In the parlance of the times, Vic Toews is getting pwned.
Canada's Public Safety Minister is getting savaged on the Internet after he introduced the Tories' new online surveillance bill C-30, the Protecting Children from Internet Predators Act.
While the bill doesn't actually mention children or predators anywhere except in the title, Toews used the argument in the House of Commons that those who are against the bill to widen authorities' access to our online data stand with the those who prey on children.
Then, on CTV's "Power Play" with Don Martin, Toews essentially denied he had linked the bill's critics with child pornogrpahers. "I didn't exactly say that, Don. In fact, it was a far cry from that," the Minister said.
The video impresario behind recent clips of sleeping MPs, flip flops and finger guns, put together a clip comparing Toews comments on "Power Play" with what he actually said in the House — to devastating effect. The clip is now racking up views on YouTube.
The video isn't the first or only Internet attack on Toews.
On Wednesday, the Web erupted after an anonymous Twitter account began posting material allegedly lifted from affidavits related to Toews divorce. On Thursday, the account moved on to tweets on the Minister's spending habits. Toews responded on Twitter that he wouldn't get involved in this sort of "gutter politics," but the Web didn't let up.
Instead, users across Canada began crafting hilarious tweets around the hashtags #DontToewsMeBro AND #TellVicEverything. Even Justin Trudeau, who denounced the anonymous tweets on Toews' divorce, joined in the fun.
The vigorous response from the Web seems to be a sign that pushback on the Conservatives' online surveillance bill, and a separate bill on copyright reform, is beginning to resemble the successful opposition to the SOPA and PIPA bills in the United States, which culminated in Black Wednesday, when sites such as Wikipedia and Reddit shut down in opposition to a more regulated Internet.
The Conservatives are styling Bill C-30 as a law to protect children from online predators, but privacy advocates and opposition MPs say it's far too broad.
Among other provisions, it would allow authorities access to Internet subscriber information — including name, address, telephone number and email address — without first getting a court's go-ahead.
Currently, it is voluntary for Internet service providers to hand such data to police.
Amid the strong online response, the Tories have already indicated they may bend on the bill. Looks like pwnage can get political.
With files from The Canadian Press.