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The Silhouette sincerely apologizes to Glenn De Caire for the false contents found in the previous version of the article "The hiring and requested firing of Glenn De Caire,” published on thesil.ca and distributed across campus on March 24, 2016. The disparaging statements made about Glenn De Caire are entirely untrue and are hereby unconditionally retracted by The Silhouette. Amendments to the online article were made on April 4, 2016.
On Dec. 18, 2015, McMaster announced that former Police Chief of Hamilton Police Services, Glenn De Caire, had been hired as the Director of Parking and Security Services, a senior administrative position within the University. De Caire announced his retirement from Police Services this past November and began his role on campus on Jan. 17 amidst a protest outside his office. The protest, organized by the Revolutionary Students Movement, was against the influence of police patrol on campus and has since spit-balled into a larger petition and campaign and a motion by the Student Representative Assembly for the Students' Union to advocate for De Caire's removal. While the student body is taking actions to protest De Caire's place on campus, members of the hiring board stand by their decision and the process that went into his eventual selection for the job.
Hiring the Director of Parking and Security Services requires a committee of known stakeholders from across the University’s administration. This year’s committee featured six McMaster employees, all from different departments of the University. This year’s board included: outgoing Director, Terry Sullivan; Assistant Vice President and Chief Facilities Officer, Mohamed Attalla; Assistant Vice President and Director of Teaching and Learning at MIIETL, Arshad Ahmad; Assistant Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer, Wanda McKenna; Director of Public and Community Relations, Gord Arbeau; and President of the McMaster Students Union, Ehima Osazuwa.
“This was a national search,” said Arbeau.
“There were a series of advertisements across the country to encourage applicants. I think we had well over 100 applicants for this position.”
“The job description was developed — it was the existing job description that was updated from the last time we hired a director — and it is quite a lengthy document … and then there were a series of advertisements across the country to encourage applicants. I think we had well over 100 applicants for this position,” he said.
The search committee had no shortage of applicants, with resumes coming in from across the country. To compile this extensive list, three members of the committee — Atalla, McKenna and Sullivan — worked with a third party hiring group to narrow down the search.
“I never knew the 100 people that applied, they narrowed it down to five people,” said Osazuwa, another member of the hiring committee.
“I got to read the applications and we had an interview process with each of the five candidates,” he said.
Terry Sullivan, the outgoing director and one of the key stakeholders in hiring, is a former employee of Hamilton Police Services. Previously working as a Superintendent and Division Supervisor with the HPS, Sullivan became Parking and Security Director in 2005. Him and De Caire have been known to be in touch through their connection to HPS, making his selection for the top five unsurprising.
“We looked for an understanding of McMaster, an understanding of its traditions and culture of inclusivity, an understanding and awareness of how this role fits into this inclusivity and its culture, and the committee would hear from the various applicants about how they would fit into this existing culture,” said Arbeau.
While the University stressed inclusivity in their hiring, the HPS and its members have a history with the controversial practice of carding, or “street checks.” Street checks were originally developed as a tool to document illicit activities in municipal areas and were previously known as Field Information Reports. The process allowed a registered police officer to stop and question someone on the street asking for personal information like their name, age, height, eye colour and a description of their activities at the time. Over time, carding in North America became a practice used to racially profile predominantly young non-white men, and legally document and target their actions through police surveillance. While De Caire denounced the racial profiling element of the practice, carding is still stated to be a violation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and as of March 22, 2015, an amendment to the provincial Police Services Act states that carding will be an officially illegal practice as of January 1, 2017.
Information about HPS’ use of this practice over the past few years was publicly available, but the University did not present any of these details to the hiring committee. It was up to their own initiative to do any background checks outside of what would have been done by the three hiring committee representatives in the preliminary hiring stages.
“I expect the university to do that background [check] before presenting candidates to me,” said Osazuwa.
Osazuwa also mentioned that during the hiring committee’s assessment of De Caire’s interview, resume and cover letter, none of the members brought up the darker details of his history with Police Services.
After the interview process, De Caire was selected for the job and offered a Letter of Employment from the University. The letter does not define a set amount of time for De Caire’s role on campus, and instead the position will exist for him as long as he chooses to continue in the job and is not removed from campus.
