Public Safety minister Vic Toews smiles on Parliament Hill in Ottawa March 27, 2012.
Credits: Chris Roussakis/QMI Agency
OTTAWA -- Public Safety Minister Vic Toews says he isn't convinced the hacker group Anonymous is behind threatening YouTube videos against him.
"These are individuals, as far as I understand it, who can choose to belong to Anonymous whether other members of Anonymous want them to be there or not," Toews told the Commons procedural affairs committee on Tuesday.
"So in many respects, these are individuals acting on
Toews faced online physical threats after he introduced Bill C-30, an electronic-surveillance bill many have complained is too intrusive.
The minister refused to reveal details of the threats to committee, referring those questions to the RCMP, which is conducting a criminal investigation.
"I don't want to talk about any threats that have been made," he said. "I can indicate that they are broader than the issue of the threats on YouTube."
He noted that, though the Mounties report to him, he does involve himself with their investigations.
Meantime, Toews is calling on the House of Commons to better protect MPs from online intimidation tactics.
The NDP's Chris Charlton isn't sure there is much the House can do.
"From my perspective, this wasn't a hacking job," said Charlton. "There was no breach of computer security here on the Hill."
Toews countered that expert testimony the committee would hear in the future could come up with options Charlton hadn't thought of.
The online threats came on the heels of a Twitter campaign by Liberal staffer Adam Carroll to expose details of Toews's messy divorce and other personal matters. Carroll resigned his position after he was identified as the holder of the account; he is expected to testify before the committee at a later date.
The Conservatives have not alleged that the online threats and the Twitter campaign are linked.