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The Globe and Mail

Anonymous wants transparency, but hides behind name

On Saturday Feb. 18, the Internet hacker group Anonymous posted a YouTube video calling on Vic Toews to resign and threatening to release personal information about the Canadian Public Safety Minister.

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Its reach is global: This month alone, the Anonymous movement has claimed to have hacked into the websites of a U.S. security company and the Polish government and has broadcast a private conference call between the FBI and Scotland Yard.

Now, the group has turned its sights on Canada's Public Safety Minister Vic Toews. Anonymous took to YouTube, calling on Mr. Toews to scrap the federal government's Internet surveillance bill. The group also demanded he resign.

"You claim this bill is to protect children from Internet predators," the Anonymous video states. "All this legislation does is give your corrupted government more power to control its citizens."

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The speaker in the video purports to "know all about" Mr. Toews and said Anonymous would release personal information about him if the bill isn't scrapped. The original video has been removed from YouTube.

The Anonymous group, which has been around for several years, gained prominence last year with cyber-attacks on PayPal and Visa, which had stopped allowing payments to WikiLeaks. Anonymous has played a role in the Occupy Wall Street movement and has increasingly focused on hacking into the websites of security companies, law enforcement and government organizations.

The group claims to have no leaders, saying it forms decisions collectively. It contends its primary goal is to promote access to information, free speech and transparency.

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