I want to wish “Long Hair”, Leung Kwok-hung, happy 57th birthday, good health and all the best! Here is my 2005 documentary “Long Hair Revolution” filmed only two months after his election to Legislative Council of Hong Kong. I’m happy to say my first documentary has been added to the federal government “Library and Archives Canada” permanent collection in Ottawa.
“The code says that LAC staff, which includes Canada’s leading librarians and archivists, who set foot in classrooms, attend conferences or speak up at public meetings on their own time are engaging in “high risk” activities.
Given the dangers, the code says, the department’s staff must clear such “personal” activities with their managers in advance to ensure there are no conflicts or “other risks to LAC.”
The code is already having a “chilling” effect on federal archivists and librarians, who used to be encouraged to actively engage and interact with groups interested in everything from genealogy to preserving historical documents, says archivist Loryl MacDonald at the University of Toronto.“
The insightful, fun, and sometimes deadly serious documentary Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry (艾未未：道歉你妹; title in Taiwan 艾未未：草泥馬) has been Oscar shortlisted from 126 films down to 15, coming out ahead of films like “The Central Park Five” by the legendary Ken Burns et al, and “Head Games” by Steve James (director of the amazing Hoop Dreams).
Alison Klayman, director of Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry, was very nice and cool to do her first post-Oscar-shortlist video interview with me on the day after she came back from a Bangkok film festival trip. Here is my video interview with Alison.
I just noticed on the back wall in the following film still, the pictures are the concept drawings that lead to the Remembering (2009), an installation for the Façade of the House of German Art.
Alison and I talked about the middle finger salute in the interview. To me, it is a show of defiance to the powerful, be it the one-party ruled Chinese government or any other governments or powerful institutions.
July 1st #CanadaDay and LIVE broadcast of massive #HK71 street protest via @feng37 – #Democracy #RuleOfLaw #FreePressSunday, 1 July, 2012
As I watched the #HK71 massive July 1st, 2012 street protests (on the day of the 15th anniversary of the hangover of HK to Chinese government, and the swearing-in of the new Chief Executive of HK, CY Leung), I can no longer pretend to be just a happy man on #CanadaDay. In fact, as I see massive problems in HK, I have to be honest and admit that I see Canada is full of our own problems as well when I tweeted,
To point out one bright spot. I’ve been searching for **ANY** LIVE broadcast by citizens re the #HK71 street protests, I finally found the following clip(s) in a channel!
Make sure you check out the clips at this channel http://bambuser.com/channel/feng37.
Update: I’ve confirmed via John Kennedy @cyberzombies, Web producer at South China Morning Post), that he is feng37 saying “@Kempton Hey, yeah @feng37 is my account for Chinese tweets.” Note that I got to know about all the video uploads initially via John‘s tweets.
P.S. Re Canada – I love you. In Aaron Sorkin’s The Newsroom, when news anchor Will McAvoy was asked,
“What makes America the greatest country in the world.”
Executive Producer MacKenzie McHale as an audience member (without McAvoy knowing if she was there), wrote on a card and signal to McAvoy on stage, “IT’S NOT” On the next card, McHale wrote “BUT IT CAN BE.“
The same question can be asked of Canada. And I submit the same answer applies.
I am happy that feng37′s solution of using bambuser (which I also used in my AB election report) was much easier to handle (just an app on a mobile phone, iPhone/Android/etc) to film LIVE #HK31 street protests have given us some great footage to watch without Television stations’ filtering.
The following are what I’ve tweeted earlier tonight. And I am happy that they have been superseded by the above broadcasted clips.
Tweeted the following tonight for #hk71 street protest.
