Killing Free Speech In Canada

Authored by Judith Bergman via The Gatestinbe Institute,

  • As has become standard in such cases, the charter contains no definition of what constitutes “hate”, making it a catchall for whatever the Canadian government deems politically inopportune. This is all exhaustingly familiar by now: Germany already has legislation that requires social media platforms to censor their users. France is working on it.
  • The Conservative members of the committee… recommended instead that sanctions regarding hate crimes online or elsewhere should be dealt with under the appropriate sections of the Criminal Code. They also recommended that “The definition of ‘hate’ under the Criminal Code be limited to where a threat of violence, or incitement to violence, is directed against an identifiable group” and that “rather than attempting to control speech and ideas, the Government explore appropriate security measures to address all three elements of a threat: intent, capability and opportunity”.
  • “Sickening ideologies which encourage individuals to take the lives of their fellow human beings have faced a concerning proliferation both at home and around the world. Yet sadly, Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Members of this Committee have tried to use these troubling events as a way to bolster their political fortunes. They have tried to paint anyone who doesn’t subscribe to their narrow value set as an extremist.” – Conservative Party dissenting opinion in “Taking Action to End Online Hate”.

In May, Canada launched a so-called Digital Charter, meant to promote “trust in a digital world”. The charter contains ten principles, three of which deal with “hate speech and disinformation”.

The charter, said Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, will target fake news and hate speech online.

“The platforms are failing their users, and they’re failing our citizens,” he said. “They have to step up in a major way to counter disinformation. And if they don’t, we will hold them to account and there will be meaningful financial consequences.”

“The Government of Canada,” the charter says, “will defend freedom of expression and protect against online threats and disinformation designed to undermine the integrity of elections and democratic institutions. Canadians can expect that digital platforms will not foster or disseminate hate, violent extremism or criminal content.”

“There will be clear, meaningful penalties,” it adds, “for violations of the laws and regulations that support these principles.”

As has become standard in such cases, the charter contains no definition of what constitutes “hate”, making it a catchall for whatever the Canadian government deems politically inopportune. This is all exhaustingly familiar by now: Germany already has legislation that requires social media platforms to censor their users. Social media companies are obliged to delete or block any online “criminal offenses” within 24 hours of receipt of a user complaint; the German government can fine them up to 50 million euros for failing to comply with the law. France is working on it.

The Digital Charter was launched the week after Canada signed the “Christchurch Call to Action — yet another government-led drive for more censorship in the name of fighting “terrorist and violent extremist content online”.

Canada already has hate speech laws in its criminal code, according to which anyone who publicly “incites [or willfully promotes] hatred against any identifiable group” commits an indictable offence”. The “identifiable group “includes “any section of the public distinguished by colour, race, religion, national or ethnic origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or mental or physical disability.” Section 318 prohibits advocating or promoting genocide.

To some, however, the criminal code on hate speech is apparently not enough. In June, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights, in a report titled “Taking Action to End Online Hate,” recommended that the Canadian government establish a “civil remedy” for those who claim that their human rights have been violated. After hearing a large number of witnesses, the majority of the Committee suggested that Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act — or something similar to it — be reinstated.

Section 13 was a very controversial provision, repealed in 2013 under the Stephen Harper government after being criticized by free-speech advocates for enabling censorship on the internet. Section 13 stated that it was discriminatory for people to communicate via computer or on the internet “any matter that is likely to expose a person or persons to hatred or contempt by reason of the fact that that person or those persons are identifiable on the basis of a prohibited ground of discrimination”. [Emphasis added]

In its report, the House of Commons Committee also made a number of other recommendations to the Canadian government for the fight against “online hatred”, among them:

Increasing funding for law enforcement, crown attorneys and judges to ensure sufficient training “on the importance, and the need to combat online hatred, including being sensitive to complainants”.

