Sunday’s Sermon

Entity relationship diagram, essential for the...
Entity relationship diagram, essential for the design of database tables, extracts, and metadata. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Was anyone surprised to learn that Canadian spying organizations are, well, spying on Canadians?

The Communications Security Establishment, Canada’s electronic spy agency, has stopped sharing certain metadata with international partners after discovering it had not been sufficiently protecting that information before passing it on.

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan says the sharing won’t resume until he is satisfied that the proper protections are in place. Metadata is information that describes other data, such as an email address or telephone number, but not the content of a given email or recording of a phone call. [CBC]

What is metadata? – Definition from WhatIs.com

whatis.techtarget.com › … › Search engine optimization (SEO)
Metadata is data that describes other data. Meta is a prefix that in most information technology usages means “an underlying definition or description.” Metadata summarizes basic information about data, which can make finding and working with particular instances of data easier.

Jump to DefinitionMetadata is “data that provides information about other data”. Two types of metadata exist: structural metadata and descriptive metadata. Structural metadata is data about the containers of data. Descriptive metadata uses individual instances of application data or the data content.

Recently Dr. Nik Richers presented a series of posts on metadata. Links are below.

Big Data and the Surveillance of Everything: Introduction

Part 2 – Examples of using big data
Part 3 – Unpacking (some of) the issues …

One thought on “Sunday’s Sermon

  1. I think what is surprising is that there is now a right and wrong of sharing of surveillance data among the Five Eyes. Under our old government, there was no wrong, despite much public outcry to the contrary.

    It’ll be interesting to see what the right way of sharing will amount to. I would suggest it’s naive to simply ask to abolish legislation like Bill C-51. The technology of big data and the surveillance of everything is there and it’s affordable, not to mention that it does have promise. Network analysis of terror sleeper cells? Use big data.

    What remains to be seen is how that surveillance data is going to be shared, first among Canadian government agencies (Bill C-51 enabled sharing among agencies rather freely), and then among the member states that make up the Five Eyes. But this is an interesting first step. Might be worth a proper follow-up post in a few month’s time once details emerge. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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