Canadian govt investigating agency hack of woman's Net connection

Reports are coming in that Canada's privacy commissioner is investigating allegations that government human rights investigators tapped into a woman's Internet connection to post unauthorised messages on a white supremacist Web site.

The network hack is theoretically impossible on the Canadian telephony network, which makes the hack all the more unusual.

Canadian Privacy Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart's office is quoted as saying, however, that government agency operatives do have supervisory access to the Internet and could - theoretically at least - misuse someone's Internet connection in this way.

Newswire reports suggest that the allegations arise out of long-running white supremacist hearings currently before the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal involving Mark Lemire of Toronto.

During the hearings, Dean Steacy, an investigator for the human rights commission, admitted using the pseudonym "Jadewarr" to post messages on white supremacist Web sites.

Bell Canada, meanwhile, has discovered that the message originated from an Internet address belonging to Nelly Hechme, a woman who lives in an Ottawa high-rise flat close to the commission's office.

Some news reports have suggested that Hechme was operating an open WiFi connection, but other reports suggest that the flat is actually a few miles from the commission's offices.

As this is beyond even an extended range WiFi connection, the finger of blame appears to lie at the door of the government agency and its alleged misuse of the Internet.

The $64,000 question, of course, is if the connection wasn't WiFi enabled, how did Steacy really gain access to the high-rise flat owner's Internet connection?...