watch. “Human control of robotic warfare is essential to minimising civilian deaths and injuries.”
US political activist Jody Williams, who won a Nobel peace prize for her work at the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, is expected to join Sharkey at the launch at the House of Commons. Williams said she was confident that a pre-emptive ban on autonomous weapons could be achieved in the same way as the international embargo on anti-personnel landmines. “I know we can do the same thing with killer robots. I know we can stop them before they hit the battlefield,” said Williams, who chairs the Nobel Women’s Initiative.
“Killer robots loom over our future if we do not take action to ban them now,” she said. “The six Nobel peace laureates involved in the Nobel Women’s Initiative fully support the call for an international treaty to ban fully autonomous weaponised robots.”
“They may be metallic, but they’re just like me and you.” – Arrogant Worms.
No, they are not just like me and you; they’re killing-machines. Don’t let computer scientists program killer robots.
We can’t even seem to convince some people that it’s a good idea to harness wind energy, yet those same people might defend the creation of deadly robots that could quite literally be turned against them and their family giving a worst case scenario.
Apple is infamous for making hardware that only they can easily support or provide accessories and repairs for. This irritates long-standing Apple customers who’ve bought into the latest round of iJunk, the iPad Mini and iPhone 5, because the charge port has changed to yet another type, and matches neither Androids or previous Apple phones and iPods (nor Blackberries which use the Android micro-USB standard).
Besides designing their hardware with Apple-specific, unique ports, they also write software designed to keep competing software off of them. To remove this software, or break it, is known as “jailbreaking” an iPhone. The latest iOS 6.1 version, can be jailbroken. Here’s how it’s done, from a technical standpoint if you’re into that kind of thing like I am. This is a snippet of the final step the programmers at “evasi0n” had to make work on the locked-down iOS devices:
“Once [evasi0n has] beaten ASLR, the jailbreak uses one final bug in iOS’s USB interface that passes an address in the kernel’s memory to a program and “naively expects the user to pass it back unmolested,” according to Wang. That allows evasi0n to write to any part of the kernel it wants. The first place it writes is to the part of the kernel that restricts changes to its code–the hacker equivalent of wishing for more wishes. ”Once you get into the kernel, no security matters any more,” says Wang. “Then we win.””
If Apple, Sony, Nintendo, etc. weren’t such giant pains, they wouldn’t write DRM lock-down software in the first place. Then tinkerers, who self identify as hackers, would have more time to tinker with their expensive hardware that they purchased, and less writing tricky programs designed to evade digital locks. Sony wouldn’t have trusted their security to obscurity, and wound up with a major network shutdown.
The next threat to digital freedom that I heard about just the other evening at a Linux users group meeting, is probably Secure Boot on new PCs. People shouldn’t need work-arounds to use their free Operating Systems on hardware they’ve bought. This is the sort of thing that Richard Stallman has been warning people about for decades, since we’re allowing hardware to be built with kill switches that we don’t have control over. If this were in cars (and it soon could be), wouldn’t people be concerned about remote kill switches? Maybe not, since OnStar and similar services are already here and seem to have been met with a favourable reception. And… Apple is one of the richest companies in the world, right now. Are people not concerned, not aware, or maybe feel powerless to care?
iPhone 5s are “sell phones”, not cell phones. They don’t have user replaceable parts like batteries, so are meant for the scrap heap instead of a long and affordable life in your pocket. I don’t predict a rosy future for Apple, but if their model survives, then most electronics will not survive more than a year or two when they should be built to last.
There’ve been several Canadian media organizations investigating the RoboCon election fraud scandal linked to the Conservative Party. In February, Postmedia broke the story by tying the many localized reports of misleading phonecalls together by unleashing details of the mysterious Pierre Poutine alias.
At that time they also reported there were emails from Elections Canada staff who were gravely concerned about the Conservatives’ misleading phone calls. The Conservatives attempted to explain this away as Get Out The Vote calls that went awry. That’s a claim that appears totally bogus.
Internal Elections Canada emails obtained under Access to Information legislation show officials were rattled by the calls.
At 11:06 a.m., election officer Anita Hawdur sent an email to to legal counsel Karen McNeil with the header: “URGENT Conservative campaign office communications with electors.” Hawdur reported that returning officers were calling to ask about the calls. McNeil responded by asking Hawdur to alert Rennie Molnar, the deputy chief electoral officer. He later emailed Michel Roussel, a senior director: “This one is far more serious. They have actually disrupted the voting process.”
Then, in November, CBC reported they recently obtained emails from Elections Canada which expressed grave concerns about a “scam” being run by the Conservative Party to mislead voters away from real election polls. The Conservatives’ lawyer eventually responded just prior to the polls opening, that there was no illegal activity going on. The illegal calls continued, as we now all know.
The reply from the party’s lawyer to Elections Canada more than a day later said that polling locations had changed in “a number of electoral districts.”
“As a consequence, a number of our candidates have had to confirm the proper location of polling stations to a number of supporters during their respective get out the vote efforts… There is no indication by the caller that the location may have changed, or words to that effect.
That answer from the lawyer presumed to be Hamilton, doesn’t jive.
In an email sent at 8:16 p.m. ET on April 29, 2011 — three days before voters were to cast their ballots — an official with Elections Canada said she was getting complaints that Conservative officials were communicating with voters to tell them that their polling stations had changed.
