Oct 26, 2015
Video: How to do vampire makeup for Halloween
Oct 26, 2015
Video: How to do vampire makeup for Halloween
Journalist Bethany Horne on what she learned about Internet privacy while working in Ecuador.
When I was six years old, my parents, who worked as Christian missionaries, moved our family of five from Kingston, Ont., to Guayaquil, Ecuador. Growing up, I remember building kites with bamboo sticks and garbage bags during long afternoons at the beach, climbing into wobbly-branched mango trees to retrieve the golden fruit and taking family holidays in the Andes. But there were also national workers’ strikes that overthrew governments and landslides that wiped out roads and villages.
While this may sound exotic to some, it was the only life I knew. Growing up in Guayaquil meant we were limited to local newspapers and a few channels on television to help us understand our world – that is, until the Internet arrived. To say I loved the Internet at first sight would be an understatement. I was only 12 years old, but within moments of logging on, I began to feel like a global citizen. Suddenly, letters from my grandparents in Canada took seconds instead of weeks to reach us. We could even livestream CBC Radio with some success.
Throughout high school, to my parents’ dismay, I’d hog the dial-up for hours to talk to strangers in chat rooms. While many of these chats were about innocent topics like The Lord of the Rings and Narnia, it still felt liberating. A pale-skinned blond kid with blue eyes, I stuck out wherever I went in Ecuador. But online, I felt like I could be anonymous and experiment and communicate with just about anyone without the sense of being watched or judged. Those were the early days of the Internet, though, and it would take around 15 years for me – and the rest of the world – to learn about mass surveillance.
In the summer of 2013, I was working as a Web editor at an Ecuadorean newspaper when the now infamous Edward Snowden story broke worldwide. Snowden, who fled his job at the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) with thousands of top-secret documents, blew the whistle on the NSA’s illegal mass-spying initiative. Finding out that the platforms I had entrusted with my photos, love letters and private thoughts were being co-opted by American intelligence services felt like a betrayal. These were places where I had built identities and friendships, and not only were they being monitored but the information was also being used by powerful government agencies for their own political interests.
Today, as a Berlin-based Canadian journalist who covers human-rights and civil-liberty stories, I am often asked “Does mass surveillance online matter?” And, more often than not, this is followed by “But don’t we need surveillance to protect ourselves?” Yes and no. With the attack on two Canadian soldiers in Ottawa in 2014, the Charlie Hebdo shooting in early 2015, the mass shootings in Paris last November, as well as a number of more recent attacks in Brussels, Orlando, Fla., the Istanbul Ataturk Airport, Dhaka, Bangladesh, and Nice, France, to name but a few, online surveillance has now become a key component in the way governments wage war against terrorism. But what happens when ordinary citizens get caught up in the surveillance?
Shortly after I left my newspaper job in Ecuador, my heart was tugged by a story about a massacre in the country’s Amazon rainforest: Uncontacted indigenous people had been killed by a neighbouring tribe, and two small girls had been kidnapped. In January 2014, I wrote an article for Newsweek in which I highlighted the shortcomings of President Rafael Correa and the Ecuadorean government’s handling of the aftermath as well as the government’s harmful oil drilling in the rainforest that ignited the tensions between the tribes in the first place. Having his failures laid bare to an international audience angered Correa, and he spent 12 minutes during an Ecuadorean-television broadcast dismissing my article.
I instantly became a target. After the broadcast, intelligence officers visited my former workplaces to try to find out information about me. I believe they mined my social-media profile and that my phone calls were intercepted. My social-media and email accounts were inundated with hateful messages and allusions to violence and deportation threats. Content calling me a liar was uploaded to YouTube. As a result, I gave up my smartphone for a while. Ecuador has an active domestic spying agency called SENAIN, and I found my picture and a profile in leaked documents from the agency. (These were published by an Ecuadorean whistle-blowing website.)
When my work visa expired in April 2014, I decided not to renew it. I didn’t feel safe in Ecuador anymore and returned to Cambridge, Ont., to try to regain some control over my digital self. The Internet is a powerful tool for communication and self-expression, but when it’s turned against a people or an individual, it becomes formidable. While I can’t say that what happened to me in Ecuador would ever happen in Canada, a platform this powerful is ripe for abuse by powerful states and corporations.
