Is Hong Kong Police Above the Law?香港警察是否可以無法無天,凌駕於法律之上?(op-ed)

Tuesday, 1 January, 2013

20130101 Is Hong Kong Police Above the Law - pix 1

After viewing the following video clip, I have one simple question. Is Hong Kong Police Above the Law? 香港警察是否可以無法無天,凌駕於法律之上?Has Hong Kong become a police state/city where Hong Kong citizens’ rights and legal due process need not be protected nor respected by the police? Have a watch and see for yourself in this legal protest. According to what was stated by one of the peaceful protesters (based on the observable footage), the crowd (“over 100”) has been detained by the police without any reasons given. When the police seemed to be willing to release the crowd, a police officier who seemed to be in charge halted the release of the protesters and clearly stated no reason is to be given nor needed for the crowd’s detention.

5:37署理警司:唔放得,全部圍住!

5:45署理警司:唔洗講,一陣咪話唔警告你。”

Note: Raw video footage linked to via Facebook status of HK Legislative Council member Leung Kwok-hung (梁國雄). Note that this reporter has no way to verify the video’s authenticity, there is no reason to believe it is doctored as there would likely be plenty of collaborating photographic and video evidences filmed by other media outlets present at the protest.

20130101 Is Hong Kong Police Above the Law - pix 2

20130101 Is Hong Kong Police Above the Law - pix 3


Use of Social Media tool in Police Services – Interview with Toronto Police Constable Scott Mills

Wednesday, 4 July, 2012

Interview with Toronto Police Constable Scott Mills - Use of Social Media tool in Police Services

I am in the process of writing an in-depth article about how Police Services in Canada and around the world use social media tools. Average readers may not know but police services are now using social media tools to help communicate with citizens, report crimes, and, in some cases, even prevent crimes. Think for a moment, “prevent crimes” amazing right?! Watch the video and see for yourself and you will realize it is dedicated and good policing assisted by new social media tools.

I’ve started collecting research materials for the article. The following is my first video interview. The interview was actually conducted and broadcasted LIVE this morning using Google+ and YouTube technologies (two of the social media tools used in Toronto).

I want to thank Toronto Police Constable Scott Mills (@GraffitiBMXCop) for his time in sharing his insights. Have a watch of the video. Stay tuned for more interviews (I am planning a few more) and the in-depth article to be posted later.

Interview with Toronto Police Constable Social Media guru Scott Mills @GraffitiBMXCop


Google (with Google+) wants to be your Police, Judge, and Jury?

Thursday, 1 September, 2011

Eric Schmidt - James MacTaggart lecture at Edinburgh International TV Festival

I will share with you my concerns of what Eric Schmidt has said at MediaGuardian Edinburgh International TV Festival, hopefully, without repeating many points others have expressed in their articles (see refs). Schmidt‘s words got me thinking about this faxlore/viral email,

Heaven is where the police are British, the lovers French, the mechanics German, the chefs Italian, and it is all organized by the Swiss.

Hell is where the chefs are British, the mechanics French, the lovers Swiss, the police German, and it is all organized by the Italians.

Eric Schmidt‘s words about identity service and real names (see below with emphasis added) at Edinburgh raised some serious red flags. To me, hell is where Google (with Google+) is our Police, Judge, & Jury, all rolled into one.

In particular these words by Eric Schmidt have given me most concern.

“In the area of social media, we knew upfront 10 years ago that the Internet lacked essentially an accurate identity service. I’m not here by the way talking about Facebook, the media gets confused when I talk about this. If you think about it, the Internet would be better if we had an accurate notion that you were a real person as opposed to a dog, or a fake person, or a spammer or what have you.

And the notion of strong identity was never invented in the Internet. Many people worked on it – I worked on it as a scientist 20 years ago, and it’s a hard problem. So if we knew that it was a real person, then we could sort of hold them accountable, we could check them, [Kempton: “accountable”? How? Is where Google wants to play Police and Judge?] we could give them things, we could you know bill them, you know we could have credit cards and so forth and so on, there are all sorts of reasons.

And the Internet did not develop this in many ways because the Internet came out of universities where the issue of authentication wasn’t such a big issue. Everybody trusted everybody, you didn’t have these kinds of things.

But my general rule is people have a lot of free time and people on the Internet, there are people who do really really evil and wrong things on the Internet, and it would be useful if we had strong identity so we could weed them out. [Kempton: “weed them out”? Is this where Google wants to play Judge & Jury?] I’m not suggesting eliminating them, what I’m suggesting is if we knew their identity was accurate, we could rank them. Think of them like an identity rank.  [Kempton: Again, is this where Google wants to play Judge & Jury?] […]”

“[…] Well, the first comment is that Google+ is completely optional. In fact, many many people want to get in, if you don’t want to use it, you don’t have to.

[Kempton: I cannot agree. The old legal and economic model of “property rights” need to be modified/redefined when the acquisition, selling (via ads), ranking, weeding, etc of our personal identity & information are involved. The new expected and accepted behaviours should be shaped and defined by concerned users including myself, and not just unilaterally by the corporations (be it Google, Facebook, etc).].

