Anonymous protests planned over government surveillance
By Christina DesMarais
Hacker collective Anonymous is planning worldwide protests against government surveillance systems.
Monday’s targets include TrapWire and INDECT, which the shadowy group says track and profile citizens.
Protesters in Canada may get into trouble for wearing the Guy Fawkes masks they’re known for if a protest escalates to a riot. That’s because Canada’s House of Commons last week approved a bill that bans people from hiding their faces during riots.
The bill was championed by a lawmaker who said it was a response to last year’s Stanley Cup riots in Vancouver, during which often-masked vandals smashed and lit fire to the city after their professional hockey team lost to the Boston Bruins, reports the security firm Sophos .
While the bill doesn’t apply to peaceful demonstrations, anyone convicted of covering his or her face during a riot or unlawful assembly could get up to 10 years in prison.
The sponsor says the bill doesn’t aim to limit freedom of expression or peaceful protest, but to protect people who want to enjoy their activities safely and freely.
While it’s true there have been several notable Canadian riots involving masked people in recent years, Sophos points out that masks have also been used to protect protesters.
Last year, for example, in a video posted to the Internet, masked members of Anonymous vowed to release the names and addresses of an unspecified number of people associated with the drug syndicate known as Los Zetas — which has been attributed with thousands of deaths and gruesome acts of retribution, such as beheadings — unless the drug lords released a member of Anonymous they kidnapped from a street demonstration in Mexico’s Veracruz state.
As for the issue of the government using technology to track and profile citizens, Anonymous has been outspoken.
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