Thursday, February 16, 2012

Vic Toews vs The Internet: Internet 1 Toews 0

So I awoke the other morning to a very interesting development in the online world. Someone had gotten their hands on some public documents with details surrounding Vic Toews and in particular, his divorce proceedings. This person also created an online Twitter account called VikiLeaks (quite clever actually). They then proceeded to tweet many interesting statements from this public information including specific information regarding his divorce, his fidelity and his expenditures as a government official. I am pretty certain you have heard all this.

You are most likely aware that he is the man behind the push for a crime bill which will enable police to freely and without a warrant spy on anybody at anytime for any reason. This will remove all of your internet privacy; all of it. 

Yesterday I broadcast a tweet congratulating the work of the individual behind the release and got a somewhat negative response. This was not the only negative response I came across through my Twitter feed, my Facebook feed and of course through the online media. I feel as though if you think what this individual did was wrong, then perhaps you should stop and consider:

First, no one broke any laws. The information was public. Anyone who chose to could access it. To share public information is also legal. So if you are against this on legal grounds, please bow out quietly to the left. There is nothing illegal about what was done.

Now onto the only possible remaining argument, the ever popular "moral" question. Let me start by saying that I completely understand the point of view that this is wrong on moral grounds based on the principle that it was underhanded, embarrassing, immature and perhaps in bad taste. I understand where those arguments come from, you need not explain them. However, I have a problem with those arguments in that I feel he not only deserved it, but brought it on willingly.

Everybody in the world is aware of the overwhelming amount of protest against SOPA, PIPA, ACTA and all the other privacy invasion laws trying to be passed around the world. Hacktivists Anonymous responded by releasing the details from many government web sites as well as crashing them through DDoS attacks. Even here in Canada the outcry was remarkable from credible news sources that reported the people were overwhelmingly opposed to Toews' supposed "Protecting Children from Internet Predators Act" (which I might add is a slightly modified older bill with a new name). How could he not have know what would come if he continued down his self-righteous path?

I can only assume it was his 'with us or with the child predators' comment that set the final wheels into motion. I apologize if you feel different to my point of view but Vic Toews, you got what you deserved...maybe even less than what you deserve due to the massive attempted infringement upon the privacy of all Canadians. You bring forth a bill to spy on the people; you ignore the cries of the people; you ignore the arguments of the opposition; you ignore you civic duty as a civil servant.

What happened to Vic Toews is neither surprising nor shocking. The irony has not gone unnoticed. As @vikileaks30 said: "Vic wants to get to know us so lets get to know Vic." I regret that it took such an action to remind Vic (the act is currently no longer up for law) that the Canadian people, and the people who support us around the world, will not stand by while you remove from us our rights and freedoms.