Vic Toews attacked by anonymous Twitter account

Public Safety Minister Vic Toews is the target of an anonymous Twitter account, one day after he tabled an online surveillance bill that would give police more powers to gather personal information from communications providers.

Account cites online surveillance bill

Public Safety Minister Vic Toews's private life has become the subject of an anonymous Twitter account, one day after he tabled a bill in the House of Commons that critics say could infringe on Canadians' privacy rights. (Fred Chartrand/Canadian Press)

An anonymous Twitter account is targeting Public Safety Minister Vic Toews over an online surveillance bill that would give police more power to gather personal information about people.

The account is tweeting details of Toews’s acrimonious divorce, taking snippets from affidavits filed by Toews and his ex-wife.

C-30, the bill introduced Tuesday, would force internet and telecommunications service providers to provide specific information about customers to police upon request and without a warrant. It's drawn criticism from privacy experts. Toews is the bill's sponsor.

The first tweet from the account said "Vic wants to know about you. Let’s get to know Vic." The tweet was tagged so it would show up in general streams for Canadian politics followers and those discussing the online surveillance bill.

Toews didn't directly address the account, but tweeted Wednesday during question period, "I won't get involved in this kind of gutter politics. Engaging in or responding to this kind of discussion leads nowhere."

The person running the account tweeted a few times Tuesday night and resumed Wednesday morning at a rate of up to 12 times an hour.

The Twitter account caught the attention of at least one MP. Liberal Justin Trudeau twice tweeted the account name to his 110,000 followers, with seemingly sarcastic professions of support for Toews.

Toews has been a strong defender of the bill, drawing criticism himself for how he framed the debate.

On Monday in question period, answering a query about the police powers included in the bill, Toews told Liberal MP Francis Scarpaleggia he "can either stand with us or with the child pornographers."