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Christopher Parsons
Works at University of Toronto
Attended University of Victoria
Lives in Toronto, ON
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Christopher Parsons

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Christopher Parsons

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Clever
 
We're being a bit tongue-in-cheek here, but we wanted thank you, our community for being so fantastic! 

Have a great weekend! Your team at OpenMedia.ca
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Christopher Parsons

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More urgently, Fraser believes a debate is needed over the appropriate use of drones by police agencies. “Laws do very little to regulate how police agencies collect and disclose personal information,” he says. “The provisions are so broad you could fly through them.”

He suggests if the G20 were held again in Toronto next year, police would very likely use drones to monitor protesters. He questions whether the rules would preclude the use of weaponized UAVs, asking: “We wouldn’t allow a police helicopter in Canada to have missiles but would we allow a drone to have that sort of thing? I would say no, but has that line been drawn?”

A November 2013 report, “Watching Below: Dimensions of Surveillance-by-UAVs in Canada,” drew a similar conclusion regarding the use of police drones. The report, by Block G Privacy and Security Consulting, said: “Until national policies are established or court challenges arise . . . the use of UAVs by Canadian policing bodies will likely continue to be somewhat ad hoc and primarily constrained by the SFOC process and [law enforcement agencies’] interests in avoiding public pushback of UAV-based practices.”
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"New needle-in-a-haystack analytic is viable: Contact chaining across air gaps."
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Christopher Parsons

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In this post, I explain how and why Canadians can file requests for their personal information to Canadian telecommunications companies.
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Canadian ISPs have largely declined to clarify when or why they disclose subscriber information to state agencies. We analyze their rationales.
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An interview I had on CTV about the CSEC Commissioner's assertion that CSEC can legally collect domestic metadata

