Image for MP behind defeated online spying bill will leave politics

MP behind defeated online spying bill will leave politics

The MP behind the wildly unpopular (now defunct) warrantless online spying bill C-30 is on his way out of politics. Public Safety Minister Vic Toews will not only be leaving Cabinet, but will be running for the private sector, following one of the strongest online backlashes in Canadian history. If Toews’ name doesn’t quite ring a bell, think back to the famous Twitter campaign, #TellVicEverything. Yes, he’s that “Vic”. Those who participated in #TellVicEverything tweeted surveillance jokes and mundane details of their personal lives, all in the name of spreading the word about Toews’ invasive online spying bill. And it wasn’t just a few people – so many participated that #TellVicEverything was, for a while, trending worldwide on Twitter.

Despite outcry from every single Privacy Commissioner in Canada, from experts, from advocacy groups, and, of course, from thousands of Canadians, Toews pushed the online spying bill forward, and defended his poorly thought-out plan at every turn. He wrote so-called “mythbusting” letters—which we in turn had to mythbust—and repeatedly promoted the proposed legislation even after others in government began to distance themselves from it.

Now, however, it appears Toews has grown so unpopular with Canadians that it no longer makes sense for him to represent us in government.

While Toews the human being might not be so bad, Toews the politician pushed an agenda that would have made the Internet a more closed and paranoid space, and he failed to listen to citizens time and again. We’re glad to see he’s learned a lesson: don’t mess with our digital future.

Of course, there’s still a long way to go before our communications privacy is protected. We’ve clearly won before – now let’s push onward by taking action at

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