Monday, April 6, 2015

District Officials Bugged Their Mayor’s Computer

Canada - He was ridiculed and dismissed as paranoid for claiming that district employees have installed a surveillance software in his office computer to spy on his online activities. In the end, Richard Atwell, mayor of the District of Saanich in British Columbia, is vindicated and gets to say “I told you so.”
Last week Elizabeth Denham’s, the Information and Privacy Commissioner of B.C., released a report castigating the district for installing monitoring software on employees’ computers with little regard for the people’s privacy rights covered by privacy laws that have been in place for 20 years.

Denham said her staff “observed that the software had been configured to record the activities of District employees, including recording and retaining screenshots of computer activity at 30 second intervals and every keystroke taken on a workstation’s keyboard, and retaining copies of every email sent or received.”

The report 35-page report revealed that the bugging of Atwell’s machine stemmed from concerns of district directors that because of Atwell’s IT background, the new mayor would be able to uncover outstanding security issues in the district’s IT infrastructure. These were issues IT security shortcomings revealed by an IT audit back in May 2014. more