Information Roundup – May 24, 2008

24 May

Finally a beautiful weekend in Toronto!  Here are some things I’ve read recently that you might find interesting.

  • Alan Finder, “At One University, Tobacco Money is a Secret.” This is about a restrictive research funding agreement at Virginia Commonwealth University. It includes abnormally strict confidentiality provisions that have drawn some criticism. (New York Times)
  • Peter Timmins, “NSW ADT sticks to ‘disclosure to the world’ but policy needs rethinking.” Mr. Timmins lays out some Australian law on the “disclosure to the world” principle, a privacy-protective principle raised in access to information law that deems the good intentions of a requester to be generally irrelevant. (Open and Shut)
  • Information and Privacy Commissioner/Ontario, “2007 Annual Report.” Most interesting for me is the comment on privacy versus security in light of Virginia Tech and other recent events. Ms. Cavoukian says, “And our attention is drawn away from real issues at hand: bureaucratic inertia, misguided policies, inefficient practices, and poor judgement.” I don’t think this comment was meant to be a critique of our own educational institutions, who all can be seen to be working hard on this issue, but is nonetheless quite a pointed call to action!
  • Linda Greenhouse, “Supreme Court Upholds Child Pornography Law.” A news report on the United States Supreme Court freedom of expression case (R. v. Williams) from last Monday, which the Times has also criticized. (New York Times)

I made contact with Peter Timmins through this blog, and have since been following his Open and Shut freedom of information and privacy blog.  I like the idea that blogging can help build a contact with someone almost exactly half-way around the world with similar interests. I also have a soft spot for Australia because after I articled Seanna and I spent a year there travelling around and camping. We had this idea that we could live on a $5 a day food budget, and still remember standing outside of a MacDonald’s debating about whether we should treat ourselves to an ice cream cone. We also drank a few $4 boxes of wine on that trip! An experience I’ll never forget, and an extremely beautiful country. Check out Open and Shut sometime.

See ya!

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One Response to “Information Roundup – May 24, 2008”

  1. Peter Timmins May 26, 2008 at 7:05 am #

    Dan,
    $5 a day for food must have produced thin pickings then-even thinner now. As to the $4 winebox,that’s also something of dim distant memory. Keep up the good work. Peter

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