The Renderlab:Under the eye of Big Brother

The CSIS files...

In the afternoon of Feb 20th I was giving a presentation about wardriving to the local CIPS Computer Security group when, of all the times, my cell rings. I ignore it and go on with the talk. The call display had a number from the Ottawa area, no message was left.

I came home that afternoon and packed for a trip to Vancouver for the weekend. I checked my mail before I left. There was an email from Jim Bronskill of Canwest News (media conglomerant) addressed to both myself and JJKaczor, saying: "I'd like to speak to you concerning some information that has come to my attention. I would be glad to fax these documents to you for your perusal.". Now the Renderlab does'nt have a fax machine and I was getting on a plane in 2 hours. I emailed him back and said faxing was not possible, but I'd like to see them, could it wait till Monday when I returned. At that point I left for the Airport.

I stopped for some food with my travelling companion before we got on the plane, and during dessert my phone rang with JJKaczors number on the display. He informed me that the reporter was doing a story about what the Canadian Feds think of wardriving. Through the Access to Information Act, he got an intelligence brief from CSIS that sounded very familiar. It was a rehash of the Press Release we had sent out about the First Worldwide Wardrive, done up as a warning to Government agencies and other places. It was marked confidential. I proceeded to laugh my ass off.

Deciding that I'd deal with it on Monday, I went off on my trip and tried to enjoy the time off. Jim Bronskill was'nt going along with that. He phoned me at about 10am local time on Saturday the 22nd. What self respecting Hacker is awake at 10am on a Saturday? (This one was. Don't ask). In his defense I don't think he know I was in as wierd a time zone as I was. He was getting pressure from above to press forth with the article and really wanted my comments. So I gave my interview in the back seat of a car confusing the heck out of the driver and other passenger, who had no idea what I was doing or talking about.

I arrived home late on the 23rd. The article hit the newswire that night and all hell broke loose.

I spent most of the 24th dealing with reporters while I was trying to work my dayjob. First was the Edmonton Sun who kindly provided me with a copy (though very illegable) of the CSIS report. Then CBC radio called, then CBC TV, then Wired Magazine emailed.

By the end of the day I had given 2 phone interviews, 1 'fact finding' interview, and a live radio interview on CBC 740.

I hate the media some days. This was one of them. The story broke and everyone wanted to copy each other. It was hilarious at times, but I don't want to have to do it again.


Here is a copy of the CSIS report. It's been faxed 2-3 times so it's pretty crappy.

CSIS Intelligence Brief - August 29th 2002 RE: WWWD1

Here is a copy of my CBC radio 740 interview

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