OTTAWA, Ontario – Breitbart News confirmed on Monday that the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), Canada’s federally-funded left-wing news media giant, is contacting Canadians whose personal details were leaked following a reported hack of GiveSendGo donor information related to a fundraiser for the Freedom Convoy.
An Ottawa-based Canadian who requested anonymity sent Breitbart News the following email, which had been sent to her from CBC Ottawa’s David Fraser and Guy Quenneville titled, “CBC Ottawa interview request: donating to Freedom Convoy protest in Ottawa.”
The email read:
This is David Fraser and Guy Quenneville from CBC Ottawa.
We’re working on a story about the people who allegedly contributed funds, through GiveSendGo, to the ongoing Freedom Convoy protest in Ottawa, according to the public release of hacked data from the site.
We’re reaching out to you because your name and information appeared on the list, and we’re interested in interviewing you both about why you may have donated to the cause, but also how you feel about having had your personal information leaked.
We should stress: we are not automatically identifying anyone by name in our story. We need to verify with people that they indeed contributed, as a first step.
The second step is seeing if people will share their story with us.
If you’re interested, please write us back as soon as possible.
The donor requested anonymity due to fear of reprisal. “I’d be worried of backlash,” she wrote in a statement.
The CBC interview request amounted to “an invasion of privacy,” she stated, expressing support for the Freedom Convoy demonstration. The truckers and their supporters have been “nothing but peaceful.”
The CBC is “participating in a smear campaign against the truckers, their supporters, and the demonstration as a whole,” she added.
Rebel News founder Ezra Levant also reported on CBC’s use of the leaked identities to contact those who had donated to the Freedom Convoy via GiveSendGo.
“Trudeau’s CBC state broadcaster is combing through the illegally hacked database of GiveSendGo donors, and emailing donors asking them to explain themselves,” Levant posted on Twitter.
He added, “Trudeau’s state broadcaster is doxxing Trudeau’s political opponents. They’re teeing them up for financial punishments. This is not journalism, anymore than Der Sturmer or Pravda was journalism.”
Trudeau’s state broadcaster is doxxing Trudeau’s political opponents. They’re teeing them up for financial punishments. This is not journalism, anymore than Der Sturmer or Pravda was journalism.
— Ezra Levant 🍁🚛 (@ezralevant) February 15, 2022
Second, don’t discuss the matter with anybody other than a lawyer. I’ve heard stories of the @CBCNews contacting people to confirm details. Do not discuss your donation with anybody and especially not the media.
— David Anber, Criminal Lawyer (@DavidAnber) February 15, 2022
A digital fundraiser for the Freedom Convoy initially ran on GoFundMe, which subsequently froze the funds and stated its intention to redistribute them to “charities” of its choosing. Following a political and legal backlash, GoFundMe announced it would return the donations to donors.
A second fundraiser for the Freedom Convoy was launched on GiveSendGo, a Christian-owned crowdfunding site. The site administrators confirmed on Tuesday that GiveSendGo was the target of a hack and that the information Canadian media claimed to have obtained did not come from an internal leak.
“Sunday evening, February 13th, GiveSendGo was attacked by malicious actors attempting to eliminate the ability of its users to raise funds,” the company said. “There was a broadcasted breach showing one such actor illegally hacking into GiveSendGo and distributing the names and emails of the donors of the Freedom Convoy Campaign.”
GiveSendGo’s management also clarified that, while the hackers appeared to obtain the identities of anonymous donors, they had failed to obtain critical banking information like credit card numbers.
Canadian media outlets have named several of the biggest donors identified by the hack, some of whom confirmed their contributions to the peaceful protest movement.
The Freedom Convoy is a series of nationwide protests in Canada calling for an end to civil rights violations carried out in the name of stopping the spread of Chinese coronavirus. The protests have been overwhelmingly peaceful and law-abiding, though truckers blocking key international crossings with America have caused some economic concern. In Ottawa, where the largest Freedom Convoy protest is soon to turn three weeks old, the protests have largely been defined by a celebratory atmosphere attracting families.