The job will see a drop in salary for De Caire, with the most recent Director, Terry Sullivan, making $133,852 annually, but the long-term position also delivers a level of security that his previous police job did not offer.
Nick Abrams, a fourth-year Anthropology and Religious Studies student, is a member of the Revolutionary Students Movement and one of the key planners in the initial protests and campaigning around De Caire’s hiring.
The first protest against De Caire’s hiring happened on his first day on the job. The assembled team of students eventually turned the protest into an online petition that received 228 signatures of support in its first week. Shortly after the release of the petition, the campaign was translated into a motion at the MSU’s General Assembly on March 14.
The General Assembly accepted proposed motions from across the student body, and the RMS, in partnership with the McMaster Womanists, the Revolutionary Communist Party, McMaster United in Colour, and several other student groups motioned for “the General Assembly [to] endorse this campaign to get Glenn De Caire Off Campus … call on the university to terminate Glenn De Caire from [his] position of head of Security and Parking … call on the university to end its campaign of increasing the presence of police on our campus.”
“We have to force awkward conversations between the President of the MSU and President of the University, which I’m excited about,” said Abrams.
The University has not officially attempted to increase the presence of police on campus, but the hiring of a former police officer has led some to speculate about the future of on-campus security.
“I expect the university to do that background [check] before presenting candidates to me.”
The full motion passed with more than 80 percent of voters in favour at the General Assembly. But since the GA did not reach quorum, the motion was taken to the Student Representative Assembly to make a final decision on the MSU’s stance.
At the March 20 SRA meeting, the governing body of the MSU voted in favour of the motion, meaning it is now a responsibility of the MSU to talk to University administration to advocate for his removal and clearer outlines for the future of campus security.
“The goal is to get him off campus … and to also implement something to ensure that something like this doesn’t happen again,” said Kayonne Christy, a fourth-year Life Sciences student, President of the McMaster Womanists and one of the campaign’s coordinators.
The motion also called for “the university to form a new hiring committee made up of students, faculty, and campus support staff to make the new hire.” The current hiring committee is not seen as fit to make a new decision if De Caire is eventually removed from the campus.
“Something like this should have been a lot more known. And the fact that they hired him during exam time seems pretty sketchy,” said Christy. “A lot of students are going home, a lot of students are stressed with schools, and no one’s really focusing on that… They should have been a lot more transparent and a lot more honest about this.”
“In general, it just seems weird that the university would hire someone that used to be a Chief of Police to the position — are the students criminals?” added Abrams.
“Realistically speaking, the University is not going to get rid of Glenn because we ask them to. But I think it is important that we have these student voices,” said Osazuwa, the link between the MSU and University administration.
After the March 21 SRA meeting, Osazuwa spoke with President Patrick Deane about the motion, and hopes to continue the conversation with Deane and Gord Arbeau for the rest of his term.
“I read the motion as one way: trying to make the campus safer for more people. And if there are certain individuals people feel uncomfortable around, we need to address that issue… I don’t know if getting rid of Glenn is the best solution, but we need to do something,” said Osazuwa.
Osazuwa feels that there are a variety of measures that can be taken to create the safer space students are demanding. It is all part of an ongoing discussion and no concrete plans or intentions have been put forward.
“Part of me is also worried that summer months are coming and that the conversation is going to die off. I don’t think that is the right approach, I think we need to have this conversation head on and try to come to a solution that is best for all parties — the MSU, Glenn, the University, the people that are uncomfortable — I don’t want it to slip under the rug.”
While Osazuwa is the current liaison, some responsibility to pursue these changes also rests on the shoulders of incoming President-Elect Justin Monaco-Barnes who will assume Osazuwa’s responsibilities as of May 1.
“[Justin] has been very good at listening to what is happening… I’m trying to do this as best as I can so I don’t leave Justin in a very uncomfortable situation.”
“I recommended to Patrick [Deane] that the university should have Glenn talk about this. Glenn cannot hide, it is good for him to come out and have this conversation.”
Parking and Security Services has yet to reach out to the MSU about this conversation and has instead routed McMasters Public and Communications Department to address the situation.