Anyone streaming LIVE video of #hk71 street protest? Can someone post links so people can watch? If not, here is a guide how anyone can do it
9 Steps to LIVE broadcast #hk71 street protest Step1:Get 3G wireless USB stick & plug into laptop Step2:From gmail, get free Google+ AC
Step3 to LIVE broadcast #hk71 install G+ Hangout video plugin Step4:Link YouTube account to G+ Step5:Start Hangout On Air Step6:Broadccast
Step7 to LIVE broadcast #hk71 Share YouTube live video link on social media channels:Twitter,FB,G+,etc Bring extra batteries 4 #democracy
Step8: Here is Google demo1 of LIVE broadcasting using G+ #HangoutOnAir
Step9: Here is Google demo2 of LIVE broadcasting using G+ #HangoutOnAir #hk71
Last night after the 2012 Alberta general election winners were declared unofficially on TV, I went down to do some LIVE broadcast from the PC HQ in Calgary Metropolitan Centre (see also here, here, here). Yes, I am a freelance reporter, I don’t have expensive broadcast equipment but I was doing LIVE broadcast from the PC HQ in Calgary Metropolitan Centre using my mobile phone!
It was quite an experience and experiment in that I was holding not one but TWO cameras! One was my Galaxy Nexus broadcasting live on the WIND Mobile network using my unlimited data plan. In another hand, I was holding my digital camera capturing higher quality video for later use (which I am sharing with you here in this post).
I’ve now used the 2012 Alberta general election as the testing ground of my first LIVE broadcast. I will be doing more LIVE broadcast in the future. For one, I will make sure I link the LIVE broadcast page where readers of my articles can actually watch my video reports LIVE on my channel!
My personal favourite moments last night were the quieter moments of Alison Redford out of the spotlight – Alberta Election 2012 (PC HQ)
See my whole set of Premier Alison Redford at 2012 Alberta Election PC HQ photos here.
NOTE: All interviews are non-scientific and random depending on availability. (Total voters interviews requested: 19; Accepted: 5, Declined: 14)
11:12pm update: All my LIVE broadcast tonight from the PC HQ in Calgary Metropolitan Centre have been posted here.
4pm update: On camera LIVE exit poll and why this voter voted the way she did. LIVE interview #1, additional LIVE interview (#1a) as I was told the voter actually sat on former MLA Ron Stevens‘ board of directors.
The 2012 Alberta general election is one of the most hotly contested elections in recent years. What voters decide today will have deep impact to Albertans, Alberta-based, and Canadian businesses in general. Do Albertans and Alberta-based businesses want a new government? We will find out tonight.
The following are some unscientific random interviews done at a polling station in Calgary and one can wonder/guess if it means anything for the voters who don’t want to share who they vote for. Of course, I totally respect in Canada we have secret ballot for a good reason. TorStar has reported the Wildrose party has raised $2.3m, that is $800,000 more than PCs raised ($1.5m). Calgary Herald is reporting the election front-runners cast their votes in southern Alberta and Edmonton Journal will be one of the media posting election results later tonight.
Note: If you have questions about the legalities of my exit poll and questions, please see my reply in the comments section.
China’s Ai Weiwei 4 Self-Surveillance Cameras ordered to shutdown, Beijing Gov’s 15 Surveillance Cameras still runningFriday, 6 April, 2012
Chinese original (see below for English translation): “艺术家艾未未在其位于北京草场地258号的办公室、卧室、院子分别安装了4个摄像头，通过weiweicam.com 网站直播日常生活。2012年4月2日19点开始，至4月4日18:09分被迫关闭，进行了47小时9分钟，点击520万次，下载100GB。”
English translation: “Chinese artist Ai Weiwei installed four webcams in his office, bedroom, and yard at his Beijing studio (258 Fake) live-streaming his daily life on http://weiweicam.com The live-streaming started on 19:00 April 2nd, 2012 (one year anniversary of his illegal “disappearance” by Chinese government). The cameras were forced to shutdown on 18:09 on April 4th. The broadcast lasted 47 hours 9 minutes, 5.2 million visits, 100GB data downloaded.
The following are 73 screen captures of the live broadcast.”
When the Beijing Chinese government has 15 video cameras set outside of Ai Weiwei‘s studio/home recording all the comings and goings of Ai and his guests, it is a bit absurd that the four self-surveillance cameras installed by Ai inside his studio/home were ordered to be shutdown. I very much agree with Twitter user’s sentiment.
