Vic Toews To Find Out Who Saw His Divorce File
A Manitoba judge has ruled that federal Public Safety Minister Vic Toews should be allowed to know who was looking at his divorce file.
A Court of Queen's Bench justice ruled on Wednesday that Toews, the Conservative MP for the Provencher riding in southern Manitoba, has a right to see who read his file at the Winnipeg courthouse.
Details of Toews's acrimonious 2007 divorce, including snippets from affidavits filed by the minister and his ex-wife, were published online in what became known as the Vikileaks affair.
The anonymous Twitter account, which began publishing the divorce details in mid-February, was attacking Toews over Bill C-30, an online surveillance bill that the minister is sponsoring.
The Vikileaks account was eventually shut down. It was later revealed that a Liberal Party staff member was behind the Twitter account. Adam Carroll resigned at the end of the month.
Privacy concerns cited
The Manitoba court registrar originally denied a request by Toews's lawyer to obtain the names of those who had filed a requisition form to view the divorce files, citing privacy concerns.
"The registrar had declined to give it to me because the registrar was concerned … this is a novel thing; this has just never happened before," Robert Tapper, Toews's lawyer, told CBC News.
"So I applied for a court order to compel the registrar to give it to me, which the judge then granted."
In his ruling, Justice Richard Saull said it seems unfair that Toews's personal matters should be "produced at the whim of any passerby and that he not know who had access, regardless of that person's motives."
Saull also said civil court files automatically include the names of anyone who has requested to see them.
"If someone wants to access a public record for mischief purposes … they're not allowed to assert anonymity in the process," Tapper said.
"Public documents contained within a court docket … they're open to the public," he added. "So the fact is, you go down there and you say, 'I want copies of these things.' You can't go there under a mask."
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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)
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)
Requires telecommunications providers to disclose, without a warrant, just six types of identifiers from subscriber data instead of 11. (Alamy)
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)
Changes the definition of hate propaganda to include communication targeting sex, age and gender. (Alamy)