Be ‘very concerned’ about cell phone searches at U.S. border, says privacy czar

Truck traffic

Excerpt from this article:

New Democrat MP Nathan Cullen asked if that means no Canadian should cross the border with a phone, laptop or tablet unless they have “great comfort” with a U.S. border official inspecting the contents.

“Yes, as a matter of law,” Therrien said, though he acknowledged officers would not have time to inspect everyone’s devices, given the huge numbers of people that cross the border daily.

Therrien agreed with Cullen’s suggestion that nothing in law could prevent U.S. border officials from peeking at a senior Canadian official’s “playbook” on a trade negotiation.

Cullen said one of his constituents was denied entry to the U.S. on health-related grounds because information on the person’s phone indicated a prescription for heart medication.


Blame it on the Zodiac killer: did social media ruin Ted Cruz’s campaign?

It’s probably absurd to assume that one meme could end someone’s political career. But what about lots of them?

Excerpt from this article:

It’s probably absurd to assume that one internet meme could end someone’s political career. But what about lots of them?

“Skewered by social media memes” is the essential story of the Cruz campaign, and the gleeful and prolific satires of the ordinary citizens’ online community surely played a role in exaggerating the candidate’s inherent strangeness, sketching him as a grotesque figure vulnerable to his rivals.

Aside from the persistent and fascinating Zodiac killer meme galleries, here are 13 characters and animals that purportedly look like Cruz, including a blobfish, Grandpa Munster, the Penguin from Batman, and “dogs stung by bees”.


Jeb Bush’s gun tweet backfires

A cup for tea to represent Britain.

Excerpt from this article (and I was wondering what all of the joke tweets in my Twitter feed were referencing!):

Bush tweeted a picture of his gun alongside the word “America”, seeking to burnish his pro-gun credentials and patriotism as his campaign moves into the conservative state of South Carolina. But if the USA is defined by its relationship to firearms, Twitter provided the answer for how best to represent other countries across the world.




Facing a Selfie Election, Presidential Hopefuls Grin and Bear It

Excerpt from this article:

Who wants their babies kissed or their yard signs autographed anymore? This is the Selfie Election. And if you are running for president, you have no choice but to submit.

Candidates can now spend an hour — or sometimes two, as Senator Rand Paul did last month in New Hampshire — exhausting a line of eager selfie seekers. Others, like Senator Ted Cruz, have learned to add an extra 20 minutes at the beginning and end of events because so many people want pictures.

Jeb Bush has perfected a technique suited to his 6-foot-3 frame: For his shorter fans, he will take the picture with his own outstretched selfie stick of an arm.

But as campaigns adjust to a new self-focused social media world, some are left wondering whether more meaningful voter-candidate interactions are suffering. When candidates oblige so many people, some requesting multiple takes to straighten that smile, square a double chin or get a pesky photo bomber out of the frame, are they losing the chance to clarify a policy position, listen to concerns or even just look a voter in the eye?

Pew Research Center Report: Teen Voices – Dating in the Digital Age

This is an excellent report, loaded with tons of focus group verbatims from US teens, illustrating online behaviours from flirting to dating to breaking up:

It was relatively rare for teens in our focus groups to talk about meeting romantic partners online. Some teens explained that they would not trust someone they met online because of the likelihood of misrepresentation, while others were generally distrustful of all strangers online.

You might be catfished.
– High School Boy

Half of all teens (50%) have let someone know they were interested in them romantically by friending them on Facebook or another social media site, and 47% have expressed their attraction by liking, commenting or otherwise interacting with that person on social media.

Teens also spoke about social media as an information-gathering tool that helps them find out all sorts of information about a potential partner, like whether they are dating someone or not.

When I have a crush on someone and I want them to know I go on their page and like a lot of pictures in a row.
– High School Girl

On liking a crush’s photos on Instagram: Like all of them. Like, like, like, like, like, like all the pictures. You’re the right cute factor.
– High School Girl

On how girls show interest on Instagram:
Emojis, but the main way you’re going to know is like when they first say ‘hey.’ How many y’s they put on their ‘hey.’ Yeah, they do that a lot.
– High School Boy

Well, if you really putting yourself out there, you could comment on their picture with a heart emoji.
– High School Girl

Teens take a number of steps to show that they are in a romantic relationship with someone, and many of these rituals take place on social media. In our focus groups, teens spoke about the reasons why couples might showcase their relationship on social media, from seeking attention to letting others know that they are now “off the market.”

Yeah. You need to have the padlock emoji with a heart and two people holding hands
– High School Boy