Friday, February 17, 2012

TellVicEverything: political pushback or ad hominem attack?

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?

© 2012 Russell G. Campbell


  1. Baird really went after the ndp today in QP for this vicious and sleazy attack. Almost every member answering a question referred to it. No dipper got up to deny it, but on a point of order Chris C, female got up and read a 2 page typed response basically saying, present proof. The ndp had to know it was going to be a problem as that point of order was not done during QP. It was a prepared stmt. The Speaker will be investigating this issue.

  2. Apparently the information about Toews had been floated to the media prior to it's release; to their credit, nobody would touch it. So, I have no doubt that media knows who is responsible even if they don't know the actual identity of Anonymous. I think that may have been known to many including Toews; which may explain his comment about not engaging in gutter politics. To me, it's a new low in political attack. I'm not a fan of the bill. I wish it was presented in a less clumsy manner and didn't over reach. Internet luring and child pornography is an important issue for parliament to tackle and I wish it wasn't pushed aside now in favor of all this drama.

    1. Well said, Anon 01:38. I too "wish it wasn't pushed aside now in favor of all this drama."

      But that's the world we now live in.

  3. [Already posted this elsewhere, but here is more appropriate. Could be tweaked but my main goal was to get these thoughts out into the public sphere and hopefully into the bill as a possible solution.]

    No lawful person of any stripe should be against the bill.

    How to fix "exceptional circumstances" aspects: Forget warrants all together, and use a system where the police actions are fully recorded* & monitored in real-time by multiple third-party operators and all logs and reports submitted to the privacy commission etc, anytime these methods are put into use.
    *confidentially on a need to know basis and not for public consumption. (Public doesn't need to know the precise methods only that they have been legally cleared for use. Criminals already are too many steps ahead and don't take long to ketch up to the latest law enforcement techniques. I'm sure the the defense attorneys wouldn't want everything their client did immediately open to public eyes without due coarse via abrupt Leaks. All truth comes out in due course, eventually. Public & victim safety paramount.)
    Only on duty investigators & qualified authorized staff would have access, so no rogue snooping or limitless access.
    This will save time and allow for up to the second responsiveness & adaption to situational changes and technological advancements.
    That isn't to say you shouldn't have a judges excluded from the process, I just don't feel comfortable leaving all the decision making power in the hands of runaway liberal judges sympathetic to the victimizes & their habbits!

    They shouldn't have to wait on a judge when in pursuit of a child lurer.

    (Relatedly-Unrelated)Why fear-mongering should stop:

    "According to the RCMP it is impossible to track down who uploads music or movies to the Internet. The police simply do not have the time nor the resources to go after file sharers. "Piracy for personal use is no longer targeted", said Noël St-Hilaire, head of copyright theft investigations of the RCMP in an interview with Le Devoir. St-Hilaire explained that they would rather focus on crimes that actually hurt consumers such as copyright violations related to medicine and electrical appliances, as well as ones that affect organized crime." ~sloppily copy and pasted from:

    Same applies with the average internet user. This is not part of some silly conspiracy to control us. They couldn't even if they wanted to. The governments of the world are hardly all powerful, but are rather full of bloat & waste, corruption and so on. The Anon hacks are actually doing more to protect the secretive, sophisticated & organized internet pedophile rings than anyone's personal liberties. (which they care little for, especially with whom they disagree!)
    You would think they would be all about exposing the political power players behind human trafficking & exploitation of abused children but apparently not. Privacy above all else for some & their friends, but not others. Now whose the secretive Cabal? friggin hypocrites!