#CyberFLASH: TPP Threatens Canadians With Law Suits

a-woman-uses-her-computer-keyboard-to-type-while-surfing-the-internet-in-north-vCopyright activists say Canadians could face lawsuits, fines or worse for ripping the latest Justin Bieber CD or uploading an animated GIF of Jose Bautista’s bat-flip under a new trade deal, and they’re calling on the newly elected Justin Trudeau to act.

A major part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal finalized Oct. 5 involves harmonizing copyright laws in the 12 Pacific Rim countries — including Canada, the United States, Australia and Japan — that are signatories to the deal.

While the final text of the international trade agreement has yet to be published, the website Wikileaks released what it claims is the intellectual property chapter of the TPP on Oct. 9.

“Canadians don’t realize that the way that they use the Internet every day is going to change dramatically,” said Meghan Sali, a spokeswoman for the digital-rights advocacy group OpenMedia.

On the campaign trail, the prime minister-designate said he supports free trade and will thoroughly examine the TPP deal, while criticizing the secrecy under which the pact was negotiated.

Consumer organizations and outside groups were shut out of the negotiations, and the governments involved have released little information on the back and forth over what has been called the largest trade deal in history.

“We’re heartened to see him recognize that this process has been not just opaque but inaccessible and undemocratic,” said Sali.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation, an American advocacy group, has said the TPP threatens to override Canada’s copyright regime and promotes the interests of copyright owners and corporations at the expense of the public.

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#CyberFLASH: Home Depot facing lawsuits in Canada, U.S. over data breach

Close up of wooden gavel at the computer keyboardHome Depot faces at least 44 lawsuits in the United States and Canada over a massive data breach earlier this year that affected 56 million debit and credit cards.

The nation’s biggest home improvement retailer said Tuesday in a regulatory filing that several state and federal agencies also are looking into the data breach and it may face more litigation from customers, banks, shareholders and others.

Home Depot said the litigation and the investigations may distract management and affect how it runs its business. It also could lead to additional costs and fines. But those expenses aren’t clear yet because the cases are in early stages, the company said in a quarterly filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The company said earlier this month after announcing third-quarter earnings that it anticipates a fourth-quarter breach-related expense of about $27-million, but only about $6-million after insurance.

Home Depot has a $100-million insurance policy for breach-related expenses. That comes with a $7.5-million deductible.

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