Vikileaks creator says Rae asked him to step down
Published Tuesday, April 24, 2012 10:12PM EDT
The creator of the Vikileaks Twitter account told an ethics committee Tuesday his resignation wasn't voluntary and it was Liberal interim leader Bob Rae who asked him to step down.
Former Liberal research staffer Adam Carroll is testifying Tuesday before the House of Commons ethics committee in Ottawa about his role in creating the Vikileaks account.
The Twitter account revealed details about Public Safety Minister Vic Toews' messy divorce and was eventually traced back to Carroll's computer.
When asked whether his resignation was voluntary, Carroll quietly said "no."
When asked who requested his resignation, Carroll paused for a moment then responded that it was interim Liberal leader Bob Rae who made the request.
He declined to answer questions about whether he was receiving severance pay from his former employers, saying the question was "completely inappropriate."
Earlier, in his opening statement, Carroll took full responsibility for the controversial Twitter account.
"I and I alone am the author of that Vikileaks posting site. I was never ordered nor asked to do it, I never discussed my actions with any member of Parliament including the interim leader of the Liberal party, I acted on my own," Carroll told the committee.
He added: "All information that was posted was already on the public record, obtained from accessible sources."
Carroll told the committee he started the Twitter account because he profoundly disagreed with Bill C-30, which sought to give police new powers to search Internet records without a warrant.
"Vic wants to know about you. Let's get to know about Vic," the first tweet stated.
Carroll also said he was not obligated to appear before the committee, and was only there because of his respect for Parliament and his wish to put the matter to rest.
When asked by Conservative MP Dean Del Mastro where he obtained the information on Toews' divorce, Carroll said it was in a filing cabinet in the Liberal research archive in Ottawa that was open to all members of the office.
"Every party has what's called positional research, and they're files...we're talking about quotes, biographical data, if there is something extra that might be in the file too," he said.
Carroll also defended his actions by saying he did nothing illegal by tweeting the divorce details, and even referred to a statement by Toews in which he said that an MP's "personal life is fair game."
He was referring to a quote Toews made before Parliament's Procedure and House Affairs Committee in March when he stated that no part of his life were "off limits" and said "my life is literally an open book."
Carroll chuckled, along with other committee members, when he revealed during his testimony that the password for the Vikileaks Twitter account was "StrongStableNationalConservativeMajorityGovernment" -- a Conservative tagline during the last federal election.
The former Liberal staffer was originally supposed to appear before the House ethics committee in March, but cancelled two scheduled appearances due to health reasons.
Carroll quit his job at the Liberal Party's research bureau on Feb. 27 after parliamentary IT staff traced the Vikileaks account to his computer's IP address.
Interim Liberal Leader Bob Rae issued an apology in the House of Commons in February, acknowledging that one of his party's staffers was responsible for the tweets.
Another account was started separately, with no known connection to Carroll, which encouraged Twitter users to send Toews mundane details about their everyday lives, also as a protest against the controversial legislation.
Follow Andy Johnson on Twitter @ajinto