by adam rasmi in


Fall 2017 issue. (Courtesy Maisonneuve)

Fall 2017 issue. (Courtesy Maisonneuve)

Today I searched the terms “penicillin skullduggery,” “almond loincloth,” and “cat walker”; the latter led me to a do-it-yourself guide on how to create a $20 walking aid for a cat suffering from cerebellar hypoplasia. These are not subjects that would ordinarily interest me, but were instead the results of a tool called Internet Noise, which generates random searches every five seconds using Google’s “I’m Feeling Lucky” feature. By adding false data, or noise, to your search history, the tool protests the omnipresent culture of mass electronic surveillance.

On March 28, the US Congress overturned Federal Communications Commission rules that would have blocked the right of internet service providers to track and sell your online activity to whomever they please. In response, Philadelphia-based software engineer Dan Schultz developed Internet Noise, a bare-bones web tool—a mere thirty lines of code in all. As Schultz explains, any decent computer algorithm can see through the obfuscation. Internet Noise was always meant to be an act of protest rather than a genuine privacy tool; he calls it "a way to give the middle finger to people in power." Its creation struck a public nerve—one article about Internet Noise in Wired was shared around thirty thousand times on Facebook and remained the website's most read piece for days.

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by adam rasmi in


Winter 2016 issue. (Courtesy Maisonneuve)

Winter 2016 issue. (Courtesy Maisonneuve)

In the fall of 2008, during her fourth year at the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College in Toronto, Dr. Anne Lakeland* listened carefully as a financial advisor delivered a talk about the need for life and disability insurance. The audience, all students in their final year, were told that they were excellent candidates for insurance—as long as they didn’t have any serious medical conditions.

The soon-to-be chiropractor was concerned: her father carries the genetic mutation responsible for Huntington’s disease, an inherited, often fatal brain disorder that leads to impaired motor and cognitive functions. Lakeland approached the financial advisor and asked whether her father’s condition would affect her applications. The advisor offered to make some anonymous inquiries on her behalf.

Lakeland was told that without life and disability insurance, she would be unable to set up a medical practice. So when the insurance companies told her intermediary that . . .

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by adam rasmi in


Nov/Dec 2016 issue. (Courtesy This Magazine)

Nov/Dec 2016 issue. (Courtesy This Magazine)

IT'S A JOURNALIST'S JOB to hold the government to account. But increasingly others are taking up that role, too. Last year, management consultant Dom Bernard was one such person. As the brainchild of TrudeauMetre.ca, a promise-tracking website that holds Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to his word, Bernard has created a novel government watchdog tool that's unlike anything else found here in Canada.

The Montrealer was travelling through Egypt in 2012 when he first thought to launch TrudeauMetre. He had come across the Morsi Meter, a website created to hold Egypt's first democratically elected and now-deposed president, Mohamed Morsi, to account. Realizing there was no Canadian equivalent, Bernard decided he would set up a similar site for the next federal election—regardless of who came to power. "I felt we were missing a great opportunity to come back to the roots of what living in a democratic society means," he explains on his website. 

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by adam rasmi in


May/Jun 2016 issue. (Courtesy @adbusters Instagram)

May/Jun 2016 issue. (Courtesy @adbusters Instagram)

Raging civil wars in both Iraq and Syria, among other places in the Middle East, are prompting some Americans to view neoconservative ideology with a renewed rigor. The rise of the Islamic State and the recent terror attacks claimed or inspired by the group -- like the Paris attacks in November and San Bernardino in December -- have since amplified calls for greater U.S. force in the region.

Behind this neoconservative revival are some familiar faces. The Project for a New American Century, a now-defunct think tank whose core members signed an open letter in 1998 calling for the American-led war in Iraq, has reemerged under a new title. In 2009, PNAC's former chairman William Kristol and founder Robert Kagan set up a new organization called the Foreign Policy Initiative. 

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