Vikileaks & #TellVicEverything: Oversharing with Vic Toews
Vic Toews Beset from Within and Without
Public Safety Minister Vic Toews, cheerleader for Canadian domestic-spying bill C-30, has made quite a few enemies lately. First, he ended up learning way too much about the Canadian twitterati thanks to #TellVicEverything, which gave him exactly what he's asking for: the daily movements of Canadians (Yes, I was part of this).
The Call is Coming from Inside the House (of Commons)
Then Vic Toews found his alleged personal details posted to Twitter via @vikileaks30. (I'm not a fan of this sort of stunt- it's counterproductive in the long run, but does serve as an object lesson: you can be doing a bunch of legal stuff, and still not want strangers sniffing around in your business.)
The Ottawa Citizen tricked whomever was operating Vikileaks into visiting a website to which it had admin access. The Citizen then simply traced the IP address of the visitor, and found that whomever ran Vikileaks was posting from inside the House of Commons.
Apparently the same IP address was linked to Wikipedia updates and visits to a Paul Simon fan site. Everyone in the building uses that IP address, but Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird wasted no time in blaming the NDP; the National Democratic Party is the main opposition to Stephen Harper's Conservatives.
Evidence of actual NDP involvement has yet to emerge, and NDP Whip Chris Charlton demanded that John Baird retract the allegation.
Vic Toews demanded a Parliamentary investigation into @vikileaks30, but that, in turn, is problematic for proponents of C-30: law enforcement officials will only have today's snooping laws at their disposal. What happens when they catch him? So far, no evidence exists that the C-30 "lawful access" legislation is needed, and this case has yet to prove otherwise.
It ain't easy being Vic Toews. First of all, you have everyone calling him an idiot for comparing the internet to a phone book. Then you have privacy advocates calling him obtuse for saying that anyone who wants privacy safeguards is on par with pedophiles.
Now, you have Canadians sharing every mundane (and sometimes freaky) detail of their lives with you, and someone in your own workplace posting lurid details about you online. It's almost as if... he wished strangers didn't have unfettered digital access to his private life. After all, the best way to safeguard private data from snoops, hackers, and thieves is not to aggregate it in the first place.
My own opinion: Vic Toews is not as stupid as he looks, but he's also not as clever as he thinks he is. (I hope) he doesn't really think that privacy advocates are like pedophiles, but he's just silly enough to think that such an accusation will silence the debate. Canadians, as we see, were rather quick to correct him, and none too gently at that.
How Do You Pronounce 'Vic Toews'?
By the way, "Toews" rimes with "caves".