Bill C-30 backlash organized by Liberal staffer

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A political storm has beset Victor Toews, the backer of a controversial lawful access bill in Canada. Toews, the public safety minister, was threatened with violence and also had aspects of his private life exposed after introducing Bill C-30 in the house.

Toews was the subject of an information campaign that became known as "Vikileaks." A Twitter account (now disabled) was created that disseminated personal information about the minister. Hacktivist collective Anonymous also leaked the name of his common law partner, said to be his mistress during his marriage, when he allegedly conceived a child with her.

The Vikileaks campaign was organized by Adam Carroll, a staffer for the opposition Liberal party.

Bill C-30 has some wide-ranging clauses. It lets the government ask ISPs for mandatory usage information about customers, and includes a gag order provision that stops service providers from informing customers about the surveillance. The service also allows the government to request information about emails and surfing habits on a voluntary basis.

One of the most worrying aspects of the legislation for privacy advocates is the ability for the government to specify the nature of surveillance equipment used by an ISP, which theoretically gives it total visibility into the service provider's network.

The Bill has been sent to the Commons Public Safety and National Security Committee, before reaching its second reading.
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