The controversy over The Conservatives’ proposed online surveillance legislation, Bill C-30, which Public Safety Minister Vic Toews introduced to the House of Commons on Tuesday, took a nasty turn when details of Toews’ divorce were posted on Twitter.
Among the increased powers sought, the bill—Protecting Children from Internet Predators Act—would allow police, without benefit of a warrant, to access Internet subscribers’ private information.
The controversy, in the form of protests and petitions, that ensued drew sympathy from many across the political spectrum, including this writer. A clever campaign under the Twitter tag, #TellVicEverything, went viral almost immediately, drawing smiles and providing lighter moments to the campaign against Bill C-30.
But when I heard that someone (using the “Vikileaks30” Twitter account) was dumping details of Toews’ divorce file online, I realized the campaign was providing cover for someone or some group to launch an anonymous ad hominem attack on the minister, and there is never a valid excuse for such cowardly behaviour.
On Friday, the Ottawa Citizen reported it has traced the Vikileaks30 Twitter account to an IP address that originated within the House of Commons. According to the report:
Aside from being used to administer the Vikileaks30 Twitter feed, the address has been frequently used to update Wikipedia articles often giving them what appears to be a pro-NDP bias, actions that have attracted the attention of numerous Internet observers in recent months.
While I’m too much of a cynic to be surprised, I am disappointed that such shoddy behaviour would emanate from Canada’s chief, and treasured, symbol of our democracy.
I’d bet that the Ottawa Citizen has already unearthed the source of these especially dirty political tricks, though perhaps not with enough proof to name the source publicly. Want to bet it’s a dipper?