This is not to say that we don’t need online surveillance. But I believe that the type of surveillance we need to protect ourselves should be limited in scope, approved by a judge and its results made available for requests so it can be examined by the public to ensure its compliance with our democratic values. Just because we have the technology to do the equivalent of kicking down the doors of every household worldwide and listening in on their conversations doesn’t mean we should. Our computers and our phones contain as much intimate detail as our homes – the protections should be equivalent.
But we seem to be moving in the opposite direction – even in Canada. Take, for instance, the controversial anti-terrorism act, Bill C-51, which received royal assent in Ottawa last year and is now law. When it was first introduced by the then Conservative government in early 2015, many reacted negatively, saying the new laws enacted by the bill would undermine the basic human rights of Canadian citizens. And even though the law was passed with both Liberal and Conservative support, more than 100 academics, as well as Amnesty International, have spoken out against the bill, outlining concerns over privacy rights and freedom of speech both online and off. Before the federal election last October, Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party campaigned with promises to “repeal the problematic elements of Bill C-51 and introduce new legislation that better balances our collective security with our rights and freedoms.” But the party has yet to reveal its proposed amendments – and a public consultation is expected to continue until the end of the year.
Today there is a growing resistance against mass surveillance. After being trailed by state security in Ecuador and trolled online even while I was living in Canada, I decided to move to Berlin, Germany, where there are stricter privacy laws. The capital has become a hub for hackers, journalists, activists and human-rights workers who have gathered together to collaborate and exchange ideas about online surveillance and the future of the Internet. Some people here are working on technical solutions to the problem of surveillance by building decentralized communication systems that allow for strong encryption. Others work on policy solutions by helping to write legislation or establish case law that protects people’s privacy. A lot of the current work in this field involves trying to roll back the power of intelligence agencies like the NSA, Canada’s CSIS or the German BND. Others, like myself, work on public education: We write stories and create media that teach people about the danger we all face if the Internet becomes entirely co-opted by powerful organizations.
For me, my fight for free and private spaces online is, at first, a selfish one. I’m fighting to save that early Internet I fell in love with – the one that showed me the beauty of human connection and the power of collective action. But it is also a fight for democracy. Because how we collectively view and use the Internet is intrinsically linked to how we define equality, freedom and justice.
This browser plug-in for Chrome and Firefox developed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation blocks advertisers and websites that try to track your activities.
Using this browser is an easy way to protect your anonymity online. Use it instead of your regular browser to surf the Internet completely anonymously.
Use Thunderbird’s Enigmail plug-in and encrypt your emails with OpenPGP (stands for “Pretty Good Privacy”), which can turn plain text into ciphertext.
If you really want to have fun with encryption, get a group of friends together (make sure there’s a techie on hand) to learn about Off-the-Record (OTR) encryption.
Keep your eyes open for (or organize!) a Cryptoparty in your city: That’s where information about online privacy is catching on and spreading all over the world.
This Canadian platform creates community-driven campaigns to raise awareness of mass-surveillance online. It is running a campaign asking MPs to repeal Bill C-51 and forbid the government from spying on the private communications and activities of people in Canada, whether domestic-ally or through international partners, without a warrant issued by an open court.
Originally published in the October 2016 edition of ELLE Canada.
Soak up the L.A. scene on foot.
Pairing new sandals with a new city is kind of a rookie mistake. But, in my defence, I thought my feet would be safe in L.A., a city notorious for its car-bound lifestyle. (I mean, basically all of The Hills seemed to happen in people’s convertibles, so….) Much to my blistered heels’ surprise, however, I spent a few days in the West Coast capital almost entirely on my feet – and in all that wandering and strolling (and eventual wincing and limping), I discovered a “new L.A.” that has so much more than Rodeo Drive and In-N-Out Burger. It’s a city that’s slowly gotten cool through a gradual migration of creative thinkers, like native New Yorker Lena Dunham and Tom Ford, who showed his fall/winter 2015 collection there instead of in London. I also returned home with a perfectly-broken-in pair of Church’s Kelsey sandals.