Improving data collection, so that the government ensures that, “we have a more complete understanding of the extent of hatred in Canada, particularly hatred that is directed online”. This undertaking includes the establishment of “uniform pan-Canadian guidelines and standards for the collection and handling of hate crime data and hate incident data” and “a national database to retain and analyze hate crime and hate incident data”. To do this, the committee asks that the government address that “members of marginalized groups… feel more comfortable reporting hate incidents and hate crimes directly to civil society organizations which reflect their community rather than law enforcement officials… resources need to be allocated to assist in the collection of data, by both governmental institutions as well as civil society organizations”.

Crucially, police forces and other “agents of the state” who work with hate crimes must “reflect the racial, religious, LGBTQ and general diversity of the populations they represent. Police forces, particularly their hate crimes units, must work collaboratively alongside civil society organizations…”

A similar cooperative model with civil society organizations already exists in the UK, where the reportedly discredited civil society organization “Tell Mama”, for instance, has operated in cooperation with British police.

Furthermore, in order to “prevent online hate”, the government “should educate the population as to what on the Internet constitutes hate”.

Unlike many other such initiatives, the committee wants the government to formulate a definition of what constitutes “hate”, pointing out:

“It is critical that this definition acknowledges persons who are disproportionately targeted by hate speech including but not limited to racial, indigenous, ethnic, linguistic, sexual orientation, gender identity, and religious groups”.

Finally, and in line with European developments, the committee asks the government “to establish requirements for online platforms and Internet service providers with regards to how they monitor and address incidents of hate speech, and the need to remove all posts that would constitute online hatred in a timely manner”. As in Europe, the suggestion is that online platforms will be financially penalized if they fail to live up to the requirements:

“Online platforms must have a duty to report regularly to users on data regarding online hate incidents (how many incidents were reported, what actions were taken/what content was removed, and how quickly the action was taken). Failure to properly report on online hate, must lead to significant monetary penalties for the online platform”.

Not everyone, however, agrees with the proposed strategy for the Canadian government. The Conservative party wrote a dissenting opinion in the report, according to which:

“… many of the suggestions would, if implemented, have the dual impact of stifling free speech of those acting in good faith, while also serving to further radicalize bad actors by driving their communication out of the public square… Driving reprehensible ideas underground will not end them. It will merely prevent them from being debated and debunked.”

The Conservative members of the committee were against reintroducing the repealed section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act. They recommended instead that sanctions regarding hate crimes online or elsewhere should be dealt with under the appropriate sections of the Criminal Code. They also recommended that “The definition of ‘hate’ under the Criminal Code be limited to where a threat of violence, or incitement to violence, is directed against an identifiable group” and that “rather than attempting to control speech and ideas, the Government explore appropriate security measures to address all three elements of a threat: intent, capability and opportunity”.

The Conservative members conclude:

“Far too many innocent individuals have been impacted by extremist violence in recent years. Sickening ideologies which encourage individuals to take the lives of their fellow human beings have faced a concerning proliferation both at home and around the world. Yet sadly, Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Members of this Committee have tried to use these troubling events as a way to bolster their political fortunes. They have tried to paint anyone who doesn’t subscribe to their narrow value set as an extremist. This is dangerous. Conservatives believe that Canadian society is resilient precisely because it offers a big tent for all sort of views, but that we also must hold those accountable who distribute material that radicalizes individuals and leads to extremist violence”.

If the government proves sympathetic to the recommendations of the committee, the prospects for free speech in Canada look increasingly bleak.

Hong Kong Activist Leader Calls For A Run On Chinese Banks Tomorrow

Authored by Paul Joseph Watson via Summit News,

Prominent Hong Kong pro-independence political activist Chen Haotian has called for a run on Chinese banks, asking that everyone withdraw their money on the same day.

Haotian is a founding member and the convenor of the Hong Kong National Party.

Arguing that large scale protests have only led to injuries and escalating police brutality, Haotian believes another method could be used to severely undermine China’s influence – a good old fashioned run on the bank.

He suggested that another method could be used, namely, impacting the financial system,” reports China Press.

