Monday, May 26, 2008

WASHINGTON TIMES: Mounties probe e-mail hijacking


Article published May 26, 2008
Mounties probe e-mail hijacking


Mounties probe e-mail hijacking

May 26, 2008

By Pete Vere - SAULT STE. MARIE, Ontario - One of Canada's oldest institutions and one of Canada's newest innovations are locking horns.

The Canadian Mounties have been asked to investigate a criminal complaint against the Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC), popular Canadian blogger Ezra Levant reports.

The complaint comes in response to accusations that investigators with the commission had hijacked the Internet account of an unsuspecting third party in order to post Internet messages to neo-Nazi Web sites.

CHRC investigator Dean Stacey admitted under oath during a Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (CHRT) hearing that he had joined the Web sites and posted under the password-protected name "Jadewarr."

While the tribunal upheld the commission's initial refusal to discuss its investigation tactics, a higher court forced the disclosure upon appeal.

An employee with Bell CanadaCanada's largest telecommunications company — was subsequently subpoenaed. The employee then connected the "Jadewarr" pseudonym to the personal Internet account of Nelly Hechme — a 26-year-old woman living near the commission's main office in Ottawa.

Miss Hechme was horrified to learn her Internet access had reportedly been used without her knowledge or consent, she told Canadian news media.

She was particularly shocked by the linking of her account to Web sites promoting hate, as well as the revelation that the reported perpetrators worked for a government agency. Miss Hechme's Internet access had been encrypted and could not have been easily hacked, she said.

The incident has sparked an investigation from Canada's privacy commissioner.

In response to Mr. Stacey's testimony, a criminal complaint was filed with the Ottawa Police Service. The municipal police force turned the investigation over to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the federal law enforcement agency popularly known as the Mounties.

Ironically, the investigation comes at a time when the Mounties are appealing a Tribunal decision against them.

The Tribunal recently ordered the Mounties to pay $500,000 to Ali Tahmourpour, a police cadet who accused the Mounties of discrimination after being expelled from their training program. The Tribunal also ordered the Mounties to give Mr. Tahmourpour another chance to join.