'Vikileaks' Twitter Account Closed


First Posted: 02/17/2012 11:10 pm Updated: 02/21/2012 8:27 am

The anonymous campaign behind the "Vikileaks" Twitter account has shut down, after having purportedly posted tawdry details of Public Safety Minister Vic Toews's divorce proceedings.

Following a political uproar in which Conservatives accused opposition New Democrats of authoring the tweets that made claims about Toews's personal life, the original account on the social networking site has now been deleted.

A message posted before the micro-blogger's account closed on Friday evening said, "I am shutting down before any other innocent people are targeted. Please keep up the fight against #C30 Canada."

Vikileaks gained notoriety this week as part of the protests against the federal government's new online surveillance bill, C-30.

Critics have raised concerns about potential privacy issues with the legislation, which would offer police easier access to data about web surfers by requiring internet service providers to surrender some client information to authorities without a warrant.

Under a text field reserved for biographical information on Twitter, the anonymous account user wrote: "Vic wants to know about you. Let's get to know Vic."

The Vikileaks account then proceeded to post a string of more than 90 tweets taking jabs at the minister and his home life, including alleged quotations from affidavits from Toews's divorce. None of the claims has been verified.

The minister himself responded on his Twitter feed that he would not "get involved in this kind of gutter politics."

Baird blasts 'dirty internet trick'

Toews has also stepped back from comments he made earlier about the objections to privacy breaches, in which he said Liberal public safety critic Francis Scarpaleggia could "either stand with us or with the child pornographers."

The Ottawa Citizen newspaper reported Thursday that an IP address — a unique number identifying computers in a network — traced the account to Parliament Hill.

During question period on Friday, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird accused the NDP of having "been caught in a nasty, dirty internet trick" — an allegation NDP whip Chris Charlton demanded Baird retract.

In earlier tweets Friday, the anonymous twitter user wrote: "I am not in Ottawa. Many people have access to the email address. The Ottawa Citizen in particular is targeting the wrong person."

The user also wrote in the evening: "I set up this project to make a point, not ensnare innocent people in a government witch hunt."

Within just three days of going online, the Vikileaks Twitter feed drew more than 8,000 followers, inspiring hundreds of retweets and jokes, before it was shut down.

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  • Twitter Reacts To Vikileaks Resignation And Tory Online Surveillance Bill

    UPDATE: On Monday Feb. 27, Liberal leader acknowledged that a Liberal staffer was behind the Vikileaks30 Twitter account that released information about Vic Toews' divorce. That person has been fired and Rae has apologized to the House Of Commons. Public Safety Minister Vic Toews faced an online backlash due to his championing of Bill C-30, the lawful access bill. Two hashtags, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/search/%23donttoewsmebro -rt" target="_hplink">#donttoewsmebro</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/search?q=%23TellVicEverything" target="_hplink">#tellviceverything</a> became the vocal points of internet humour and commentary. Photo: CP

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  • What's In Online-Snooping Bill

    Like similar legislation introduced in the past by both Conservative and Liberal governments, the new bill includes provisions that would: <em>With files from CBC</em> (Shutterstock)

  • Warantless Online Info

    Require telecommunications and internet providers to give subscriber data to police, national security agencies and the Competition Bureau without a warrant, including names, phone numbers and IP addresses. (CP)

  • Back Door Access

    Force internet providers and other makers of technology to provide a "back door" to make communications accessible to police. (Getty)

  • Location, Location, Location

    Allow police to get warrants to obtain information transmitted over the internet and data related to its transmission, including locations of individuals and transactions. (Alamy)

  • Preserve Data

    Allow courts to compel other parties to preserve electronic evidence. (Alamy)

  • New Bill Is Different

    However, unlike the most recent previous version of the bill, the new legislation: (Alamy)

  • Less Data

    Requires telecommunications providers to disclose, without a warrant, just six types of identifiers from subscriber data instead of 11. (Alamy)

  • Oversight

    Provides for an internal audit of warrantless requests that will go to a government minister and oversight review body. Minister of Public Safety Vic Toews is pictured. (CP)

  • Review After 5 Years

    Includes a provision for a review after five years. (Alamy)

  • More Time To Implement

    Allows telecommunications service providers to take 18 months instead of 12 months to buy equipment that would allow police to intercept communications. (Alamy)

  • Expanded Definitions

    Changes the definition of hate propaganda to include communication targeting sex, age and gender. (Alamy)


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