Breakfast from Eggslut Credit: Instagram.com/eggslut
EXPLORE Here’s a recipe for a perfect L.A. morning: Start your day at the 99-year-old Grand Central Market, on the edge of the Financial District, where you’ll make two stops. First, you’ll grab an almond latte (and an almond croissant, because why not?) at G&B Coffee and sip that on a bench outside facing The Angels Flight, the old tramway local residents used back when this was the city’s open-air grocery store. Afterwards, you’ll head farther into the market (now home to 2,800 square metres of food vendors who hawk everything from Chinese food to green juices).
The Infinity Mirrored Room at The Broad Museum
Toward the back, you’ll run into a lineup. That’s the queue for Eggslut, and you should get into it ASAP if you have any hope of getting your hands on its legendary brioche-bunned bacon, egg and cheese sando. You’re now properly fuelled for your visit to The Broad, the brand-new contemporary-art museum a short walk up the hill. Warning: If you want to get into the Infinity Mirrored Room (as seen in Adele’s When We Were Young video), there’s another line in your future, but it’s totally worth it to have an existential crisis all alone in a room of reflective glass.
The Original Los Angeles Flower Market Credit: Instagram.com/chloegarcia
SHOP Downtown L.A. (or DTLA) is easily the most pedestrian-friendly part of the city. If you’re after a more ephemeral sort of souvenir, the historic Original Los Angeles Flower Market is a great first stop of the day; you can peruse over 100 varieties of in-season blooms alongside professional florists who will do more with those peonies than just Instagram them.
Poketo store display
Poketo, located in the Arts District, is one of those stores that you’ll go into to browse and emerge with a bunch of pens, notebooks and a phone case – many by cool indie designers – that you didn’t know you needed but now can’t live without. If you want to get your hair cut and pick up a little something from an emerging designer, try The Well on South Olive Street: This converted warehouse boasts a salon, pop-ups of local designer goods and an in-house line of minimalist basics for men and women.
The Ace Hotel Rooftop Credit: Spencer Lowell
STAY Right in the heart of the downtown core’s renaissance – and just around the corner from A.P.C. and Acne – is the so-hip-it-hurts Ace Hotel. The refurbished art-deco building is full of quirky touches – pencil sketches on the walls of the lobby, guitars in guest rooms – that are a nod to its former life as the United Artists headquarters, and it has a killer coffee bar right by the doors, perfect for grabbing a latte and a chocolate-chip cookie before you head back out into the city. And for when you return, perhaps a little footsore, later in the afternoon? Up on the 12th floor there’s a pool and covered patio with incredible views of the city through the flower-covered railing.
The café at the Ace Hotel
EAT If you’re staying at the Ace, there’s no shortage of great options in your vicinity. Just down the block there’s the vintage-y glam Faith & Flower (get the devilled eggs), Guisados for tacos and Cole’s for the legendary “French dip” roast-beef sandwich. But if you really want to sample a smorgasbord of local cuisine, we suggest getting in touch with the infectiously-L.A.-boostering “Sally from the Valley,” a.k.a. Sally Tiongco, the founder of Six Taste Food Tours. In the space of an afternoon, she’ll take you to around seven different eateries, like, say, Jamaican joint Green Grotto and bakery Semi Sweet, for a grazing-size tasting menu of what’s hot and happening in the culinary scene at the time.
Faith and Flower's devilled eggs Credit: Instagram.com/faithandflower
Fun fact: Sally says that L.A.’s restaurant offerings are so vibrant that she and her husband have made a pledge to never go out together to the same place twice. If you want to venture farther afield than DTLA, she also offers tours for other on-the-rise areas, like the Arts District and Thai Town.
Patio at Mame Shelter
GO OUT For a night on the town Angeleno-style, start with a show at the Regent Theater, originally a cinema built in 1914 that’s now a revolving door of indie-music excellence, like How to Dress Well and Hinds, both of whom have shows there this fall. (Hint.) Keep the party going literally next door at Little Easy, a N’Awlins-themed jazz joint located in the basement of the Alexandria Hotel. We hear great things about its Sazerac cocktail. (Another hint.)
