HERE IS A MAP, Can you see it?

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TPP Actions across Canada – Google Fusion Tables

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Canadian angel on the Panama Papers

I am really excited by all the conversation that has been generated by the PanamaPapers, but so much of it is focused on other parts of the world, and I think it is important to look at how the rich in this country are able to avoid paying taxes, and how the Canadian Government is complicit.

So I wanted to encourage people to watch the film “The Great Canadian Tax Dodge”, that came out last year.  I am a bit biased, since I worked on the film as a researcher, but I think it does a great job of looking, from a Canadian angle, at how the rich and powerful avoid paying taxes. It goes beyond just looking at offshore banking, and examines other ways the rich are able to game the system, and why the Canada Revenue Agency is more aggressive in going after everyday people than the wealthiest tax evaders.


CANADALAND article gets results: Use of Encryption on the rise

My recent CANADALAND article, Which Reporters Don’t Bother To Encrypt Email?, has helped spark a significant increase in the number of Canadian journalists using encryption.

At least 31 new Canadian journalists have started using email encryption since the article was published. This is almost doubles the number of Canadian journalists who have begun using encryption since the Snowden leaks first began.

I am also working with Hacks/Hackers to put on a series of upcoming “Security Boot Camps” to help train journalists on encryption and other security tools.

The first one is taking place in Vancouver tomorrow. And the following Tuesday a speaking event will be taking place in Toronto, which will be followed by a hands-on training. Then in early June, I will be leading a workshop on this topic at the CAJ conference taking place in Halifax. Events in other cities are also being planned.

Although work on getting journalists to use these tools was already underway, this graph shows a major spike took place after my CANADALAND article was published:


(The above graph measures Canadian journalists who are known to be using the PGP email encryption based on research on the MIT Public Key Server.)

A directory of journalists using PGP can be found here. Attentive readers may notice that the numbers in the CANADALAND article and the graph do not match exactly, this because freelancers were not included in the stats listed in the article.Screen Shot 2015-05-02 at 6.41.54 PM

I was invited to present the workshop that is taking place at the CAJ conference in Halifax, so long as I cover the costs of my travel and accommodation myself. I have started a crowd funding campaign to cover the roughly $500 flight. If you are able to contribute I greatly appreciate it.

In addition to the three “Security Boot Camps” that are mentioned above, I am hoping that events will be organized in other cities, and that journalism schools will start providing an introduction to security tools to their students. If you are interested in making that happen, and think I could be of any assistance to you, please get in touch.

Email: tim.m.groves <@> gmail com

PGP key: 0x1741F4E9AF971BCB

Fingerprint: 0E5E 34CD 37A2 4E8A F9DD 6598 1741 F4E9 AF97 1BCB

Twitter @TimMGroves

Grassroots groups answer challenge to train journalists how to protect their sources

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE      —     April, 30, 2015

Toronto, ON. Vancouver, BC. Halifax, NS. — Volunteer organizers across Canada announced today their commitment to help Canadian journalists get upScreen Shot 2015-05-02 at 6.41.54 PM-to-speed with basic online security practices. “Security bootcamps” for reporters will be held in Vancouver and Toronto in May. Hacks/Hackers is also presenting sessions on security for journalists to be held during the Canadian Association of Journalists annual conference in Halifax, June 5 – 7.

A recent investigation by the online news site Canadaland found that only 37 journalists in the country have publicly begun using encryption since the first Edward Snowden NSA stories in June 2013. Encryption is an essential part of protecting sources, and Canadian reporters are underprepared.

Organizers of the group Hacks/Hackers — a volunteer-run network dedicated to bringing journalists and technologists together — recently embarked on a plan to hold a series of nationwide events to bring security and privacy to the attention of reporters, and to provide no-cost opportunities for much-needed training.

