NEWS

Report into Richard Atwell's spyware allegations due today

03/30/2015 08:00 EDT | Updated 05/30/2015 05:59 EDT
A report from B.C.'s information and privacy commissioner due today is expected to reveal whether Saanich Mayor Richard Atwell's had legitimate concerns about spyware installed on computers at city hall.

Atwell claimed earlier this year that the software was being used to to spy on him by recording his keystrokes and taking screen shots.

The Saanich mayor made national headlines in January after alleging staff used a program called Spector 360 to track his actions on his computer while the district said it was simply following through on recommendations from a security audit that recommended the software.

Saanich police conducted their own investigation and found nothing wrong with security software installed on Atwell's computer.

Elizabeth Denham, B.C.'s information and privacy commissioner decided to launched her own review and promised to investigate exactly what software was installed, what data it captured and whether it ran afoul of any of the province's privacy laws.

She is scheduled to release her report this morning at 9:30 a.m. PT.

Saanich's chief administrator said the spyware software was removed from all municipal computers in late January.

In November Atwell was elected in a surprise victory over six-term incumbent Frank Leonard. 

The mayor's allegations came to light after he accused Saanich police of harassment for repeatedly pulling him over and administering breathalyzer tests in which he said he always blew zero.

Prior to Atwell's allegations, Saanich police had responded to a disturbance involving the mayor at the home of one of his campaign workers in December.

Atwell was accused of having an extramarital affair with the campaign worker, denied it, then admitted he'd lied.

After the mayor's allegations of spying and police harassment, Saanich city councillors defended the software and in a joint statement in January said it was installed for security purposes after an external audit of the district's computer systems last May.

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