The hacker group Anonymous is demanding Public Safety Minister Vic
Toews kill the Internet surveillance bill and resign or it will release
"information" during what it calls "Operation White North."
Two videos posted to YouTube feature a masked man and voice-overs
that condemn the proposed Protecting Children from Internet Predators
Act (Bill C-30).
"All this legislation does is give your corrupted government more
power to control its citizens," a synthesized voice says in one of the
videos still posted to the site Monday.
"We know all about you, Mr. Toews, and during Operation White North
we will release what we have unless you scrap this bill," it states.
The RCMP has been called in to investigate apparent death threats against Toews as controversy swirls around the legislation.
In an open letter to his Manitoba constituents distributed over the
weekend, Toews said the threats have been "referred to the police for
The "personal attacks, criminal acts and threats of future criminal
acts against me" won't prevent him from carrying out his parliamentary
duties, the minister wrote.
"Any further criminal activity or threats of criminal activity
against me or my family will also be referred to the police," Toews said
in the statement.
Although CTV reporter Mercedes Stephenson said the RCMP has yet to
respond to her inquiries concerning criminal threats against Toews, she
did speak with a source close to the minister about the YouTube videos.
"They told me that he's not that concerned about the Anonymous video.
He considers it to be a political video and it's a political threat and
Anonymous makes a lot of political threats against a lot of different
politicians," she told CTV News Channel Monday.
He's far more concerned by the potential security threats, Stephenson said.
In its current form, the bill would force Internet Service Providers
(ISPs) to allow access to private data without a warrant. It would also
permit the duplication of that data without oversight or appeal.
The deputy police chief in Vancouver spoke in favour of the
legislation Monday arguing it's needed to save lives and still holds
officers accountable for information they request.
"While it provides authority for the police to obtain basic
subscriber information in the course of their duties, access to e-mail
and Internet activity is only available with a warrant as is the case
now," Warren Lemcke said at a press conference.
Bill C-30 enhances the ability of police to fight crime, prevent victimization and suicides, he said.
"Our hope is that Members of Parliament, the media and Canadians as a
whole will take the time to view the legislation through the lens of
law enforcement," Lemcke said.
The Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police is disappointed by the
amount of "misinformation and rhetoric that is clouding an important
discussion on this issue," he said.
Toews said during debate in the House last week that anyone who
opposed the law was supporting child pornographers. He has since backed
away from that comment.
But the contentious statement did prompt the creation of an anonymous
Twitter account "@Vikileaks30" that published details of Toews'
divorce, family and his spending as an MP.
The Conservatives accused the NDP of operating the Twitter feed, something the party has denied.
In his letter, Toews went on to call the personal attacks against him
futile, because they are based on records from his divorce proceedings,
which are open to the public.
He went on to say that the breakdown of his previous marriage is
something he is personally accountable for, "but that accountability is
not something I owe to the public generally or to my political opponents