At last, we have proof. And - surprise, surprise - we're paying for it, too. Our tax dollars at work. And why you should never care about comments on online news stories.
When Canadians say that Stephen Harper wants to turn Canada into the US, I wonder if they imagine this. It is strictly out of the Cheney playbook: remember Armstrong Williams?.
Harper government monitoring online chats about politics
Correcting what it calls 'misinformation'
The Harper government has been monitoring political messages online, and even correcting what it considers misinformation. One local expert says the government is taking things too far.
Under the pilot program the Harper government paid a media company $75,000 to monitor and respond to online postings about the east coast seal hunt.
UBC Computer Science professor and President of the BC Freedom of Information and Privacy Association, Richard Rosenberg, says it seems unnecessary for the government to be going this far. "The government has a lot of power, that it feels the need to monitor public bulletin boards, or places where people express views and then to respond to that, seems to me going beyond a reasonable action the government should be taking."
Rosenberg says knowing that the government is monitoring certain topics online could result in people being more careful with their identities when they're posting about political issues on the internet.
He says it's the first time he's heard of this happening in Canada.