Senator re-emerges on Twitter, calling hack a 'serious crime'
Rachel Gilmore, Power Play producer
Published Thursday, January 10, 2019 12:11PM EST
Last Updated Thursday, January 10, 2019 12:14PM EST
A Senator who was hacked a few days ago on Twitter re-emerged on the platform Thursday, calling the hacking a “serious crime” designed to “intimidate” and “suppress” political voices.
“Intimidation by hacking is a danger to our democracy & to us all,” Senator Linda Frum wrote in a tweet.
Twitter Canada confirmed on Monday that Frum’s account was hacked in an incident that saw her Twitter handle fire off racial slurs and personal information, including her driver’s licence and phone number. The hackers did not provide an explicit motivation for the hack, although they did tweet out that they “don’t appreciate corrupt politicians” alongside an emoji of the Palestinian flag.
Canada’s Democratic Institutions Minister Karina Gould condemned the hack in a statement provided to CTV News on Monday.
“Our Government condemns these actions taken by bad actors against any Parliamentarian. We are concerned by incidents of accounts being hacked as a way to embarrass or create confusion,” the statement said.
“We are committed to an ongoing, constructive dialogue with social media companies to protect the integrity of our democratic values and elections.”
Frum is the second Senator to be hacked in recent months. In late October, Conservative Senator Don Plett had his Twitter account hacked. The perpetrators changed his main Twitter photo to that of a muscular, tattooed young man and weighed in on the feud between rap artists Nicki Minaj and Cardi B.
In response to rising cybersecurity threats, Canada’s Communications Security Establishment launched a new cybersecurity centre. The Canadian Centre for Cyber Security is tasked with taking “a first step to respond to cyber threats in a more coordinated and effective manner,” according to Scott Jones, the head of the new centre.
The government also introduced Bill C-76 with the aim of modernizing election laws to tackle similar concerns. The legislation created a new offence of computer interference aimed at curbing hackers from other countries interfering with the Canadian electoral process. The new law makes it an offence to hack a computer with the intention of obstructing, interrupting or interfering in a way that could impact the results of an election.
However, experts have warned that the new offence won’t affect hackers who are simply seeking to sow confusion as the law requires proof that the offender intended to affect the result of the election.
Twitter I'm back! Big thank you to all who expressed support last few days. Hacking is serious crime designed to intimidate/suppress political voices. Especially grateful to political foes who denounced this tactic. Intimidation by hacking is a danger to our democracy & to us all— Senator Linda Frum (@LindaFrum) January 10, 2019