“He called on Friday (August 16) that Hong Kong citizens take out all bank deposits. The primary goal is Chinese banks, but he said other banks should also be targeted, otherwise Chinese banks can borrow money from other banks to solve problems.”

Hong Kong has been rocked by weeks of violent protests by pro-independence campaigners. Earlier this week, riot police stormed Hong Kong International Airport to clear them out.

As we reported on Tuesday, while China is unlikely to invade using PLA troops, experts have suggested that soldiers could be disguised as Hong Kong police.

*  *  *

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UK PC Police “Draw The Line” – Ban Cream-Cheese & Car Ads Over ‘Gender Stereotypes’

The United Kingdom’s Ministry of Social Justice ad regulator has stricken two advertisements from the approved list for following longstanding gender stereotypes. 

On Wednesday, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) announced that they “drew the line” over ads by Volkswagen and cream cheese maker Philadelphia for perpetuating the offensive stereotypes, according to  

In Volkswagen’s case, their ad featured men participating in adventurous activities, while women sat on a beach next to a baby buggy. According to the ASA, “images of men in extraordinary environments and carrying out adventurous activities” vs. “women who appeared passive” were stereotypical and not nice. …

Things To Come…Isaiah 17 On The Horizon

13 years later, is the IDF ready for another war against Hezbollah? BY ANNA AHRONHEIM
Jerusalem has repeatedly slammed UNIFIL for failing to fulfill its duties by turning a blind eye to Hezbollah’s activities in southern Lebanon. Israel accuses the terrorist group of continuously violating the resolution and storing much of its weaponry in villages along the border. SENIOR IDF officers as well as politicians say that Israel’s military has the ability to end any future conflict with Hezbollah as quickly as possible, and will completely destroy the group’s capabilities and infrastructure, even if that means civilian casualties. The IDF hasn’t conducted a full and proper ground maneuver in enemy territory since troops entered Gaza in 2009 during Operation Cast Lead. During Operation Pillar of Defense in 2012 and Operation Protective Edge in 2014, the IDF and political leadership chose to rely mainly on the air force, leaving the ground troops and armored corps to stay out of the Strip or in the border area, to neutralize Hamas tunnels. The military knows that in a war in the north, it will not be able to rely solely on the air force, and has publicly boasted about the preparedness of the ground troops, showing off major drills simulating war with Hezbollah to journalists. The military states that the next war will be more lethal, and it has shown off new technology and techniques which it says will destroy the group and send Lebanon “back to the Stone Age” if need be. With the help of Iran, Hezbollah has rebuilt its arsenal since 2006 and has hundreds of thousands of short-range rockets and several thousand more missiles that can reach deeper into Israel. It is believed that in the next war the terrorist group will try to fire some 1,500-2,000 rockets per day until the last day of the conflict. With more than 40,000 fighters organized in battalions and brigades, Hezbollah fighters have gained battlefield experience from fighting in Syria on the side of President Bashar Assad.

But many of the group’s capabilities and infrastructure are intertwined with the civilian infrastructure of Lebanon, a country that receives millions of dollars in military aid and equipment from the United States and other Western countries. “Contrary to what the Americans think, the LAF is not an alternative to Hezbollah,” Zehavi said. “They coexist side by side in Lebanon, and in the next war the LAF will, of course, in my opinion, have to fight shoulder to shoulder with Hezbollah because they have to show the Lebanese population that they are protecting them. Otherwise, what good are they?”

She believes that the IDF is “as ready as it can be,” having undergone a big change in the amount of drills and operations (including the exposure and destruction of Hezbollah cross-border tunnels), but the civilian population will be greatly affected. “It’s hard for them to accept dead bodies. Can we beat Hezbollah? Yes. But at what price? Who knows? The Hezbollah we met in 2006 is different from the Hezbollah of 2019.” Former OC Northern Command Maj.-Gen. (res.) Amiram Levin told the Post that “the price on both sides will depend on the number of days the war lasts.”

