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back to article Canada quashes Yes Men hoax with phishing claim

Those online pranksters known as The Yes Men may be called many things for their spoofing antics - satirists, provocateurs, major-league assholes - but phishers they're not. Ah, but that's exactly the excuse Canada's department of the environment used to shut down two of the organization's parody website's created last month to …

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Alert

5th Amendment anyone?

Pretty sure that parody is protected under the 5th Amendment in the USA.

Don't know if there is a Canadian equivalent.

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Fifth Amendment?

I doubt the right not to self-incriminate has much to do with anything here, and as a copyright action between two private groups, even the First Amendment free-speech right wouldn't be involved. Are you possibly looking instead for the fair-use doctrine? (If so, the Constitution is the wrong place to start.)

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Bronze badge

Right againt self-incrimination?

Surely you mean the First? Although, a parody website would be illegal in the states as well (impersonation of a governmental body). Of course in the States, they don't claim that images on their website are copyright, given they "belong to the American people" allowing free copying.

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Pint

But there is nothing parodying or funny about ec-gc.ca?

Yes parody is protected here in Canada.

But using the domain name ec-gc.ca isn't parody. I mean, do you see a joke in ec-gc.ca ? It is just a domain name, a bunch of letters. Nothing parody.

ec-gc.ca is just an imitation with the obvious intent to deceive someone expecting the real website ec.gc.ca.

So the domain name is an attempt to fool the international press. And it did make the international press look really stupid.

And some Canadian press look like complete and utter imbeciles (if I'm using correct UK English): That they believed for a half-second the fake press releases.

Of course it wasn't phishing. But press office officials and government lawyers seldom know correct IT terms.

It was impersonation with the intent to commit humour.

And the joke was on the press.

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Black Helicopters

Titles, titles...

While I mostly enjoy the Yes Men's work, I have to say their tactics DO look a lot like phishing.

"a faux environmental release announcement that fooled even stalwart publications"

The only thing missing is the purpose of stealing personal info, so technically, following your definition of phishing (is it defined in the law at all, by the way, or are the Canucks reinterpreting old laws to deal with it?), they don't do it. But it sure looks very similar, and I guess the people who invite them to give talks and etc. don't feel like laughing after the fact...

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Anonymous Coward

It's actions like these...

by the present Canadian government that upset me. The Conservative government, under Stephen Harper, is one of the most power crazed governments I've lived through. The prorogation of the Canadian Parliament, yet again, illustrates the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) has far too much power.

The problem now becomes who to vote for; none of them are any good.

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How can anyone credibly claim a PM of a hung parliament has too much power?

Canadian Liberal Party supporters are like US Republican Party supporters.

They regard themselves as Canada's "natural governing party":

- When their guy wins the election, it proves democracy is working in our great land.

- When the other guy wins the election, it proves democracy is failing.

PM Harper leads an minority parliament (UK term, hung parliament).

How can anyone credibly claim a PM of a minority parliament has too much power?

(Party policy positions in Canada are way out of sync with party names. The Conservative Party, which PM Harper leads, is in policy terms what Europeans would call a social democrat, certainly more anti-US and more pro-individual freedom, and less law and order, than UK Labour. Our Liberal Party is currently headed by Michael Ignaitieff, who you would know more about than us, since he's spent his adult life living abroad. A smart guy, perhaps centrist in European terms but with his "Empire Lite" and "Lesser Evil" attitudes is right-wing in Canadian terms, and would likely make Canada a US lap dog if he came to power.)

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The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

"The problem now becomes who to vote for; none of them are any good."

And so we'll probably just do what we always do : let the morons run the show for another x years.

You know, maybe that thing the Americans have - you know, the one that prevents their Politicians from holding office for more than 2 4-year terms - is a good idea.

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Happy

Law!

Time and again we have twerps like Greenpeace and Yes Men flaunting the law to push their own agendas. Yet the only time the whingers come out is when the Government pushes back. Gutless organizations that hide behind the rules of international law to perpetrate illegal acts in target countries should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law in the target country. They should be given a fair trial and then treated like Guy Fawkes.

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K L
Megaphone

Is it a right to criticize the government in print?

Democracy itself is harmed when dissent in the form of satirical treatment of the ruling government is cencsored.

But it doesn't surprise me at all for this to happen under the Harper Government. Our civil liberties are subtly and gradually being stripped away such that most are going unnoticed by the vast majority of Canadians.

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Anonymous Coward

Get the background

I agree with part of your post: The Yes Men will have to abide by the law and must accept a court's decision.

But it seems you already have decided that what they have done is illegal. There is no court case to back up that claim.

There is also no court case to back up that what the Canadian government or Serverloft did was illegal. But I cannot explain how their actions is compatible with UN Human Rights §12 (Do not interfere with correspondence) and §19 (The right to seek, receive and impart information). Maybe you can explain how their actions are compatible with those articles?

For background info you may want to read http://ole.tange.dk/canadian-takedown/timeline

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The Yes Men certainly suckered the media

The Yes Men certainly suckered the media with their website spoofing.

Major US and European news networks couldn't tell the difference between the spoofed websites and the real ones.

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FAIL

I hadn't heard of this

Until the Canadian government decided to do something about it.

Now I know all about the Yes-Men's stunt, and that the Canadian Government are as big a bunch of morons as any other government.

Well done!

Now, go and look up "Streisand Effect"

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K L
Jobs Horns

Harper is a ditchpig.

First of all, this would seem to contradict precident in legal terms. A Canadian company, Canadian Tire tried to get the crappytire website shut down, http://www.theregister.co.uk/2001/07/04/canadian_tire_loses_fight/ Truly an epic fail.

This should at least call into question the legality of the government's actions.

The reason I'm posting, though, is to point out the Harper Government have done far worse. They manipulate and exploit every loophole they can find to accomplish their despicable goals.

I believe hate is a pretty strong word to use in reference to another person. I hate Steven Harper. I think he's evil.

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Silver badge
WTF?

www.whitehouse.net

What I don't understand is that the White House web site has been parodied for years, and nobody ever seemed to care...

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Anonymous Coward

shock horror

Government bodies use laws to fight "criminals" to silence critics. Since when have governments used laws to do anything but silence their public opposition?

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And screw you when you disagree.

Somebody has to throw themselves under the wheels.

Of unreasoned change.

So thank you for doing what I should.

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