“I recommended to Patrick that the university should have Glenn talk about this. Glenn cannot hide, it is good for him to come out and have this conversation.”
De Caire contacted The Silhouette after our initial editorial on his hiring [“On background checks,” Jan. 28, 2016] was released. After recent attempts to reach out to him, we were redirected to Gord Arbeau. He stated, “Any questions about the Director of Security and questions about the process in which he was hired would be referred to [him],” according to a recent policy implemented by the University during these past few weeks.
As the conflict surrounding De Caire’s hiring and request for firing develops, we hope to hear from the new Director himself in regards to his plans for his time at McMaster and his reaction to this motion from the student body.
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ISIS’ recent actions have had a global impact, especially the major attack on Paris that killed over a hundred people. There have been various reactions, but the response by the hacktivist group, Anonymous, has especially garnered attention. Anonymous is a hacking collective formed in 2004 with members from around the globe, and their latest target is ISIS. People have mixed feelings about the organization. They are difficult to track and could potentially release inaccurate information doing more harm than good. However, in the fight against ISIS, the people involved with Anonymous are exactly who we need to foil their future plans.
These people come from diverse backgrounds and include expert hackers as well as working professionals who engage in smaller scale online activism. The main issue with Anonymous’ activism is that because it is so quick to release data on specific persons of interest, there are many opportunities for error. The most productive way for Anonymous to operate would be in concert with intelligence agencies like CSIS and the CIA as opposed to freely releasing information to the masses independently.
Anonymous’ hacktivism is comparable to citizen journalism — there is no central power controlling the content that is released to the public, and fact-checking cannot occur until the information is out there. There is a reasonable amount of concern regarding Anonymous’ system of online politicking. Author of Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy: The Many Faces of Anonymous, Gabriella Coleman, told CBC in a recent interview that she is very worried about “doxxing,” the practice of determining a person’s real identity and releasing it online. She notes that if anyone were incorrectly named, the ramifications could be disastrous for affected individuals.
While the vast majority of people generally agree that ISIS must be stopped, Anonymous’ methods of doing so can be questionable. For example, two Anonymous members hacked Australian and international government websites from Perth and Sydney in May 2014. They stole personal data, an act that resulted in their arrest. The Anonymous network must remember that just because it is capable of wreaking online havoc, it should still operate within legal boundaries. However, when a network is so extensive and there is no one at the helm of the operations, who is to be held accountable? More importantly, how do we find those involved? While one would like to believe Anonymous to be the Crime Stoppers of the online world, it can be dangerous to give individuals a platform to release highly sensitive and confidential information without considering national security. On the other hand, having a global network of people watching criminal organizations like ISIS also has its benefits.
This past summer, Anonymous affiliate, GhostSec, presented data collected after carefully monitoring ISIS social media accounts to U.S. national security. This intelligence helped prevent a planned attack in Tunisia. In addition, the group provided law enforcement with leads that were considered instrumental in foiling a terror plot in New York this past July. Third party groups like Anonymous have their merits. They are able to focus on smaller things that have far-reaching impacts. For example, Anonymous removed over 5,000 ISIS Twitter accounts recently in hopes of reducing their online presence and stopping the spread of propaganda. This act was the effort of many ordinary people coming together and mass reporting the accounts to Twitter. It is a means to distract, but also to prevent outreach to people abroad who may be susceptible to the misinformed temptations associated with joining ISIS.
Anonymous and online vigilantism have their flaws, but their value should not go unnoticed. We should be thankful for the members of Anonymous who do maintain correspondence with law enforcement because they have been crucial in identifying perpetrators in the past and will likely continue to do so. Rather than condemning a group that generally aims to create positive social change, we should find a way to ensure that they do not operate entirely separately from intelligence agencies in order to establish a systematic way of releasing accurate information to the public.
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By: Sunanna Bhasin
In early September, the University of Toronto was on police alert due to an online threat targeted towards feminists and women’s studies students by user ‘KillFeminists’ in the comments section of the BlogTO website. Just a few days ago, a 22-year old in the U.K. was arrested and charged with malicious communications after posting an online threat against Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario on the website, 4chan. The man claimed it was intended as a joke, and that he did not believe himself to be a credible threat seeing as he lives across the globe and didn’t understand North American “paranoia” when it came to online threats. Thankfully, this was a false alarm, however, at the time we weren’t discussing internet security in Canada, we were discussing the “threat” of the niqab.
