Western Standard

The Shotgun Blog

« U.K. social services remove children from grandparents care, insist on adoption to same-sex couple | Main | Brian Day and private health clinics take B.C. government to court to expand Chaoulli ruling »

Thursday, January 29, 2009

CHRC cleared of "hacking" allegation

This just in from the Privacy Commisioner:

An individual complained that the Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC) improperly collected and then subsequently used her personal information. Specifically, she complained that the CHRC accessed her wireless internet connection to log onto and post messages to a white supremacist website during the course of an investigation.
...
There is no evidence that the CHRC ever collected or improperly used, disclosed or retained the complainant’s personal information.

Technological experts have indicated that, most likely, but without certainty, the association of the complainant’s IP address to the CHRC was simply a mismatch on the part of a third party, which could have occurred in a variety of ways not involving the CHRC.

What is certain is that there is no evidence of the CHRC having ever collected or improperly used, disclosed or retained any personal information about the complainant.

This doesn't mean there isn't reason to oppose the CHRC. It does mean that it would be a very bad idea to continue to propagate the hacking allegation. As far as I'm concerned, the blogger Buckets decisively refuted the evidence against the CHRC sometime ago.

H/T: Dr. Dawg.

Posted by Terrence Watson on January 29, 2009 | Permalink

Comments

It does mean that it would be a very bad idea to continue to propagate the hacking allegation.

Mentor them more broadly, Terrence, I (and freedom of expression) beg of you. Tell them that it's a bad idea to claim something for which they have no evidence.

Posted by: Despairing Conservative | 2009-01-29 6:33:49 PM


Despairing Conservative,

And cement my reputation as a boring pedant? Well, if it's for the greater good...

Best,

Terrence

Posted by: Terrence Watson | 2009-01-29 6:41:04 PM


Yeah, right and I have a nice bridge in NY I can sell DC and others.

Posted by: Alain | 2009-01-29 6:58:24 PM


Gee I wonder just "who" it was that cleared them?

Posted by: JC | 2009-01-29 9:39:14 PM


JC,

The privacy commissioner, I would think. Also, note that the RCMP already dropped the criminal complaint filed on behalf of the woman whose Interent account was allegedly hijacked.

The evidence just isn't there. Buckets has a pretty exhaustive, multipart investigation on this, and his technical knowledge seems pretty high (in my opinion, and I'm no slouch on these matters myself.) He pretty much blasts the evidence to bits on purely technical grounds.

Just check the link I provided in my post, and read parts 1-12, or however many parts he got up to.

The CHRC as a cabal of computer hackers was a compelling story, but can't we just settle for the story of the CHRC as a cabal of Nazi-trolling, freedom-hating, proto-fascists? That's a good story, too.

Best,

Terrence

Posted by: Terrence Watson | 2009-01-29 9:56:34 PM


Didn't an agent of the CHRC admit under oath that they hacked into the wireless connection of a woman who lived nearby - even blabbling her name and address for the record? Or is that a different case?...

Posted by: Grant Brown | 2009-01-29 9:57:33 PM


The CHRC as a cabal of computer hackers was a compelling story, but can't we just settle for the story of the CHRC as a cabal of Nazi-trolling, freedom-hating, proto-fascists? That's a good story, too.

Best,

Terrence

Posted by: Terrence Watson | 2009-01-29 9:56:34 PM


Thanks for the tune up. I'll take your word for it and go with the Nazi troll angle. :)

Posted by: JC | 2009-01-29 9:58:48 PM


Nazi troll?

"Increasingly, we have noticed a trend toward the all-too-frequent incorporation of Nazi terminology in our every day vernacular," said Frank Dimant, B'nai Brith Canada's Executive Vice President.

...to display this kind of irresponsible attitude...renders the public a little less immune each time such Holocaust trivialization occurs.

...do the right thing and apologize to members of the Jewish community and the Canadian public for [t]his ugly, insensitive remark."

Posted by: DJ | 2009-01-29 10:56:36 PM


Dj,

You misunderstand me. I meant Nazi-troll in a very literal sense: I.e. Someone who trolls on neo-Nazi message boards. Might have been more precise for me to say "Nazi troller" I guess.

Posted by: Terrence Watson | 2009-01-29 11:21:26 PM


Didn't an agent of the CHRC admit under oath that they hacked into the wireless connection of a woman who lived nearby - even blabbling her name and address for the record? Or is that a different case?...

The woman was the complainant to the Privacy Commission! No, no CHRC employee andmitted any such thing, nor did the Bell technician claim any such thing--just two more bits of misinformation gleefully circulated by people who should know better.

Posted by: Dr.Dawg | 2009-01-30 5:09:37 AM


DJ
The term Nazi applies to an ideology held by "Nazi National Socialists" in the mid 20th century. Using that ideology as a comparison has nothing to do with the Holocaust itself and everything to do with the methods, however subtle being employed by the political elite of the day in regard to social engineering. Stalinism could be just as easily used for comparison purposes.
I don't think Terrence or myself mean to trivialize genocide, but want to point out the cancerous encroachment on our freedoms and traditional culture.
Terrence?

Posted by: JC | 2009-01-30 6:22:49 AM


Oh please. This is not a situation of a lack of evidence. It is a mere fact that the RCMP and the Privacy Commission are on board the Nazification of Canada. The RCMP has long been the tool of the statists.

Posted by: Faramir | 2009-01-30 2:44:57 PM


ok, they didn't collect, spread or retain the complainants information, fine. It doesn't say whether they used her account to troll the net. Did they? Seems like they could have, but the evidence is inconclusive

If the WiFi signal was floating around, unencrypted, the complainant is a compete fool. And if this was the case, did the CHRC use that open access? If they did, and the account was unencrypted, then they hardly "hacked" it. Heck, if that's hacking then call the cops, I do it nearly everyday when I connect to open Wifi ports with my iPhone.

Personally I believe that the CHRC did use her access for their nefarious purposes. 'Smoke', 'fire', etc, etc.

Posted by: Dave | 2009-01-30 2:54:37 PM


Dave,

That's exactly why I've put "hacking" in quotation marks. But certain people (both Steyn and Levant, as I recall) did refer to it as hacking; definitely hyperbole.

Frankly, I'd have been kind of impressed (and appalled) if the CHRC had hacked into an encrypted wireless network.

The evidence is, at the very least, inconclusive. Anyone who has ever used Bell's broadband Internet service knows they assign IPs dynamically, and that you don't normally have the same IP for any length of time.

All we know is that the IP "jadewarr" used to post on one date was assigned to the woman who filed the complaint at another date. It's true that "jadewarr" did log into Stormfront on that later date, but he didn't post, and the software Stormfront runs on apparently doesn't record IPs for logins, only for posts.

So we simply don't know what IP "jadewarr" was using on the later date.

Marc Lemire screwed up. He sent Bell a subpoena to track down the name of the person who had the IP at the later time (when "jadewarr" logged in but didn't post.) That's how the woman's name entered the picture.

It's true "jadewarr" did use the IP to post at an earlier date (in September.) But given the way Bell assigns IPs, it's hard to believe the IP would have been assigned to the same woman on both dates (and, anyway, as far as I know, we don't have any evidence it WAS assigned to her on that earlier date.)

Buckets explains this much more succinctly on his website. I highly recommend his analysis, which is about as objective and as non-political as you can get.

Best,

Terrence

Posted by: Terrence Watson | 2009-01-30 4:54:03 PM



The comments to this entry are closed.