“You hear about all sorts of words from the army: ‘lethality’ and ‘maneuvers.’ But that’s all garbage because, at the end of the day, the IDF and Hezbollah have specific numbers, be it of ground forces, missiles, everything. The IDF has one mission: to defeat Hezbollah as fast as possible, even if that means a high cost on both sides,” he said. Levin told the Post that since 2006 there has been a major change with the enemy on the other side of the border.

“There is a very big difference with the enemy. In the past Hezbollah was a terrorist group, and then they morphed into guerrilla terrorism, which saw them carry out a mix of guerrilla attacks and terrorist attacks. But now they are an army, even though they still target civilians,” he said. According to Levin, another change since the war is the understanding that Hezbollah has understood that it cannot defeat the IDF militarily. Therefore, “defeating Israel and the IDF means defeating the civilian population and politicians.” “Their war, from the beginning, will see them targeting the civilian population, because they know they can’t defeat the IDF,” he said.

Levin believes that the military must have strong defenses along the border in order to prevent any ground infiltrations into civilian communities by Hezbollah, an incident that could turn into a major psychological defeat for the Jewish state. Phillip Smyth, the Soref Fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, told the Post that both the IDF and Hezbollah have had the time to develop countermeasures to the opposing side’s strengths.

“Like chess, there’s always an opening and a counter – this time from both sides,” he said.

“One is in the cyber realm. Just as Hezbollah has performed before, it’s in the asymmetric fashion. Israel is loaded with a lot of great tech-based responses, so Hezbollah and Iran are stepping up ways to get information and go after what they need using social media, hacking and other means. They’re also practicing for future attacks by targeting the Saudis and other regional states.”

According to Smyth, “Hezbollah is also looking for more access within Israel itself. I would guess they are attempting to create future local cells to create problems ‘behind the lines’ in a future conflict.”
WHILE THE primary threat posed by Hezbollah remains its missile arsenal, the IDF believes that the next war will see the group trying to bring the fight to the home front by infiltrating Israeli communities to inflict significant civilian and military casualties.

Norway Detects Radiation Spike Near Russian Border After Explosion

Norway Detects Radiation Near Russian Border Days After Nuclear-Powered Missile Explodes Days after the Kremlin’s nuclear-powered missile exploded, killing seven and leading to evacuations, Norway detected tiny amounts of radioactive iodine in the air near the northern part of the country bordering Russia.  According to Norway’s nuclear safety authority (DSA), the radioactive iodine was detected between Aug. 9-12 at its air filter station in the border town of Svanhovd, just under 450 miles from the Arkhangelesk region of northern Russia where the deadly blast occurred on August 8.  “At present it is not possible to determine if the last iodine detection is linked to the accident in Arkhangelsk last week. DSA continues more frequent sampling and analysis,” said DSA.  Rosatom, Russia’s state nuclear agency, said on Saturday that the deadly blast involved “isotope power sources,” with no further details given.  According to Reuters, detecting radiation is not unusual in Norway, as it’s monitoring stations routinely pick up radioactive iodine around half-a-dozen times per year from unknown sources.  On Tuesday, however, Russia’s state weather service reported a 16x spike in radiation levels in the city of Severodvinsk. Meanwhile, first responders who treated victims of the accident were rushed to Moscow for medical examination according to Russian state-owned news outlet TASS.

China Blocks U.S. Navy Ships from Visiting Hong Kong

by Nwo Report
Protesters react to tear gas from Shum Shui Po police station in Hong Kong on Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2019. German Chancellor Angela Merkel is calling for a peaceful solution to the unrest in Hong Kong amid fears China could use force to quell pro-democracy protests.(AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

Source: Frances Martel

The U.S. Pacific Fleet confirmed on Wednesday that China had blocked a previously scheduled visit for two U.S. Navy ships to Hong Kong, adding that it hopes Beijing will soon reconsider and continue allowing the American military to have ties to the capitalist port city.

The denial comes amid months of protests against the communist regime attracting millions of the city’s residents and triggering a violent police crackdown. The Communist Party has repeatedly blamed President Donald Trump of fabricating the Hong Kong protests as a ploy to weaken the Chinese economy. Trump has denied any involvement, citing the lack of evidence present and expressing confusion about the accusations.

