MLA Vicki Huntington clears the air on Christy Clark claim that B.C. Liberal website was hacked

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      The story about the alleged hacking of the B.C. Liberal website took another strange turn this morning.

      Independent MLA Vicki Huntington (Delta South) issued a statement saying her office "discovered that a webpage on the BC Liberal Party's official Internet site was publishing what appeared to be sensitive personal information".

      "No username, password, or encryption device was required to access that information, which was on a spreadsheet that anyone in the public could view," Huntington said. "The publication of sensitive information on the Internet raised critical questions not only about how political parties capture, store and use personal data, but also about the security of that data. I made the decision to alert a journalist, as these questions are in the public interest and deserve broader scrutiny."

      She added that unfortunately, "the public dialogue about these questions has been diverted by unfounded allegations of 'hacking'."

      "To be absolutely clear, at no time did my office view any piece of information that had been protected by a username, password, encryption or any other security measure," Huntington emphasized. "It is my hope this statement brings some clarity to this matter and helps shift discussion back to the very real issue of the inappropriate mishandling of private information and the political use of personal data."

      Independent MLA Vicki Huntington.

      Earlier in the week, Premier Christy Clark accused the B.C. NDP of trying to hack into the B.C. Liberals' website.

      The allegation was vehemently denied by B.C. NDP Leader John Horgan, who demanded an apology.

      Clark later claimed that the source of the hacking came from a computer at the B.C. legislature. She admitted to CHNL Radio that she jumped to conclusions, but steadfastly refused to apologize for alleging that the B.C. NDP had committed a criminal act.

      In her statement, Huntington said that "it is outrageous that the premier would accuse someone in the legislature of working to subvert the democratic process when her own office has actively engaged in triple deletes; used government employees to develop strategies for 'quick wins' in ethnic communities; allowed privileged access for wealthy donors; and ignored calls for parliamentary reform."

      Update: Vancouver Sun reporter Rob Shaw tweeted at 11:51 a.m. that Clark has apologized in a phone message to Horgan.