While claiming it’s perfectly reasonable for the government to spy on its citizens, the shoe is clearly on the other foot in a lovely social media twist that makes a point to Canada’s Minister of Public Safety, Vic Toews.
Toews is very cranky over how his personal life and details of his divorce, infidelity and lack of child support is being displayed very publicly on a Twitter account called @Vikileaks30. While nobody knows yet who created the account, the industrious genius behind it is using social media to show Minister Toews exactly what it feels like to have his privacy invaded. Breaking news has reported that an IP address from Parliament itself was used to create the account and post updates, so someone is probably about to lose their job for doing what is ostensibly a public service.
Others are using the Twitter hashtag #TellVicEverything to make a mockery of the Minister’s apparent need to know everything about everyone.
Personally, I think it’s an absolutely wonderful thing for the Minister to get this first-hand taste of what he has in store for all Canadians should his atrocious and invasive legislation, Bill C-30, actually pass in its current state.
Warrantless searches are not something Canadians should tolerate or be subjected to at the whim of a police member “suspecting” someone may or may not have done something. If the police believe someone is committing or has committed a crime, they should be required to get a search warrant. Anything less is a violation of our Charter Rights and is 100% unacceptable.
I suppose Minister Toews believes warrantless searches are okay because other legislation passed by previous governments already contain such horrific clauses. Canada’s Firearms Act, for example, makes provision for police to search the homes of lawful firearm owners without a warrant simply because they own a certain number of firearms.
That is and has always been unacceptable to Canadian firearm owners. If we can jump through all the bureaucratic hoops, pass CPIC and RCMP background checks, then why do police require the ability to search our homes without a warrant?
If we’ve passed all those checks, clearly we’re NOT the problem. Yet one look at the Ian Thomson case shows just how poorly a legitimate firearm owner is treated when he dares use one of his firearms to save his own life from three masked fire-bombers screaming death threats and tossing Molotov cocktails at his home.
Warrantless searches are perfectly okay though, according to Minister Vic Toews, as are stripping us of our Right to Remain Silent. Just like the Firearms Act, the proposed Bill C-30 contains the provision requiring you to assist someone who is searching your home with or without a warrant.
Duty to assist
(3) The owner or person in charge of the place and every person in the place must give all assistance that is reasonably required to enable the inspector to perform their functions under this section and must provide any documents or information, and access to any data, that are reasonably required for that purpose.
Anyone who does not side with him, as in the case of Bill C-30, are obviously just child pornographers that haven’t been caught yet, right? That is patently absurd, if not downright an abuse of his position, and an insult to every single Canadian who holds their Right to Privacy near and dear.
Vic Toews had the gall to stand in Parliament and say Canadians “can either stand with us or with the child pornographers,” as though the privacy concerns of regular, decent Canadians are of absolutely no importance at all.
A man of any decency would be ashamed of himself for making such a comparison, but it seems the Minister is not such a man.
Naturally, he denied making the statement until he was confronted with his own words on videotape, but that’s hardly surprising for a politician, is it?
I won’t get involved in this kind of gutter politics. Engaging in or responding to this kind of discussion leads nowhere.
— Vic Toews (@ToewsVic) February 15, 2012
What is amusing in an offensive, “do what I say, not what I do” and holier than thou sort of way, is how Vic Toews calls his private life being invaded by person or persons unknown as “gutter politics”, yet he steadfastly maintains it’s perfectly okay to have those same privacy invasions mandated by law for the rest of us.
Where I come from, that’s called hypocrisy.
Bill C-30 is listed as the “Protecting Children from Internet Predators Act”. This is our government hiding behind that good old mantra “it’s for the children” one more time. Every single time the government wants to invade your privacy, violate your Charter Rights or do anything else it pleases that you don’t want it to do, these are the words they use to justify their heinous actions: “it’s for the children.”
I personally find it fascinating that while the Harper Government has dubbed this the “Protecting Children from Internet Predators Act”, that’s nothing more than a clever marketing slogan aimed to distract Canadians from the real point of this Act. The ONLY place these words appear is in the title. They are found nowhere else in the bill, not even in it’s stated purpose!
The purpose of this Act is to ensure that telecommunications service providers have the capability to enable national security and law enforcement agencies to exercise their authority to intercept communications and to require telecommunications service providers to provide subscriber and other information, without unreasonably impairing the privacy of individuals, the provision of telecommunications services to Canadians or the competitiveness of the Canadian telecommunications industry.
Sounds innocuous enough, doesn’t it?
The words to watch out for are “to exercise their authority”…
How I long for a truly conservative government… not the “Conservative in name only” government we have now.
We’ve been down this road before, haven’t we? Remember the massive outcry over Gamil Gharbi’s insane massacre of 14 bright young women in Montreal back in 1989? What was the battle cry then? “If it saves one life, it’s worth it”, and that was quickly followed by “It’s for the children.”
Two Billion dollars later and an entire bureaucracy focused on harassing the people who are NOT the problem, we’re finally beginning to rethink that colossal stupidity and waste of money.
Let me be perfectly clear. Nobody is advocating child pornography, despite Minister Toews attempting to paint ordinary decent Canadians with that atrocious and disgusting brush. Privacy commissioners across the country have expressed their opposition to this intrusive legislation.
I guess that makes all of them nothing more than closet child molesters too, if Minister Toews is to be believed. After all, either the Privacy Commissioners can stand with Minister Toews or “with the child pornographers.”
But back to Public Safety Minister Vic Toews and his umbrage over the details of his personal life being strewn across the Internet for the world to see.
In Ottawa, opposition politicians once again pounced on the chance to keep the issue in a national spotlight. "I very much want the minister to have a taste of his own medicine," said Liberal Charlottetown MP Sean Casey. "To have happen to him what he proposes to do to ordinary Canadians."
I couldn't agree more. The invasion of Minister Toews’ privacy is obviously very distressing for him, and as it should be. Now he knows how the rest of us feel like, something that’s long, long overdue.
When politicians believe they are immune to the garbage legislation they pass, they need, just like a dog that craps in the house, to have their noses rubbed in it. That's precisely what's happening to Toews with the @Vikileaks30 twitter account and hashtag #TellVicEverything.
Suddenly the government is "open to changes" to the proposed legislation.
"Politicians, like diapers, should be changed often, and for the same reason."