Many are blaming me, and the United States, for the problems going on in Hong Kong. I can’t imagine why?

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 13, 2019

The most recent visit of a U.S. Navy ship to Hong Kong occurred in November, Stars and Stripes noted, months before the eruption of the pro-democracy protest movement that began in June.

A spokesperson for the U.S. Pacific Fleet confirmed to Stars and Stripes that Beijing would not allow two American Navy ships — the USS Green Bay and the USS Lake Erie, scheduled for stops in the city on Saturday and next month, respectively — to visit Hong Kong. The spokesperson added that the Navy does expect to visit Hong Kong once again in the future but did not say if Beijing specified any reasons to deny the port of call and directed questions on China’s motives to China.

Neither the Foreign Ministry nor the Defense Ministry issued statements on the matter, but the government-run Global Times newspaper called the request to visit Hong Kong “inappropriate” given the Communist Party’s conspiracy theory that Washington somehow convinced millions in Hong Kong to march for freedom.

“The security situation in Hong Kong is very severe and the US government had just issued a travel warning to US citizens,” Yang Yujun, a former Chinese Defense Ministry spokesperson identified as an “expert,” told the propaganda outlet. “At this time, the US request to have warships stop by in Hong Kong is contradictory to the warning and very inappropriate.”

“We are highly suspicious of US motives, now that it still expects to have warships visit Hong Kong,” Yang added.

Another “expert,” a professor identified as Li Haidong, told the outlet that the U.S. Navy wanted to dock in Hong Kong to exacerbate the “chaos” surrounding the protests, which were largely peaceful until Hong Kong police began liberally using tear gas and other anti-riot weaponry to agitate and injure those in the crowds. The police tactic of disguising undercover agents as protesters and having them attack legitimate protesters also triggered panic among those engaging in a sit-in against the government at the Hong Kong International Airport on Tuesday night. Some protesters began accusing others of being Chinese communist agents; the protesters tied up and beat two men, one of them a Global Times propagandist. On Wednesday morning, protesters began circulating multiple letters apologizing for the violence at the airport and asking inconvenienced travelers to forgive their tactic of forcing airport authorities to cancel flights.

Li went on to threaten that America would “suffer an even more serious and irreversible blow” than the denial of the Navy port visits if it did not “stop interfering” in Hong Kong. Like all Chinese agents accusing Washington of having a hand in the protests, Li did not provide any examples of evidence that indicated this claim was true.

The People’s Daily, the official publication of the Communist Party of China, accused America of fabricating the protests once again on Wednesday, citing as evidence the fact that “not a single U.S. politician” has supported the state violence against the pro-democratic protests.

“There is no question that the United States has its hand in what is going on in Hong Kong, though to what extent is hard to measure,” the People’s Daily asserted.

The Hong Kong protest movement began in early June as a rejection of the wildly unpopular extradition bill presented to the Legislative Council this year. The bill would allow China to abduct anyone present in Hong Kong that Beijing chooses to accuse of violating the Communist Party’s draconian laws, which do not allow for freedom of expression or religious belief, among other liberties. The protests have since expanded to demand an independent inquiry into police brutality in response to the protests and freedom for imprisoned protesters. Protesters are also requesting that the government grant them the full ability to directly elect lawmakers and that it apologize for calling the peaceful June 12 protest a “riot.”

Some protesters have adopted the American flag and the American national anthem as emblems of their values of individual freedom, fueling paranoid Chinese state media reports that the protests are a Washington fabrication. Last week, the Global Times attempted to insult protesters by asserting that they are seeking “democracy with U.S. characteristics.”

“Does democracy mean to make Hong Kong dependent on the US or the UK?” the newspaper asked.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry, primarily through top spokeswoman Hua Chunying, has repeatedly demanded America “withdraw its dirty hands from Hong Kong” and accused President Trump of instigating the movement.