““It’s fine for them to set up cameras to look at you, but it’s not fine for you to set up cameras to help them look at you,” one Twitter user wrote in Chinese after the cameras went down. “Absurd in the extreme.”” [HT WSJ]
Only in an absurd world you will see any government afraid of its people singing its national anthem! Well, here I’ve set pictures from Ai Weiwei’s 4 Self-Surveillance footage to he People’s Republic of China‘s national anthem “March of the Volunteers 义勇军进行曲“. Feel free to read the attached lyrics.
*** English Translation of “March of the Volunteers” via Wikipedia:
Arise! All those who don’t want to be slaves!
Let our flesh and blood forge our new Great Wall!
As the Chinese people have arrived at their most perilous time.
Every person is forced to expel his very last cry.
Arise! Arise! Arise!
Our million hearts beating as one,
Brave the enemy’s fire, March on!
Brave the enemy’s fire, March on!
March on! March on! On!
*** Chinese Simplified original
NDP leadership vote cyber-attacked – Is the NDP claim of “No possible way to get into their process” misguided?Saturday, 24 March, 2012
In response to CTV reporter question re integrity of the leadership vote, NDP Brad Lavigne (Principal Secretary to the Leader of the Official Opposition) stated ”No possible way to get into their process.“
Really, is Brad serious? He should really read the October 2010 Washington Post article “Hacker infiltration ends D.C. online voting trial” for a change and stop the “No possible way“ misguided claim at least (or delusional at worst)! Absolute declarative statement like “No possible way“ is a sign of NOT understanding the complexity of security matters especially surrounding internet voting.
In Aug 2011, I wrote an in-depth article re the potential problems of internet voting if used in a Canada wide general election, “A software engineer’s critique of Elections Canada Chief Electoral Officer’s plan“. I thought it is timely to repost my article “A software engineer’s critique” again.
Currently according to the Spanish e-voting company Scytl and NDP, they are claiming the NDP leadership vote suffered a DoS attack and the integrity of the vote was not affected. As I tweeted: How did they prove there was no vote tempering? Won’t it be #NDP & #Scytl self interest to coverup their incompetence? #ndpldr
- Globe and Mail, “Hackers attack NDP, delaying electronic leadership vote“
- CTV.ca, “Attempted cyber-attack holds up NDP leadership vote“
- CBC News, “NDP leadership voting delayed by outside attack“
* Ottawa Citizen, “‘Pierre Poutine’ recorded message supporting Liberal candidate in Guelph“
* Globe and Mail, “Elections Canada unearths ‘Poutine’s’ aborted robo-call posing as Liberals“
The original team of robocall scandal breaking reporters Glen McGregor and Stephen Maher have published their latest report “Elections Canada probing spending records of Conservative campaign in robocall scandal“. Based on the evidences presented in the article, Canadians need some further information from a Guelph, Ontario election campaign. In particular, further explanation of missing election expenses invoices from Andrew Prescott, the deputy campaign manager of Conservative candidate Marty Burke in Guelph, Ontario.
Here is an excerpt from the article (with emphasis and additional link added), I highly recommend you read the full article. It is a great read.
“Prescott said Monday that he had given his campaign manager invoices for the calls but could not explain why the expenses did not appear on the financial report sent to Elections Canada.
He said he used a RackNine account he held through his own company, Prescoan, to place the automated calls announcing Burke campaign events. He said he then submitted invoices to the campaign for these costs.
“I gave them to the campaign manager,” Prescott said. “There was definitely no effort to hide anything or obscure anything.”
There is no record of these expenses anywhere in the Burke campaign return, however. Read the rest of this entry »
Reporting false poll stations, Nasty election calls, Slashing your car’s tires, and Letting air out of your tires a little at a timeSaturday, 3 March, 2012
Read this tweet “via@Kady — Agreed. @pollarama: Nasty election calls are dirty tricks; reporting false poll stations is voter suppression. One is not like the other” this morning and it got me to think and tweeted the following replies.