During the election, incumbent Conservative leader, Stephen Harper, made it a priority to ban the niqab and used Islamophobia to attract to the polls. He attempted to instil fear in Canadians — mainly of Islam — by introducing Bill C-51 as well as the Zero Tolerance for Barbaric Cultural Practices Act. Presented as legislation that protects immigrant women and girls on the government website, it is hard to believe that women’s rights are the motivation behind the bills considering the lack of inquiry into the missing and murdered Indigenous women across Canada. Rather, this type of legislation is divisive and singling out a group of Canadians as a means of propagating the belief that terrorism is a one-dimensional threat that stems solely from one group of individuals.
Instead of targeting niqab-clad Muslim women in the name of women’s rights, perhaps the real target should be young people on the internet who think it’s okay to make threats as long as there is a screen separating them from the victims. In fact, the Canadian government would be better off spending its resources on educating its citizens about the seriousness of cyber-bullying and posting inappropriate content online as opposed to telling Muslim women that they are overly modest.
If the government is truly concerned about being unable to see the women’s faces, then wouldn’t the Internet be significantly more worrisome? Online, users can not only create false identities, but also create believable fake lives, making it difficult to hold individuals accountable. It is probably in Canadians’ best interests to focus on accountability online — after all, threatening someone in person is an offence. Controversial websites like 4chan that do not monitor or moderate inappropriate content or threats should create rules for what constitutes acceptable online behaviour. Given the frequency of school shootings in the United States, and the communities these shooters sometimes seek out online, it would be best to direct our attention to sites that encourage users to make threats all in “good fun”.
The Canadian government needs to realize that terrorism is not restricted to a certain culture, or a single religious group. It is time to redefine terrorism to encompass all terrorist acts, instead of attempting to quarantine those who are not at fault. If a woman’s niqab is unsettling because it covers her face, then ban the parka, the ski mask, and the scarf — now isn’t that ridiculous? I don’t know about Mr. Harper, but I’ll be bundling up this winter, and I should be able to do so however and for whatever reason I want.
Photo Credit: The Toronto Star
By: Alex Zavaries
Over the past several days the news has been saturated with coverage of the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attacks and the subsequent attacks throughout Paris and the surrounding area. A total of 17 people were killed and 14 were injured in these attacks, making it the deadliest terrorist attack in France since the Vitry-Le-Francois train bombing in 1961. The most recent attacks sparked massive marches and vigils throughout France to commemorate the victims, and many participants also held signs or banners that read things such as, “I am against racism,” “freedom of speech,” “I am against fascism,” “unity,” and most notably, “Je Suis Charlie,” which is a world-wide trending topic on Twitter.
While this is a time of mourning for France and the world, the events have nevertheless raised many issues that the people of France and their government will soon have to address. Among the criticism of French intelligence and national security, the question of racial and religious tolerance will surely become the focal point of discussion as France attempts to move forward from these attacks.
However, the issue of racial and religious tolerance is not a new phenomenon for France. It was only in 2010 that France legally banned women from publicly wearing the niqab, a Muslim veil that covers the entire face. The penalty for breaking this law includes a fine of up to 150 euros. With a Muslim population of more than five million people (the largest Muslim minority in Western Europe), such a law affects a considerable amount of France’s population. There have been several attempts at appealing this law, but to no avail, even though the law blatantly infringes on the freedoms of expression and religion.
What happened in Paris this week could very well be the catalyst to a serious conversation that France needs to have about tolerance. While the extremist actions of two men that resulted in the loss of 17 innocent lives should not and will not be minimized, these events are only a small window into the social unrest currently unraveling in France. But how is France expected to unite as a nation and move forward from these attacks when it is illegal for a woman from the largest religious minority in the country to wear a religious veil?
If there is to be a positive consequence of the events of this week, it will be the earnest attempt by the people of France to force their government into bringing about real change surrounding race and religious tolerance – the change that France and her people need.
