Briefings

Canada’s spy agency cautions universities about research ties with Huawei

In an October 4 meeting, CSIS warned Canada’s top universities to be careful while working with Huawei on research projects. The spy agency expressed security concerns around the development and deployment of Huawei’s next-generation 5G wireless technology in Canada. The company has funneled an estimated $50 million into 13 Canadian universities, in an effort to gain a foothold in Canada’s fledgling 5G market. (Globe and Mail)

BlackBerry to unveil secure smart-city traffic technology service

The Waterloo, Ont.-based tech company is set to announce its newest service: the Security Credential Management System, which will allow vehicles and traffic lights to securely exchange information. BlackBerry said the service is necessary for the development of smart cities. It will first be used in a 16-kilometre autonomous vehicle test track by Invest Ottawa, the city’s economic development agency. (Bloomberg)

Google acquires Where is My Train

The technology giant has bought the Bengaluru, India-based transit tracking app for a reported US$30 million to US$40 million. Where is My Train has more than 10 million downloads in India, and also allows users to buy tickets. (Economic Times)

Google to accelerate closure of Google+ social network

The network was previously meant to end in August 2019; it will now be shut down in April 2019. Google said it’s speeding up the platform’s closure due to a bug introduced in a November software update that affected a Google+ API. (Reuters)

Pot may be next for tobacco farmers already turning to hemp

Mike Gorenstein, CEO of Cronos Group, said cigarette giant Altria’s investment in his Canadian pot company could lead tobacco growers to switch to growing marijuana instead. CannTrust Holdings is also talking to farmers of other cash crops about cultivating cannabis, CEO Peter Aceto said. (Bloomberg)

The future of Waterfront Toronto and Sidewalk Labs

Julie Di Lorenzo, the Toronto developer and former Waterfront Toronto board member, spoke in an interview with the CBC’s Metro Morning on Monday. Di Lorenzo provided further information about her summer resignation, for which she cited concerns around the partnership with Sidewalk Labs, and the issues she continues to have with it. “I left the board because, as time passed, it seemed that Waterfront Toronto’s narrative and Waterfront Toronto’s success was being overtaken by a new company in town called Sidewalk Labs,” said Di Lorenzo. “Everything that we’ve done well seemed to be part of the business plan that Sidewalk Labs was promoting.” (Metro Morning)

Your apps know where you were last night, and they’re not keeping it secret

A cache of data obtained by The New York Times shows how companies purchase precise location information from apps on users’ phones to then target them with advertisements. The sample of information held by one of those companies shows individuals’ precise travel details which, in some cases, are updated more than 14,000 times per day. (New York Times)

Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou wanted for fraud offences, bail hearing told

U.S. officials are asking Canada to extradite Meng to face charges for evading U.S. sanctions on Iran by claiming that Skycom and Huawei were separate companies when, according to the U.S., they’re really one and the same. Canada still hasn’t said if it will restrict Huawei in any way. Both Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said they hadn’t yet spoken with Chinese officials about Meng’s arrest. (CBC News)

Three Waterfront Toronto directors fired by provincial government following AG report

The provincial government is replacing board chair Helen Burstyn and board members Michael Nobrega and Meric Gertler. Burstyn and Gertler’s terms were set to expire next year, while Nobrega was only appointed in April. Nobrega, a former OMERS CEO, took on the role of acting Waterfront Toronto CEO upon Will Fleissig’s resignation this summer. Nobrega will stay on as CEO until a permanent chief is selected. (Globe and Mail)