http://www.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=291627
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This is wrong. And if the federal government has issued a secret directive authorising this kind of surveillance than such a directive should be repealed - along with all other domestic surveillance - immediately. 
How thousands of law abiding Canadian travelers were hacked & tracked by our own spies.
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Have him in circles
158 people
Christopher Lister's profile photo
Josh Tabish's profile photo
Mohammad Shahnewaz's profile photo
Abbas Hamedani's profile photo
Lisa Tansey's profile photo
Brigitte Gauthier's profile photo
Linda Hamilton's profile photo
Aya Walraven's profile photo
David Huxtable's profile photo
Work
Occupation
I research digital privacy and surveillance issues, translating between policy wonks, technologists, and the public.
Skills
Comparative political policy analysis, critical theory, deep packet inspection, identity management, lawful access, privacy, private and government surveillance, public speaking, research, security, social networking services, teaching, telecommunications, writing.
Employment
  • University of Toronto
    Project Director -- Telecom Transparency Project, 2014 - present
    Engages in multi-disciplinary, cross-institutional research that investigates the rationales, processes, practices, and politics of third-party access to telecommunications data. Develops project methods and research goals for project, as well as establishing key deliverables. Responsible for managing project budget, evaluating high-priority issues of analysis, identifying key stakeholders invested in issue, co-ordinating with national and international partners, and understanding domestic and international telecommunications surveillance and privacy issues. Prepares, files, and analyzes access to information and privacy requests, conducts elite-level interviews, evaluates and critiques published and confidential government and corporate documents pertaining to telecommunications data disclosures and surveillance, and provides expert-level assistance on telecom transparency practices to national and international collaborators. Writes results for public, media, scholarly, policy, and governmental audiences. Presents findings to media, public, business, governmental, and academic audiences and stakeholders. Speaks about, and discusses, findings and research to variously sized audiences (3 people to international audiences). Regularly speaks on background and quotation to local, national, and international media audiences (print, radio, online, television). Prepares and submits grants to support to Telecom Transparency Project. Reports to the Director of the Citizen Lab.
  • University of Toronto
    Postdoctoral Fellow, 2013 - present
    Engaged in multi-disciplinary, multi-stakeholder research that investigates state agencies' access to telecommunications data. Analyze thousands of pages of documents to understand dimensions of access to telecommunications data for national security, signals intelligence, and domestic policing purposes. Write results for public, media, academic, government, and policy audiences, in the form of blog posts, academic articles, policy advice documents, and professional reports. Present findings to media, public, business and academic stakeholders, and members of government. Routinely speak about, and discuss, findings before audiences of various size (10 people to national media audiences). Regularly speak on background and for quotation to local, provincial, national, and international media (print, radio, online, television). Liaise with civil liberties groups, academics, corporate executives, government bureaucratic staff, parliamentarians and associated staff, and members of the media.
  • Researcher, 2011 - present
    Conduct research, analysis, and policy recommendations concerning law enforcement authorities' use of automatic license plate recognition (ALPR) systems. Collaborate with a tight-knit research teach to produce high quality, empirically-grounded, analyses of the systems' conflict with Canadian privacy law while providing suggestions for how ALPR can be deployed in a privacy-protective way. Deliverables to date include a publicly accessible academic paper, national presentations, media articles, presentations to regulators, and ruling from the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of British Columbia concerning how the technology can, and cannot, be used in British Columbia.
  • Block G Privacy and Security Consulting
    Principal, 2013 - present
    Responsible for conducting research on clients' privacy- and security-related challenges, analyzing strategies for overcoming such challenges, and proposing paths to address or get in front of potential business inhibitors. Situate clients' practices within the context of global and domestic security threats and explain privacy-related issues from ethical and policy positions. Provide evidence-based rationales for why problems may or may not exist and means to benchmark whether they have been overcome or avoided.
  • University of Victoria
    PhD Candidate, 2008 - 2013
    Involved in intensive and collaborative research with international research teams. Regularly required to meet tight deadlines to certify accurate content and effective communication of ideas. Lead researcher for Deep Packet Inspection Canada. Experienced in giving and conducting interviews with media and policy experts. Regularly assist third parties understand Canadian telecommunication, privacy, and copyright policies and positions. Collaborate with civil advocates and policy makers internationally on the topics of copyright, deep packet inspection, lawful access, data retention, and private and governmental network surveillance capacities.
  • University of Victoria
    Sessional Instructor, 2012 - 2012
    Taught 20 upper-year undergraduate students about key issues and concepts shaping Internet politics today; topics focused on: network neutrality, critical infrastructure, copyright and freedom of expression, privacy and security, economics, surveillance and censorship, and governance and values; graded presentations and short- and long-form papers; responsible for 6 hours of instructional time/week
  • British Columbia Civil Liberties Association
    Co-Researcher, 2012 - 2013
    Researched the BC Services Card and produced a public policy report that examined the history of identity management politics in Canada and British Columbia, identified normative, technical, and policy deficits with the existing deployment approach, and provided recommendations about how to address and overcome existing challenges facing the government initiative. The final report that was produced, and accompanying research, was funded by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada's contributions program.
  • University of Victoria
    Co-Investigator, 2012 - 2013
    Was the co-investigator of the Canadians Access to Social Media Information (CATSMI) Project. The CATSMI explored how social networking companies collect Canadians personal information and their policies for disclosing it to Canadian citizens as well as to Canadian law enforcement authorities. The Project was funded through the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada's contributions program. As the co-investigator I was responsible for crafting the research methodology, liaising with design and web developers, document writing and document design, arranging content in a Drupal CMS, and working with and guiding graduate student research assistants. Deliverables included presentations given around the globe, a series of academic papers, media interviews, a publicly accessible website, and a host of 'raw data' reports that analyzed companies privacy policies, summarized interviews with police officers dealing with social media issues in Canada, and analyses of how Canadian 'lawful access' laws could affect how authorities could access Canadians personal information on social networking sites.
  • University of Victoria
    Research Assistant, 2009 - 2010
    I was the lead researcher for the Deep-Packet Inspection: Resources for the Analysis of Privacy Implications in Canada. As researcher I was responsible for analyzing several years worth of policy documents concerning how the technology had been deployed in Canada, conducting interviews with Canadian policy elites concerning the technology, and synthesizing research to produce a website outlining to Canadians how Canadian ISPs were mediating data traffic using the technology. Funding for this project came from the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada's contributions program. Deliverables included a public website, a series of talks given around the country, and research from the project informed subsequent dissertation methodologies and research strategies.
  • British Columbia Civil Liberties Association
    Principal Researcher and Author, 2011 - 2012
    Conducted comparative research that analyzed lawful access powers in the UK and United States, as well as in other nations around the world. Aim was to understand how lawful access powers were arranged in comparable Western democracies and what issues arose with those powers. Deliverables included a comparative report of lawful access powers that included a series of policy recommendations for how Canadian legislation might be crafted to avoid the pitfalls of the United Kingdom and United States.
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Toronto, ON
Previously
Victoria, BC - Guelph, ON - Moncton, NB - Shediac, NB
Contact Information
Work
Email
Story
Tagline
An explorer of the digital.
Introduction
My research, teaching, and consulting interests involve how privacy is affected by digitally mediated surveillance, and the normative implications that such surveillance has in (and on) contemporary Western political systems. I am a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Munk School's Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto, and the Managing Director of the Telecom Transparency Project, where I investigate the rationales, processes, practices, and politics of third-party access to telecommunications data. I hold a Ph.D in Political Science from the Department of Political Science at the University of Victoria, where I completed a dissertation that examined the political drivers of Internet service providers’ network surveillance practices. I am also a Privacy by Design Ambassador and a Principal at Block G Privacy and Security Consulting.