Poutine, Lies, and Robocalls – You alone vs. Systemic electoral fraud – Elections Canada received 31,000 complaintsSaturday, 3 March, 2012
First of all, some people question why all the complains now and not 10 months ago right after the 2011 May 2nd federal election? Here is a possible simple answer, and I believe sometimes the simplest answer is the right answer. We Canadians are a trusting bunch of people. Many of us even if we had received one of the fraudulent robocalls, we might have not complained because we assumed it might have been just a one off “mistake”. It is often in hindsight and when we realized we are not alone, and in this case, many many other Canadians reporting experiencing the same problem, then the earlier “one off mistake” is proven to be a part of a deliberate and systemic campaign and that is fraud and not a “mistake”.
It is also important to note that the person/entity behind “Pierre Poutine” (2011 Voter suppression campaign) has to be found and bought to justice under our laws and the electoral complains have to be fully investigated. The foundation of our democracy is being attacked and it is up to us Canadians to stand up and defend Canada. Canadians will not accept American style dirty tricks in our election campaign.
I’ve called my MP to politely express my grave concern even the office staff rudely hung up on me before I had a chance to finish telling her my concern.
Here are some of the news,
“The investigation currently underway at Elections Canada is reviewing whether there was an active campaign of robocalls to interfere with citizens’ right to vote. The calls on and before election day directed voters to non-existent polling stations, which opposition MPs have alleged was an active campaign of voter suppression.
“That’s not just illegal, it’s wrong,” said Ned Frank, a constitutional expert from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ont. “What you have here, in my view, is a perversion of our electoral system.” Read the rest of this entry »
News from today across Canada. The election fraudsters “Pierre Poutine” are collectively giving major middle fingers to mock Election Canada and voters! Absolutely unacceptable.
Vancouver Sun, “Public faith in the 2011 vote is gone – judicial inquiry needed; Fraud a serious attack on parliamentary democracy; governor-general would be justified in forcing new federal election”
“Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s long-sought majority government rests upon 11 seats.
The key to his narrow 2011 victory was Ontario, where the Conservative Party finally breached a Liberal stronghold.
It was in crucial Ontario swing ridings where Conservatives won, often by razor-thin margins, that the government’s majority was decided.
And, it was in Ontario that evidence first surfaced of an apparently well-organized campaign of telephone calls which purported to be from Elections Canada and which told Liberal voters that their polling stations had been relocated and which directed them to bogus voting sites.”
Ottawa Citizen, “Elections Canada falling down on electoral fraud: Democracy Watch“
“Elections Canada is failing in its mandate to thwart electoral scams and publicly hold fraudsters to account, the Ottawa-based advocacy group Democracy Watch said Tuesday, as the robocall scandal continued to shake the Harper government’s majority mandate. Read the rest of this entry »
Here are some recent News that caught my eyes,
Ontario’s Information and Privacy Commissioner Ann Cavoukian tells us why Bill C-30 goes too far in this insightful and easy to watch TVO Video. Watch the first 2 minutes of the video and the chill will get to your bones!
“The Harper government says laws are needed to respond to the rapidly changing online world. Ontario Information and Privacy Commissioner Ann Cavoukian tells Steve Paikin why she is concerned that Bill C-30 goes too far.”
Will Twitter’s 500 Millionth User be a Chinese gov spam bot? Thanks to Ai Weiwei @aiww @AWWNeverSorryWednesday, 22 February, 2012
According to some projection, Twitter will have its 500 millionth user today (Wed Feb 22, 2012 at about 3pm EST). I seriously wonder if that “user” will be a Chinese political spam bot?
You see, I sometimes tweet about the Chinese artist and political activist Ai Weiwei @aiww or talk about the documentary Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry @AWWNeverSorry. In the last 4 days alone, there were 15 brand new Chinese gov spam bots spamming me! The Chinese government wants to give the impression that lots of different people support its views.
Based on my experiences, the Chinese government and its agents have created many many Twitter spam bots, each only send out only about 120 or so personal @ message tweets to different people at the same time and then simply discard these accounts and left them unused! Try tweeting about Ai Weiwei @aiww and be spammed by the famous Chinese government spam bot yourself!