Events have been announced for Vancouver (May 12), Toronto (May 19), and Halifax (June 5-7). Planning is also underway for an event in Montreal. The event details are as follows:


Security “Boot Camp” for Journalists, presented by Hacks/Hackers Vancouver
Registration page
May 12, 2015, 6-8PM
The Hive, #210 – 128 West Hastings, Vancouver, BC
More info: (647) 361-8248


Security “Boot Camp” for Journalists, presented by Hacks/Hackers Toronto
Registration page
May 19, 2015, 7-11PM
Mozilla, 366 Adelaide St W (5th floor)
Toronto, ON


Security for journalists sessions, CAJ conference, presented by Hacks/Hackers
Registration page
June 5-7, 2015
See conference schedule for times.
The Atlantica Hotel, Halifax

This is the first national effort in Canada to address the complicated topic of modern-day security specifically for professional reporters. The effort will be aimed at newsrooms both large and small, and will provide an opportunity for those working in smaller news organizations to access essential training that might not otherwise be available.

About Hacks/Hackers

Hacks/Hackers is a rapidly expanding international grassroots journalism organization with more than 60 chapters and thousands of members across four continents.

Tax Dodge Screening, and other films…

The Great Canadian Tax Dodge, a film I did research for is being screened this Friday in Toronto at 7:30. The event is being organized by the Danforth chapter of Cinema Politica. The director of the film, Robin Benger, and other speakers will be present for the film.

Screen Shot 2015-04-22 at 9.29.33 AMIt is sure to be a great event, but if you can’t make it out, you can watch the doc online.

The film was the subject of a blog post I wrote earlier this year that includes links to a variety of links to other reporting on tax evasion and off-shore banking.

Here are the details on the film:
The Great Canadian Tax Dodge
Fri. April 24, 7:30 pm
Eastminister Church, 310 Danforth Ave. (at Jackman, near Chester subway station) 
It is estimated that between 100 and 170 billion dollars leaves Canada every year, untaxed. Much of it is siphoned off to Canadian-made offshore tax havens. This film documents the birth of the Canadian Tax Fairness movement and examines the issue of tax avoidance, exposing the sophisticated corporate strategies and tax loopholes commonly used to legally avoid tax.
Speakers: Robin Benger, director of the film; Dennis Howlett, director of Canadians for Tax Fairness; Kelly Bowden, Communications Coordinator, Oxfam Canada
While on the subject of Cinema Politica Screenings, they are co-presenting a film at HotDocs, ON THE BRIDE’S SIDE which will be shown April 28, 30, and May 2nd.
And CinemaPolitica and have a PWYC screening of a couple docs at the Bloor Cinema on June 2nd, TIL THE COWS COME HOME and PREEMPTING DISSENT
These are all sure to be great films to watch!

C-51 sparks KI First Nation to request spy records

An article I worked on a few years ago is back in the news, as it was recently highlighted by a First Nation Chief concerned about surveillance of his community.

In 2011, I  had front page article in the Toronto Star titled “Mounties spied on native protest groups” The article exposed the existence of a special RCMP unit dedicated to monitoring the First Nation potentially ki-logoinvolved in protest activity.

Due to the measure included in Bill C-51 many First Nations groups are concerned that spying on their communities is set to increase.  Last week the Chief of  Kitchenuhmayooosib Inninuwug, Donny Morris, attended to Toronto to speak out against Bill C-51 and to announce their community was filling an ATIP request to get more information on the surveillance of their community. They highlighted the article I had written and one of the reasons for their concern.

Here are some links to coverage of Chief Morris visit:

TORONTO – Today, the Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug [KI] First Nation is filing a request for access to all spying records kept on their community by the RCMP and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), and calling on all First Nations in Canada to flood the RCMP and CSIS with access to information requests and make the information public.

I call on Harper and his spooks to come clean today and stop spying on our people,” said Chief Donny Morris.  Security laws are already being abused to spy on our people and to jail our leaders when we stand up to protect our homeland.  Bill C51 threatens to dramatically expand spying on First Nations and to criminalize our assertions of sovereignty and rights on our own land.

Previous access to information requests have revealed that the RCMP created a wide-ranging surveillance network in early 2007 to monitor protests by First Nations, including KI, and shared the intelligence gathered with private extractive industries.