Liberal employee Adam Carroll was behind the Twitter account @Vikileaks30 and has resigned, according to interim Liberal Leader Bob Rae.
Rae rose in the House on Monday and said he was advised on Sunday that an employee of the Liberal Research Bureau was responsible for the account which published personal information about Public Safety Minister Vic Toews, including data from affidavits related to his divorce. Rae said the staffer has resigned.
"I want to apologize unreservedly to the minister," Rae said.
Toews said he accepted Rae's apology, but that Liberal MPs actively encouraged use of the account.
Rae said the employee involved told him that he took the initiative to start the account on his own and regrets the embarrassment he has caused.
"I shall be making clear that political controversy is one thing, personal attacks are another," said Rae in press release provided by the Liberals.
After Question Period, Rae said the staffer's name is Adam Carroll. Caroll's personal Twitter account appears to have been deleted, but the Hill Times lists him as an ex-staffer of former Liberal MP Bonnie Crombie who lost his job after her defeat in the most recent federal election.
Sun News National Bureau Chief David Akin tweeted that Carroll "also worked for former #LPC Joe Volpe 'forever' ". Volpe was a Liberal MP from 1988 until his defeat in the 2011 vote.
In mid-February, the Twitter account @Vikileaks30 began posting information from affidavits related to Toews divorce. The posts said the information was being released because of Toews attempts to gain access to the personal information of Canadians via the Conservatives new online surveillance Bill C-30.
The account's first post was "Vic wants to know about you. Let's get to know Vic."
An investigation carried out by The Ottawa Citizen subsequently tied the IP address connected with the account to a computer inside the House of Commons. The story suggested that the same computer had been used to update Wikipedia articles to give them a pro-NDP bias, leading to a slew of accusations in the House that the NDP were behind the posts.
Those accusations have now proved to be false.
Soon after the Citizen's story the @Vikileaks30 account was shut down.
Rae's revelation came shortly after Toews rose to complain that the apparent use of a Commons computer to create the Twitter account was "a contempt of the House.''
"I take no issue with an open attack on the floor of this House in which the source of the attack may be seen by all. I take strong issue with the idea that House resources would be used to attack secretly a member of the House."
Toews also complained about a series of Internet videos posted by the group Anonymous about the online surveillance bill.
The minister said the threatening videos also constituted a contempt because they were aimed at intimidating him.
Toews also took issue with his office being inundated with calls, emails and faxes about the bill, saying they were preventing his staff from serving constituents.
NDP MP Charlie Angus suggested he was sympathetic to YouBube attacks against Toews but said he believes Canadians have the right to complain to their elected officials as loud and as frequently as they want.
"If he doesn’t like the feedback of the Canadian people, then he shouldn’t have put out such a bad bill. So I think Mr. Toews needs to step back a little bit and say ‘Okay, it is unacceptable that we have anonymous attacks in the Twitterverse, and I don’t know how you change that, but it is also quite a stretch to say Canadians are calling my office and giving me a hard time have no business calling me’," Angus told reporters.
In the House of Commons, the NDP also demanded an apology from Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird for pointing fingers at the New Democrats over the Vikileaks account.
Baird said he was sorry he had been mistaken and apologized for not attacking the Liberals instead.
Toews has been pilloried on the Web over the past three weeks over his sponsorship of the Internet surveillance bill.
The legislation has alarmed civil libertarians because it would allow authorities access to Internet subscriber information -- including name, address, telephone number and email address -- without a warrant.
With files from The Canadian Press