McGill freaks out over McGillLeaks

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Unionist
McGill freaks out over McGillLeaks

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Unionist

[url=http://www.montrealgazette.com/McGillLeaks+website+shut+down/6259778/sto...'McGillLeaks' website shut down[/url]

Incredible. The site was there an hour ago - now it's being dismantled piece by piece. The document downloads were the first to go. All that survives at the moment is the "Contact" page as far as I can see:

http://mcgillleaks.wordpress.com/contact/

The stated aim of McGillLeaks is to expose and oppose the university's financial links to military, Big Pharma, and other such sources.

McGill administration is applying the same hysterical tactics as they have in dealing with striking workers and protesting students. They even browbeat the McGill Daily into removing some of the content. They have been quoted in interviews whining and crying that "private phone numbers" and "private addresses" of donors, and the names of their wives (never husbands, ya know) and children were including in the now suppressed documents. HORRORS!!!

Well, if anyone wasn't interested in McGill's funding before, they sure are now.

ETA: Here's a story from the McGill Daily: http://www.mcgilldaily.com/2012/03/mcgillleaks_publishes_confidential_in...

 

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Has McGill always been this reactionary, or is this a recent phenomenon?

Unionist

I think "always" is close to the truth.

 

Caissa

Frank Scott did teach there. Must have been an aberration.

flight from kamakura

there's a very wide gulf between the leadership of the university and the actual instructors.  even good profs who get moved up to dean level seem to get captured by the administration, it's a shame.

Unionist

Yes, I meant what ffk clarified. There have been and are lots of progressive folks at McGill, both faculty, students, and those in between and workers facilitating their education. But the administration is run by very different types, and McGillLeaks will hopefully lay bare where their full allegiances lie.

 

ygtbk

So is McGill governed by PIPEDA or a similar provincial statute?

See:

http://www.priv.gc.ca/information/02_05_d_08_e.cfm

Unionist

Yes - but what aspect are you referring to? Personal information pertaining to donors?

 

ygtbk

Unionist wrote:

Yes - but what aspect are you referring to? Personal information pertaining to donors?

McGill might be concerned about liability for unauthorized disclosure under PIPEDA or analogous provincial statute.

Unionist

I think that only applies to personal information that can serve to identify an employee, customer, etc. There's this provision for example:

Quote:
13. No person may communicate to a third person the personal information contained in a file he holds on another person, or use it for purposes not relevant to the object of the file, unless the person concerned consents thereto or such communication or use is provided for by this Act.

That's from [url=http://www.canlii.org/en/qc/laws/stat/rsq-c-p-39.1/latest/rsq-c-p-39.1.h... Act respecting the Protection of personal information in the private sector, RSQ, c P-39.1[/url].

That's probably why McGill spokespersons were whining about wives and children being named, phones and addresses.

But I don't think PIPEDA or any of the equivalent provincial laws protect contracts, agreements, documents, etc. - just "personal information" as defined in PIPEDA. Like, your home phone number. So if McGill doesn't keep that information secure, it could be in breach of the Act. But I'm quite sure very limited legal liability is no big deal, compared to the risk of just pissing off its big corporate donors for letting this stuff get out - and perhaps being subject to civil action of some kind.

Now, is there (on the other hand) any kind of duty of disclosure, or access to information, when it comes to corporate or other donations for a private institution like McGill? What do they disclose in the normal course of their own free will? I don't know those answers.

What I do know is that McGill administration has reported the leaks to the police and are publicly describing it as a "criminal act". They may also be proceeding in some way against McGill Daily, but I'll check into that further.

 

ygtbk

Unionist wrote:

I think that only applies to personal information that can serve to identify an employee, customer, etc. There's this provision for example:

Quote:
13. No person may communicate to a third person the personal information contained in a file he holds on another person, or use it for purposes not relevant to the object of the file, unless the person concerned consents thereto or such communication or use is provided for by this Act.

That's from [url=http://www.canlii.org/en/qc/laws/stat/rsq-c-p-39.1/latest/rsq-c-p-39.1.h... Act respecting the Protection of personal information in the private sector, RSQ, c P-39.1[/url].

Thanks, Unionist. I see nothing there that rules out "donor" as a relevant category.

It may be that McGill thinks the information was leaked by a McGill employee and they're trying their best to distance themselves from liability for any unauthorized disclosure.

Unionist

ygtbk wrote:

Thanks, Unionist. I see nothing there that rules out "donor" as a relevant category.

No, but the question is, what constitutes "personal information" as defined in the Act.

 

ygtbk

Unionist wrote:

ygtbk wrote:

Thanks, Unionist. I see nothing there that rules out "donor" as a relevant category.

No, but the question is, what constitutes "personal information" as defined in the Act.

Best I could find was this, starting at page 9:

http://www.priv.gc.ca/information/pub/dec_050816_e.pdf

"Personal information is any information which relates to a natural person and allows that person to be identified."

Only information relating to natural persons is covered, not corporations. So it seems likely (although I'm not a lawyer) that revealing corporate donors would be legal, but that revealing individual donors without their consent would not.

Unionist

Yes, that's what I mentioned [url=http://rabble.ca/babble/qu%C3%A9bec/mcgill-freaks-out-over-mcgillleaks#c... begin with[/url]. And McGill is not complaining about the names of individual donors being revealed. They're just going hysterical. You should have heard the radio interviews. They say it's a "criminal" matter.