I have written policy reports for civil advocacy organizations in Canada, submitted evidence to Parliamentary committees, and been an active member of the Canadian privacy advocacy community. I have been involved in projects examining lawful access legislation in Canada and abroad, identity management systems in Canada, automatic license plate recognition technologies in Canada and the UK, network management and surveillance practices in Western democratic states, and privacy issues linked to social media services.

I have published in the Canadian Journal of Law and Society, European Journal of Law and Technology, Canadian Privacy Law Review, CTheory, and has book chapters in a series of academic and popular books and reports. My research has been funded by SSHRC, the New Transparency Project, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner's contributions programs, the Canadian Internet Registration Authority, and by civil advocacy organizations. I regularly present my research to government, media, the public, and at academic events.
Education
  • University of Victoria
    PhD-Political Science, 2008 - 2013
  • University of Guelph
    MA-Philosophy, 2006 - 2007
  • University of Guelph
    MA-Philosophy, 2001 - 2006
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Christopher Parsons's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
China summons U.S. envoy over cyber-spying accusations - World
www.haaretz.com

U.S. accused Chinese military officers of hacking into American nuclear, metal and solar companies to steal trade secrets.

Tumblr declares war on the internet's identity crisis
www.theverge.com

Tumblr founder David Karp thinks a lot about the web as it was 15 years ago. A web filled with blinking words, Shockwave Flash, and GeoCitie

The Longer I'm Prime Minister: Stephen Harper and Canada, 2006-
market.android.com

The definitive portrait of Stephen Harper in power by this country’s most trenchant, influential and surprising political commentator. Oh,

Google's link to French privacy fine crashes watchdog's site
www.theguardian.com

CNIL fined Google €150,000 over its data policy and demanded that Google.fr link to its site - but then buckled under the weight of traffic

'Gag orders' could prevent Canadian telecoms from speaking openly about ...
business.financialpost.com

Internet and phone providers say they will not, and do not, give up their users' data without a fight. But they may not be allowed to be tru

Citizen Lab calls on Canada's telcos to publish transparency report
boingboing.net

As American telcoms operators take up the practice of publishing transparency reports showing how many law-enforcement requests they receive

The strange connection between the NSA and an Ontario tech firm
www.theglobeandmail.com

For more than six years, one of the central items listed in the Cryptographic Module Validation Program has had a well-known backdoor, a mea

Michael Geist: Police Surveillance and Bill C-13
theagenda.tvo.org

University of Ottawa's Michael Geist on privacy concerns surrounding Bill C-13.

The Way of the Knife: The CIA, a Secret Army, and a War at the Ends of t...
market.android.com

A Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter’s riveting account of the transformation of the CIA and America’s special operations forces into man-hunti

Murder in Samarkand: A British Ambassador's Controversial Defiance of Ty...
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When Craig Murray arrived in Uzbekistan to take up his post in 2002, he was a young ambassador with a brilliant career and a taste for whisk

Delete: The Virtue of Forgetting in the Digital Age
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Delete looks at the surprising phenomenon of perfect remembering in the digital age, and reveals why we must reintroduce our capacity to for

Senate seeks answers about CSEC’s interest in Brazil
www.theglobeandmail.com

Hugh Segal expresses concern over absence of legislative oversight of national security services in Canada

Warrantless wiretapping catch-22 might have been illegal
www.theverge.com

In March, opponents of secret government surveillance were dealt a major blow. The Supreme Court dismissed a challenge to warrantless wireta

Robyn Urback: We want your DNA — The Conservatives' hypocritical stance ...
fullcomment.nationalpost.com

According to Federal Justice Minister Peter MacKay, the government is considering a plan to collect the DNA of individuals arrested for cert

Why Malcolm Gladwell Matters (And Why That's Unfortunate)
blog.chabris.com

Malcolm Gladwell, the New Yorker writer and perennial bestselling author, has a new book out. It's called David and Goliath: Misfits, Underd

Privacy advocates vs. GCHQ: Groups launch EU court case against spy agency
rt.com

Three leading civil rights groups have filed a case against the UK spy agency, GCHQ, at the European Court of Human Rights over its surveill

Canada won’t fund abortion in cases of war rape | Toronto Star
www.thestar.com

The Conservative government is refusing to let development funding go to projects that provide abortions for child brides and the victims of