Photo Credit: REUTERS/Charles Platiau
Internet risks pose a problem to many web users, but university students and faculty are particularly vulnerable, having essential academic files saved to their computers.
With numerous potential cyber threats out there, university students could be an at-risk group for nasty malware or viruses says University Technology Services.
A fairly recent concern is Cryptolocker, malicious software that can enter your computer and encrypt your important documents or pictures. The software will then make you pay to get your pictures and documents back.
“Once you pay, you set up all your colleagues as targets,” says Richard Godsmark of UTS. This could affect your contacts directly because Cryptolocker criminals assume they are easy targets.
The payment issue presents itself in two ways, either in a phishing email or an illegitimate website. Godsmark suggests that if an email or a website looks suspicious, to use caution when giving out personal or credit card information.
Godsmark believes that even when an internet criminal is caught, like the recent arrest of a malware author in Russia, another is bound to emerge. “It will never be perfect, the bad guys will be able to convince you to install software if people are unaware,” said Godsmark.
Recently, Yahoo! in Europe experienced a waterhole attack where their ads were compromised and began installing malware into users computers.
“The vast majority of compromises will occur because of no anti-virus or firewall protection,” said Godsmark.
There are tools available to Internet criminals that allow them to hide viruses so your anti-virus will not be able to detect them. Viruses can disguise themselves as Adobe Reader or a Java Update very easily.
Anti-virus alone is not enough, it is important to also install a system firewall, run regular updates, and turn on web reputation.
Viruses are more common on Microsoft operating systems, because of their large market share. However, with the increasing popularity of Apple and Android, new viruses are likely to ‘pop up’ on these operating systems, in Godsmarks opinion. “We shouldn’t work under the basis that there is something magical working for us.”
Godsmark believes that the most important thing is a general awareness about these problems.
There are a number of ways to recognize if a message is not safe, such as the presence of grammatical errors or abnormal logos. With a combination of protection techniques and general awareness, viruses and malware can be prevented.
The recent popularity of cloud email systems has some Canadian universities concerned about the level of security of their email servers.
Discourse suggests that with these U.S. based companies, the U.S. government or NSA may be able to gain access to secure information and intellectual property through American cloud services such as those offered by Google and Microsoft.
Richard Godsmark, the senior manager of Security, Technology and Risk at McMaster University pointed out that this is a security concern, however it is a difficult issue to address due to a lack of information on the subject.
To improve customer service, Google is attempting to sue the U.S. government, to ensure that they will have to go through actual court proceedings before accessing information. However, in order to really address Internet security, Godsmark believes that it will require a global policy on the matter.
Godsmark believes that unauthorized monitoring is always going to be a concern.
“[Information] crosses borders without any kind of passport, and so traffic is always going to end up in other countries,” said Godsmark.
However, there are a lot of policies in place to ensure that people are not violating privacy for unnecessary reasons.
It is highly unlikely that the NSA would look into a person unless they were considered a real threat, such as suspicion of terrorism. In this instance, it would not matter if you were a U.S. citizen or not. The U.S, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Britain are all members of the “Five Eyes.” This is an intelligence agreement meaning that each state has agreed to release information that is considered dangerous.
There are, of course, benefits for universities being on larger cloud email systems. This allows people from different universities to collaborate with one another. If each school had a different system, this would become more difficult to do.
In terms of McMaster’s email system, it is just as secure as any email system. Godsmark suggests that if you have really confidential information or academic property, not to be sending it in email format, but instead have it password protected.
“Email in general shouldn’t be considered a really secure medium, because as soon as you send out that email you lose control of the information in that email, “ he said.
Godsmark is more concerned with Internet criminals than the government. This is because Internet criminals impact a larger number of people at a personal level, stealing identities or credit card information.
At McMaster, University Technology Services is focusing more on these types of Internet crimes as they are more prevalent and present a higher risk.
McMaster has been ranked by Maclean’s as the fourth best cycling university in Canada. This is due to the city of Hamilton’s ongoing efforts to improve cycling infrastructure, and the ease of biking on McMaster’s spacious campus.
The cheepest generic viagra following infographic explores some of the facts and figures that influence the student biking experience, including an anecdote from a student who experienced a downside of cycling at McMaster.