So thanks to brave opposition voices from people like Ai Weiwei, will the Chinese government and other spam bots creators be creating Twitter’s Six Millionth or even One Billionth user?
Note: I am not sure if these bots are fully automated or partially run by hired Chinese, also known as the 50 Cent Army/Party (in simplified Chinese: 五毛党; traditional Chinese: 五毛黨).
Also, I want to be clear that Weiwei is NOT the only target of these spam bots, I got spammed by them because I tweeted about Weiwei. Other people got spammed for tweeting about other people the Chinese government happen to disagree with.
Here are six of the 15 Chinese gov spam bot accounts (all different) that spammed me in the last 4 days! Click pix to zoom it. The first image is the collection of many of the spam messages on one page.
* LA Times (great review), “Sundance 2012: Ai Weiwei screening becomes a political event“
“In one of the film’s numerous scenes of defiance, Ai describes his motivation for his art and his statements. “If you don’t publicize it, it’s like it never happened,” he said.”
* Chicago Tribune, “Another side of Ai Weiwei shown in Sundance film“
* Reuters, “Another side of Ai Weiwei shown in Sundance film“
* Salt Lake Tribune, “Sundance review: “Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry“
Jan 29, 2012 update: THR, “Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry: Sundance Film Review“
Variety review, “Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry“
Feb 14, 2012 update: The Guardian, “Berlin 2012: Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry – review“
“Q: Do you ever examine yourself to say, why is that you are so fearless compared to other people?
Ai WeiWei Answer: I was so fearful, that’s not fearless. I am more fearful than other people, may be, then I act more brave because I know the danger is really there. If you don’t act, the dangers become stronger.” – Ai WeiWeiin PBS Frontline video “Who is afraid of Ai Weiwei?” (time code: ~17:25)
re: internet voting – A software engineer’s critique of Elections Canada Chief Electoral Officer’s planWednesday, 24 August, 2011
In this article, I am writing as a reporter and also as a computer scientist with 10 years of software engineering experiences plus a keen interest in internet security & internet voting issues for over 10 years. To me, there are many potential issues with internet voting and I will discuss two main issues I see in this article.
This recent discussion of internet voting is a result of Elections Canada Chief Electoral Officer’s report on the 41st general election (PDF file) (emphasis and link added),
“Under section 18.1 of the Act, the Chief Electoral Officer may carry out studies on alternative voting methods and test electronic voting processes for use during general elections or by-elections, subject to the approval of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs and the Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs. Elections Canada has been examining Internet voting as a complementary and convenient way to cast a ballot. The Chief Electoral Officer is committed to seeking approval for a test of Internet voting in a by-election held after 2013.“
1) “Security” of internet-based voting system vs. Advantage of Paper Ballots
Paper ballots used in Canada have one major security advantage: it takes a long time to fake or temper with the votes. Can you image, with our existing checks and balances, someone physically temper with (i.e. change the voters’ votes) 10 paper votes, 100 votes, or 10,000 votes? I honestly can’t. There are just so many Elections Canada people and election scrutineers from all parties to make tempering with physical votes almost impossible.
Now, can I, as a former software engineer, image someone with the smart and knowledge of the particular internet voting system’s precise weakness, electronically tempering with 100,000 votes in a general election? Absolutely!
Am I just imagining potential security weaknesses and worrying too much? Well, the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics had some serious eggs on their faces in Oct 2010. They thought they had a secure internet-based voting system enough that they ask people to help test their system. Only after a few days of testing, their embarrassing failure was documented by Washington Post in “Hacker infiltration ends D.C. online voting trial”. [HT Bruce Schneier]
“Last week, the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics opened a new Internet-based voting system for a weeklong test period, inviting computer experts from all corners to prod its vulnerabilities in the spirit of “give it your best shot.” Well, the hackers gave it their best shot — and midday Friday, the trial period was suspended, with the board citing “usability issues brought to our attention.“
Here’s one of those issues: After casting a vote, according to test observers, the Web site played “Hail to The Victors” — the University of Michigan fight song.