The path to hell is sometimes/often paved with good intentions, and often good scientific intentions by “smart people”. The fact that these high tech systems and sensitive information can be seriously misused now and/or in the future cannot be left to sort out by future generations when it may be impossible for them to turn back the tide of horror.

I don’t think Google share 100% of the details and algorithms of how it does it searches and ranks its results (except a few high-level academic pappers). And judging from what it has done so far, I don’t expect it will change its mind with Google+ and be completely open. In fact, Google looks awfully close to “evil” now.

Even in our human based and reviewable judicial system, we often made serious and irrevocable mistakes. How can we trust Google’s automated system to “weed out” people and to hold people “accountable” without it being open and transparent? To remind us of the implications, just read up how the lives of Guy Paul MorinDavid Milgaard, Donald Marshall, and Maher Arar have been affected by a system that failed them.

Would you trust Google to be your Police, Judge, and Jury? My answer is an emphatic NO!

*******

Reference articles and video clips

* Gawker (with video), “Watch Google Describe How It Can Exploit Your Name

* Pete Cashmore, Special to CNN, Aug 29, 2011, “Why Google+ will never back down on real names

* NPR Andy Carvin‘s Aug 30, 2011 comment

* NPR Andy Carvin’s Aug 30, 2011 transcript of what Google CEO Eric Schmidt said in the Q&A at the MediaGuardian Edinburgh International TV Festival

* Mathew Ingram, Gigaom “It’s official: Google wants to own your online identity

* My friend Jan Rubak’s comment.

* Aug 29, 2011, ZDNet, “Google+: Eric Schmidt wants your real name or nothing at all

* PC Magazine, Aug 29, 2011, “Report: Schmidt Says Google+ Is For ‘Real Names’ Only

Eric Schmidt’s Mac Taggart Lecture at Edinburgh International Television Festival (without the Q&A segment)

note: skip to the 0:36:00 mark (36 minutes in) for the start

* 11 Apr, 2011, BBC “Google’s Eric Schmidt to give MacTaggart lecture

Here is a “sort of” transcript (definitely not word-for-word).

*** Other stuff:

Guardian, 28 Aug, 2011, “Google crashes TV’s Edinburgh party – What did the television industry make of Eric Schmidt’s MacTaggart speech?

Guardian, 26 Aug, 2011, “Eric Schmidt: an engineer in EdinburghGoogle’s executive chair reaffirmed the revolution confronting his television industry audience


‘Officer Bubbles’ sues YouTube and users over cartoons

Saturday, 16 October, 2010

The $1.2 million defamation lawsuit as reported by Torstar in “‘Officer Bubbles’ sues YouTube and users over cartoons” is resulted from comments and cartoons triggered by the following video.

Setting aside the issue of whether the lawsuit is meritorious, the following video seems to show excessive use of police force at G20 and should not be accepted/tolerated in Canada. Since it costed Canadian tax payers over $1 billion to host the G20 and G8, so I expect a lot from from the police than this kind of unacceptable dictatorial police-state behaviours.


Badge of Pride asks: Will the force be with you if you’re a gay or LGBT cop? (CBC News Network Wed Jan 13)

Friday, 8 January, 2010

Badge of Pride asks: Will the force be with you if you're a gay or LGBT cop?

Min Sook Lee, Gemini award winning and documentary filmmaker of My Toxic Baby, has made Badge of Pride, a documentary about gay cops in Canada. You can watch it next week on CBC News Network. The following are some information and a YouTube Trailer.

Badge of Pride airs on Wednesday January 13, 2010 at 10 pm ET/PT on CBC News Network, ‘The Passionate Eye’

Twenty-five years ago, Toronto’s gay pride parade was a protest march, held to speak out against police raids against gay bathhouses. In 2005, the city’s Police Chief, Bill Blair marched alongside the muscle boys, the leather daddies, the drag queens and the dykes on bikes. It was a first for Toronto. We’ve come a long way. Or have we? Badge of Pride is a documentary that looks at the lives of gay cops in Canada; cops who are out, cops who are closeted and cops who are somewhere in between the closet and the cruiser.

Badge of Pride looks at the conflicts and challenges facing LGBT cops in Canada. Coming out as a gay cop has its price. Badge of Pride asks: “Will the force be with you if you’re gay?”

Badge of Pride asks: Will the force be with you if you're a gay or LGBT cop?


Tiger Woods, Police, Public, and Public Relations

Monday, 30 November, 2009
  1. The Tiger Woods Crash: Why People Even Care (Essay) (WSJ Speakeasy)
  2. Tiger Woods’ charmed life may be feeling the squeeze (LA Times)
  3. Experts To Tiger Woods: Come Clean (Boston Herald)
  4. Gary Peterson: It’s your move, Tiger Woods. We’ll be waiting (Mercury News)

As always with most situations, there are different things we can learn here. Peterson‘s article is particularly interesting to read.


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