#CyberFLASH: Mayor of Saanich, B.C. suspected staff was spying on him — and he was right

AtwellVICTORIA — Less than two weeks after being sworn in as mayor, Saanich Mayor Richard Atwell learned he was being spied upon.

A whistleblower sidled up to the rookie mayor at a community event, last December, and suggested the mayor’s own staff had bugged his municipal computer.

Distrustful of Saanich’s top bureaucrats — many of whom were loyal to the six-term incumbent that Atwell had just upset at the polls — the mayor of Vancouver Island’s largest municipality felt he had only one option left: Launch his own investigation.

Armed only with the recording app on his iPhone, Atwell began interviewing former and current staff in Saanich’s computer department. He approached one employee outside a local recreation centre, hoping to catch him away from his managers so he could speak freely. When the mayor tracked down the technician who’d installed the tracking software, he went to the man’s home on the employee’s day off to record their conversation.

“It just seemed so incredible,” Atwell said. “These employees were very uncomfortable having done this job. They felt so uncomfortable they were asking questions internally and trying to get the information out somehow.”

Atwell’s suspicions were vindicated Monday in a report by privacy commissioner Elizabeth Denham, who said Saanich staff broke the law by installing spyware software called Spector 360 onto several municipal computers.

Read more here

About canux
© 2013 CyberTRAX Canada - All Rights Reserved.
Sponsored by C3SA Corp.