“The integrity of the system had been violated,” said Paul Stenbjorn, the board’s chief technology officer.“
Let me quote Bruce Schneier which I totally agree (emphasis added),
“My primary worry about contests like this is that people will think a positive result means something. If a bunch of students can break into a system after a couple of weeks of attempts, we know it’s insecure. But just because a system withstands a test like this doesn’t mean it’s secure. We don’t know who tried. We don’t know what they tried. We don’t know how long they tried. And we don’t know if someone who tries smarter, harder, and longer could break the system.“
Fair election is the foundation of our democracy, as a software engineer of large scale safety and mission critical systems for 10 years, I try speak with an impartial view. I honestly don’t know if we can build a secure internet voting system that I would risk Canada’s democracy.
Sure, other countries may have internet-voting which their citizens approve. But what other countries do or don’t does not necessarily mean it is right! I care about my own country’s democracy which is why I am speaking out.
By the way, don’t even think about security by obscurity (using secrecy of design, etc) because it is a really bad idea!
2) Secret Ballots in Polling stations vs. Internet voting location
Polling stations in Canada have a specific set of requirements and the ability to let voters cast their ballots in secret is one of those fundamental requirements.
Unfortunately, when voting is done over the internet, we can be no longer be sure all ballots are casted without undue influence from others in the “voting booth” because there isn’t a “voting booth” anymore.
Imagine a religious, trade, activist, etc group encouraging their members to vote on a computer at a common location for “elections parties”, while their leaders keep coercing their members. Can we stop this easily and effectively?
Even if the group is as small as a family, should we allow the sanctity of & requirement of “secret ballots” be violated by over-eager parents, grandparents, relatives, or friends?
3) My brief replies to interesting comments and “solutions” from this CBC News August 18 at 6:43am Facebook posting.
- From Melissa Dimock, “I’m a little leery of it, but it’s being done elsewhere. I do think that making voting easier, more accessible and convenient would improve voter turn-out. […]” August 18 at 6:45am
My reply: I don’t know if internet-voting will increase voter turn-out for the long term once the novelty factor is gone. But assuming it does, does it worth the risks stated in (1) & (2) above?
- From Steve Cooper, “I’m not too down with it. I wouldn’t trust it. Imagine on election night the result is a massive swing to a party you are not pleased with. How confident would you be that the result is legitimate?” August 18 at 6:51am
I have to agree with Steve.
- From David Jamieson, “Nope and Nope again. It is a ridiculous idea in this age of hacking. A vote in a democracy is far too important to be left in the hands of so few. […]“ August 18 at 6:52am
I also agree with David.
- From Erika Belanger, “if you can submit your income tax or do banking on the Internet, we should be able to vote that way. Might have more voters that way. There as to be a way to make it secure…..” August 18 at 6:54am
I think Erika‘s thought may be shared by many Canadians. Why is it safe to submit income tax and do banking on the internet but not so for voting?
Well, lets put things in context with #2 above. We have no worries if someone is watching and monitoring how a person is paying income tax or banking online. But we have serious concern if someone is monitored and being “influenced” on how they vote in an “internet voting booth” at home or at any location.
Hacking our internet banking while profitable to criminals, imagine criminals help hack an election and control Canada’s political future? Our votes, paradoxically, are much more valuable in some sense even many fellow Canadians routinely give up their rights to vote.
A healthy democracy needs constructive debates. Please add your views, I will try to selective reply to some of the comments.
*** References & Notes ***
Bruce Schneier is an internationally respected computer security expert, he is the expert that I have read and admire for over 10 years! In this article, I quoted his Oct 2010 piece “Hacking Trial Breaks D.C. Internet Voting System” extensively. His earlier but comprehensive Dec 2000 piece “Voting and Technology“, while written over 10 years ago, still contains some valuable insights (even thought they may not be his latest thinking). His Dec 2003 “Computerized and Electronic Voting” is also a good read.