Viki & TellVic: Social Media Backlash

I couldn't think of a better follow-up to my previous post on using social media as a means of protest. This week, our majority Conservative government was to push through a series of electronic surveillance laws (Canada's version of SOPA), forcing Internet service providers (ISPs) and other telecommunications companies to disclose information about its customers and their families' online activities without a warrant .

Critics say this e-snooping bill is a violation of our right to privacy and makes our personal and financial information less secure and more vulnerable to cyber crime. In addition, ISPs would have to install elaborate spyware, the cost of which would be passed on to the consumer. But the government sees it otherwise; this is a means for fighting child pornography and other serious crime. This week, Public Safety Minister Vic Toews defended "lawful access" by stating that people "either stand with us or with the child pornographers." Needless to say, this sparked outrage.

The first form of protest was an anonymous Twitter account, Vikileaks30, which began publishing lurid tidbits about Toews' divorce after 30 years of marriage, which also reportedly involved the emergence of an illegitimate child with a nanny/babysitter. Vikileaks30 also disclosed the more than $14,000 Toews spent on the taxpayer dime at Ottawa-area restaurants last year, as well as his 64 trips home to his riding. Well, I wonder how those public disclosures must feel? As you can see, the account now has in excess of 9,000 followers in just a few days. Recently, the Ottawa Citizen traced the IP address to where else?...Parliament Hill.

This was quickly followed by the hashtag #tellviceverything on Twitter. For the second day in a row, Twitter users are telling Minister Toews their every 140-character thought and ah...movement and posting it on Twitter. Here are a few:

As you can see, this type of protest quickly hits a message home: our private lives should be left, well, private. In addition to voicing passive-aggressive displeasure, this form of protest can be a highly entertaining way to spend a few hours in the morning. If you have a Twitter account, you will also see appeals from other tweeps to telephone, fax or email Toews with any thought, epiphany or brain wave you might have.

At any rate, with journalists, organizations and the average joe taking to Twitter and Facebook, this broad-based protest may be the best way to keep Canadians from getting beat up and thrown in jail, as they were at the G20. Just sayin`!

Other related posts:
The Montreal News Group
Occupy the Holidays
Peaceful Tactic: Keep Wall Street Occupied (Busy)
Occupons Montréal



Anonymous | February 17, 2012 at 11:05 AM

Hail the motherland! Soon enough this stupid government is going to try and make us the next soviet union. Look at how great they turned out (insert irony here).

Heather | February 17, 2012 at 1:35 PM

I think the biggest spies were probably the East German secret police, the Stasi. But I'm a bit confused by the reference to Russia. Yes, they spied, but this government is the farthest to the right we have ever seen, at least in my parents' and my lifetime.

Either way, no one likes to be spied on. Thanks for your comment. H

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