Good Times at Davey Wayne's Credit: Luke Gibson
Got a post-jet-lag second wind? These next two watering holes require a brief Uber or Lyft ride, but given that your driver is probably the next Ryan Reynolds, the quick trips are quintessential L.A. experiences in themselves. For something plein-air, head to the newly opened rooftop at Mama Shelter, where you’ll quaff pitcher after pitcher of sangria while snuggling under colourful blankets. For more of a speakeasy experience, roll up to the refrigerator door at Good Times at Davey Wayne’s, which opens to reveal a bar that’s basically a living room from the 1970s, right down to the boozy snow cones on offer.
Matisee beige leather sandals ($135, at heelboy.com).
Seychelles metallic silver leather sandals ($104.94, seychellesfootwear.com).
Miista beige and silver leather and rubber sandals ($244.99, at getoutsideshoes.com).
“Walking in L.A.” – Missing Persons
“Los Angeles, I’m Yours” – The Decemberists
“Hollywood” – Marina and the Diamonds
“Hallelujah California” – Luna Shadows
George Augusto, Raquel Allegra
STAUD (120 N Santa Fe Avenue)
Shop the A-list-approved collection at this Los Angeles studio founded by former Reformation fashion director Sarah Staudinger. Open Saturdays or by appointment.
RAQUEL ALLEGRA (8372 West Third Street)
Allegra’s first flagship boutique is a 30-minute drive from downtown, but it’s worth the detour. Her boho-influenced fall collection features some of the raddest tie-dye velvet around town.
BUILDING BLOCK (970 N Broadway, Unit 104)
The flagship Chinatown shop for this L.A.-based brand offers architectural accessories that pop – think bucket bags, cylindrical shapes and oversized totes.
Packing List text by Lisa Guimond.
This article originally appeared in the October 2016 issue of ELLE Canada.
Model Amber Rose Witcomb on the international runways this season.
Model Amber Rose Witcomb on the international runways this season.Source: Imaxtree.com
Amber Rose Witcomb has walked for designers in London, Milan and Paris. Something tells us she's not done yet.
I love a good Canadian model success story, and this season that story stars Amber Rose Witcomb. The model graced the pages of this very magazine in our all-Canadian designers shoot this summer, and now she’s enjoying a smashing debut runway season.
#WeTheNorth Celebrating #Canadian fashion today. Happy #CanadaDay #🇨🇦 Clothing (left to right) @helderdiego_official @tanyataylor @mylamarque @_narces @unttld_official @gretaconstantine photography @mariehrainville fashion direction @julianaschiavinatto hair @tonymasciangelo makeup @sabrinarinaldimakeup art director @briteccles models @hanzhang_z @shelby_furbz @milly_melly @shelby_furbz @c.habscheid @amberwitcomb @j.zed
It started in London, where Witcomb walked for J.W. Anderson and Mulberry. In Milan, she strutted down the runways for Roberto Cavalli and Alberta Ferretti. Then Prada came calling, and asked Witcomb to chop her long brown locks into a blunt, cheek-length bob. “When Prada asks you to cut your hair, you just go with it,” the 21-year-old wrote on Instagram.
After trying out her now instantly recognizable haircut for Jil Sander, Marni and Salvatore Ferragamo, Witcomb was off to Paris where she opened for Dries Van Noten. Opening or closing a show is a high point in any model's career, and I'm keeping an eye on this new face as the week goes on.
Lifestyle blogger Meghan Yuri Young teamed up with ELLE Canada and PANDORA Jewellery to offer her take on modern fall accessorizing.
HER TAKE ON THE TREND: “Upgrading everyday basics like blazers or camisoles is my favourite way to interpret fall’s velvet trend. Velvet can be worn day or night; I really think it’s all about the colour you choose. For daytime, I’d wear this plush texture in fresher, neutral tones like blush or beige. For nighttime, velvet looks rich in midnight blue or emerald green. Simple styling of staple accessories also makes it modern – it’s fashion forward without the fuss. I like playing with size and shape layering longer and shorter pendant necklaces and then wrapping wrists with sterling silver, gold and two-tone metals. I love the contrast between a luxe velvet jacket and high-shine bracelets and rings with skinny, sparkly bands that catch the light.”