Click here for an interactive Google Map with the locations of bike thefts on McMaster's campus from 2012-2013.
Social media circles were shaken on Monday as private messages on Facebook sent between 2007 and 2009 were mysteriously appearing on users’ public timelines.
The website, is denying all instances of the leak, explaining that many users are mistaken and are confusing older public messages for private messages.
Numerous students are reporting otherwise.
Philip Savage, Assistant Professor of Communications Studies at McMaster University and researcher of communication law and policy, says that Canada has safeguards in place to combat digital privacy breaches.
“[There] is legislation in Canada to protect your rights as an individual in matters of privacy. PIPEDA sets out rules around the obligations of any government of commercial enterprise around collecting and sharing information on people,” said Savage.
PIPEDA, the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, explicitly outlines the rules surrounding the collection and distribution of personal, private information.
Section 4.7.1 states that an organization’s “security safeguards shall protect personal information against loss or theft, as well as unauthorized access, disclosure, copying, use or modification. Organizations shall protect personal information regardless of the format in which it is held.”
“You cannot have your private correspondence shared, regardless of the Terms of Service that you may have signed,” said Savage in reference to clause 16.3 in the Facebook terms of service.
The terms state, in part, “We do not guarantee that Facebook will always be safe, secure or error-free or that Facebook will always function without disruptions, delays or imperfections.”
An organization’s terms of service, accepted or otherwise, cannot supersede Canadian regulations as long as they operate within the country.
The personal information act does not differentiate between breaches of information as both technical fouls and ethical missteps, and clearly outlines that “an organization may collect, use or disclose personal information only for purposes that a reasonable person would consider are appropriate in the circumstances,” which would be employed, for example, in the case of releasing to police officers relevant information in a criminal investigation or about people who are at risk for suicide and abuse.
This is not the first breach of privacy in Facebook’s recent history, as the social media icon was involved in a lengthy investigation in May 2008 regarding “22 separate violations of PIPEDA,” surrounding the collection and disclosure of information on the site. The accusation was brought forward by the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic, CIPPIC, an organization spawned of the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law.
Leslie Regan Shade, Associate Professor of the Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto, provided her insights into a history rife with legal issues. “Facebook has always played a cat and mouse game with privacy laws and data commissioners. CIPPIC found that many of the issues that were brought to Facebook’s attention were resolved, and it set a global precedent for Facebook,” said Shade. While the issues were resolved within the one-year time limit set by the Assistant Privacy Commissioner, CIPPIC continued to have concerns with the default settings for users not being reflective of the intent behind the initial resolution.
“If you do not file a complaint, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner may not begin an official investigation in the near future,” said Shade.
Even more recently, Facebook underwent intense scrutiny by the Federal Trade Commission in the U.S. on their propensity to reveal private information that users were told would be kept private. The resulting case was settled on the premise that Facebook would undergo regular auditing every two years for the next twenty years as a countermeasure to their quickly shifting privacy atmosphere.
“I think whenever you have huge amounts of information gathered, that there will be mishaps,” said Savage. It is an organizations’ responsibility to have both technical protection in place and accountable individuals available when such a privacy breach is discovered, as outlined by PIPEDA.
Savage believes that this is an issue that needs to be investigated by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, headed by Jennifer Stoddard, the Commissioner herself.
“The Office has been proactive in investigating breaches of privacy in the past, such as the photo tagging issue on Facebook where users were being tagged without their prior consent,” he said.
He then added that the Office was also instrumental in changing Google’s policy in their maps application to include the distortion of faces and sensitive addresses such as women’s shelters.
A statement released by the privacy commissioner’s office on Tuesday elaborated the minister’s current investigation into privacy leaks by popular websites. Research conducted by the office found that “approximately one in four of the sites tested,” had “significant privacy concerns.”
Stoddard has contacted eleven unnamed organizations to inquire into their privacy practices and work with them to ascertain their compliance with PIPEDA and related laws.
“It is time for a more considered, government-driven inquiry into protecting privacy. The means by which PIPEDA and other privacy safeguards are enforced are not resourced enough,” said Savage.
In the meantime, Savage urges students to read the nature of their agreements with organizations, and complain to their service providers if they feel their privacy has been violated.