“Directions offered to one of the electors would take that person more than an hour and a half from the real location that according to her is a few minutes from her home,” Sylvie Jacmain wrote in French, putting “Strange situation” in the subject line of the email.
At 8:44 p.m., about half an hour after Jacmain’s email, another official replied that, according to the Conservative riding association in Saint-Boniface, the calls had come from party headquarters.
“It’s resolved, the local association communicated with the headquarters who made calls to people in Saint-Boniface following a split in the polling stations. Party headquarters stopped the calls following the request of the local association,” Sylvain Lortie wrote.
I’ve asked the journalists at Postmedia and the Ottawa Citizen to compare notes with the journalist(s) as CBC who obtained these Elections Canada emails through Access to Information requests. If Elections Canada provided different sets of emails for the same sort of request, there could be another scandal at hand. Maybe there’s an innocent explanation why the “scam” emails appeared lately instead of in February, however.
Looking at the meat of the emails a bit:
Some voters had recorded a phone number so they could try to trace the call.
“When these numbers are called, the voice message is recorded by the same person even though the numbers are different,” Anita Hawdur, the election official in charge of the voting process wrote in an email to one of Election Canada’s lawyers.
In another email, Hawdur said the polling stations “given out by the Conservative Party … are all wrong. Most of them are quite far away from the elector’s home and from the initial polling place that showed on their [voter identification card].”
Why did Elections Canada officers, with the power to write arrest warrants for people caught in the act of committing Election Act crimes, apparently accept the Conservatives’ claims that they weren’t behind the misleading calls when the source phone numbers distressed citizens were providing, led back to Conservative Party call centres’ voice mail?
This is getting pretty suspicious. The workers in the returning office think these people are running a scam.
-Anita Hawdur. Why Ms. Hawdur and Elections Canada weren’t able to immediately follow up that week with production orders and arrest warrants, is for a Royal Commission to work out. What can people do in the meantime, besides fume? The Council of Canadians may need your support in their court challenge. Your MP should also hear you’re still very concerned about the unpunished election fraud of last year. More “robocalls” public demonstrations must happen too, I suspect.
If you have an Intel Centrino wireless adapter, and get a Blue Screen of Death, update the driver to version 15. 13.x and 14.x can generate BSODs especially when connecting to commercial Access Points, like Alcatel’s.
netw5ns64.sys (or related errors) come up on the BSOD screen. Windows doesn’t update to the latest Intel driver, that’s the problem. Microsoft Update tells you it’s got the latest, but that’s untrue. You have to go to www.intel.com and check there for the latest driver for your Intel WiFi card.
Lawrence Martin was really close to having an outstanding article about the 2011 election fraud. Unfortunately he doesn’t seem to have a good grasp of the evidence against the Conservative Party of Canada, despite listing some of it in the words of the unlovable election goat Michael Sona. Martin slipped by claiming the proof isn’t close to being established. Contrary to that position are heaps of production orders pointing to the Conservatives’ CIMS database, and computer contact made with Racknine by a Conservative campaign worker who had access to that database, and Andrew Prescott’s account password late at night. Since Prescott didn’t upload to Racknine any other time we’re aware of, it stands to reason that he was at the controls while the mysterious Pierre Poutine was there as well. Otherwise, why did he get paid by the Conservatives?
If there was a widespread centrally co-ordinated effort aimed at vote-rigging, it would constitute one of the biggest political scandals the country has seen. But proof is far from being established.
Why can’t investigators learn who downloaded the phone list of non-Conservative voters in Guelph (and elsewhere) from CIMS? Well, we’ve been told that information was mysteriously destroyed by the Conservatives. Seems clean and ethical, eh? Maybe Fair and Balanced also? So why is Martin pulling punches by saying the proof is far from being established? Proof isn’t found in charges, it’s found in evidence. Worse, he then trots out the Conservative misdirection that Liberals fined by the CRTC are some how related to the misdirecting Poutine robocalls.
It’s a national disgrace that 18 months after the criminal phonecalls that ruined the 2011 election, there have been 0 people charged with the fraud of misdirecting voters to fake polling locations. The urgency to solve this just isn’t there in Elections Canada or the RCMP, even though we know the browser session for Prescott matches the one used by Poutine.
There’s also no plausible reason to use the same proxy for legitimate robocall setup, as Poutine did, yet that’s something that Prescott’s computer did as well. Since he took payment from Conservatives for the legitimate Racknine robocalls, we can assume that he was at the computer while the legitimate logged calls were programmed.
Sona, supposedly has limited technical knowledge, and was not among the people authorized to access the Conservatives’ CIMS database phone list. He was picked as an obvious goat when Poutine was discovered by an EC investigator and the media. If you recall, Sona had interfered with a Special Poll, causing quite a scene that made national news during the last election. So while he’s probably not directly involved in the RoboCon fraud, he did set himself up to be the goat by being the Guelph Cons’ special poll vigilante and making a name for himself in that manner.
Guelph Cons (and even the Libs there with their CRTC violating unidentified abortion issue call) certainly were a lightning rod of controversy and/or crime last election. Yet the most serious crime there, and across the nation, is unpunished. It’s a national disgrace. At least we’ve not devolved to arresting opposition leaders yet like the Americans, eh?