How a Telecom Helped the Government Spy on Me
www.propublica.org

When federal agents investigated a story I wrote, they violated Department of Justice rules and my privacy in many of the ways Edward Snowde

Spa Sensations 8" Spring Mattress | Walmart.ca
www.walmart.ca

Small Appliances · Rice Cookers/Steamers · Breadmakers · Food Processors/Choppers · Deep Fryers · Toasters · Microwaves · Irons & Clothes St

Maps
market.android.com

Explore new places, discover local favorites, and navigate your world with Google Maps. Available on Android phones and tablets with a simpl

My wife and I went here for a late lunch; the food was a bit mixed and the atmosphere was (initially) really quite poor. In terms of food, I had a chicken panini with fries. The panini wasn't bad, but it also wasn't anything I'd recommend to someone. The fries, while crisp, were lacking in much seasoning. My wife had a really excellent dish, the Liberty Poutine. The gravy and curds were generous without becoming overwhelming, but the real star of the dish was the Oktoberfest sausage that was diced on top. It was one of the best sausages we've enjoyed in recent time, and went perfectly with the rest of the poutine. The Brazen Head really falls down in terms of atmosphere. We arrived in the late afternoon and the music was pounding. The bass was turned up so much that we could only identify songs based on the thumping of the speakers. The lyrics were almost entirely inaudible. The dining experience improved dramatically when the waitress turned off the music for the main dining area. Ultimately we might return to the Brazen Head some time in the future. But only if we were so lazy that we didn't want to go anywhere else in Liberty Village or beyond.
• • •
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
Food was just like what we had at furnos in Italy. Only downside is that the location get super busy, and staff are a bit slow in expediting the line.
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
As I travel about Canada I'm routinely drawn to try out local poutine joints. Vancouver is blessed by having a set of poutineries and, without any doubt, La Belle Patate is the best. Hands down. The portions are generous. Very generous. And not just with fries: the takeout poutine I got was fully topped with authentic, squeaky, cheese curds. I had smoked meat on mine and I cannot express just how flavourful it was. And the gravy was wonderful: there was enough to always ensure that there was gravy with each bite, without there being so much that it felt like I was eating through a brown soup. To top it off, the price was admirably fair. If you have any reason to visit the La Belle Patate, then do so. If you can't easily think of a reason, make one up. Seriously, why are you still reading? Get going to La Belle Patate!
• • •
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
Atmosphere: GoodDecor: GoodService: Good
Public - 2 years ago
reviewed 2 years ago
42 reviews
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This is one of my favourite places to eat in Toronto. The food is just like what you'd eat at home in Brazil, and the portions are incredibly generous. If you're in the mood for authentic Brazilian food, this is the place to get it!
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
Based on reviews, I decided to check out this place while I was in town. While I wasn't unhappy with my meal, the food wasn't good enough to merit a return visit. We arrived at dinner time on a weekend, and were promptly received and taken to a seat. Our hostess came by quickly thereafter and brought drinks and menus. We ended up ordering a Tower-o-Rings, a beef Growler Five-O, and a chicken Peppercorn Broiler. The Rings were ok: they were hot and large, though the breading lacked much seasoning. Our dips included a chipotle mayo and a curry mayo: the latter was excellent, whereas the former was mediocre at best. For the price I wouldn't recommend buying this item from the menu; choose a different starter instead. The Growler Five-O was incredibly tasty and the meat was well done. Unfortunately, the BBQ sauce is on the top of the burger along with the other toppings. This meant that a great deal of the onions and other toppings just slid off the burger and onto the plate. Very disappointing. The Peppercorn Broiler was good, but far from excellent. The chicken was perfectly cooked and it was well-crusted with peppercorns. I really like peppercorns, so this was fine by me! However, the peppercorns entirely overpowered the rest of the toppings; the gouda cheese and bacon didn't even serve as accents against the taste of the peppercorns. This was disappointing: why is the bacon and gouda even there if they can't be appreciably tasted? The chips that came with the Broiler were often soggy and lacked much taste without a dose of the tzatziki mayo that I ordered as a dip. On the whole, I wouldn't say that we had a bad experience at The Works. But I also wouldn't say that we had particularly good food, and there are better restaurants like the Woolwich Arms that are within just a few minutes walking distance. Given the choice again, I'm heading to the Wooly; the food I had at the Works doesn't merit a return visit.
• • •
Public - 2 years ago
reviewed 2 years ago
Food: Very GoodDecor: Very GoodService: Very Good
Public - 2 years ago
reviewed 2 years ago