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Submission + - Vikileaks creator fights back in face of Tory MP questions (

silentbrad writes: From the CBC: The former Liberal staffer who set up a Twitter account to publicize details from the divorce filings of Public Safety Minister Vic Toews fought back today against Conservative MP questions, calling some of them "baseless smears." Adam Carroll resigned from his position in the Liberal Party's research bureau when House of Commons IT staff traced the computer that had been posting to the social media site to him. ... Carroll told MPs on the committee that while the divorce documents are publicly available at a courthouse in Manitoba, he got them out of a filing cabinet in the Liberal Party's research office. ... Carroll used an account on Twitter under the username vikileaks30 to send 140-character quotes from Toews and his ex-wife's divorce filings, noting in the first few tweets that it was in retaliation for Toews' online surveillance bill. The bill, C-30, sparked a huge public backlash over provisions that gave police more power to demand customer information from internet service providers, among other problems. ... The password Carroll chose for the Twitter account poked fun at the Conservatives, Carroll revealed, telling the committee it was "strongstablenationalmajorityConservativegovernment." ... Speaking to the procedure and House affairs committee last month, Toews said criticism of his personal life is fair game. Carroll says he broke no laws and didn't breach any House of Commons policies. ... "I know it's a difficulty even for members to accept that your personal life is fair game. That's the world we live in, and I'm not going to try in any way to suggest that somehow aspects of my life are off-limits." Toews had said earlier at the committee that attacks on an MP's personal life were not appropriate.

Submission + - From Anonymous To Shuttered Websites, The Evolution Of Online Protest (

silentbrad writes: The days of screaming activists marching with signs in hand to voice their displeasure at a particular politician are changing rapidly – just ask Vic Toews. Canada's public safety minister was the latest in a string of public-policy lightning rods to feel the wrath of Anonymous, a loose coalition of web-based activists who went after Toews for his overly vociferous promoting of the government's online surveillance bill. ... Graeme Hirst, a professor of computational linguistics at the University of Toronto, says that while Anonymous does share some properties of older protest movements, sometimes its motives can be called into question. "It's a kind of civil disobedience, so we can immediately make analogies to the Civil Rights movement of the '60s," Hirst said in an interview. "On the other hand, it's not entirely clear that Anonymous is as altruistically motivated as those protests were." ... Hirst viewed the January showdown as "the first legitimate online protest" that was really only about the online world and suggested that the key to its success was that it was organized not by individuals but by organizations — and ones with clout. ... Another apparently successful online campaign was the Cost of Knowledge protest started by an international group of researchers in January, following a blog post by Cambridge University math professor Timothy Gowers.

Submission + - Misleading Robocalls Went To Voters ID'd As Non-Tories (

silentbrad writes: An investigation by CBC News has turned up voters all over Canada who say the reason they got robocalls sending them to fictitious polling stations was that they'd revealed they would not vote Conservative. Although the Conservative Party has denied any involvement in the calls, these new details suggest that the misleading calls relied on data gathered by, and carefully guarded by, the Conservative Party. Known as "CIMS," the database assigns a "smiley" face to supporters, and a "sad" face to non-Conservatives. Liberal and NDP politicians say it would make no sense to call randomly, since many of the voters misled would be Conservatives.

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