While controversy surrounding federal election robocalls has just been stirred up over the past two weeks — largely due to the tenacity of a couple of Ottawa Citizen reporters — Brian-Michel LaRue has actually been wondering out loud about them since after the election last May.
The name of LaRue's blog, Unfuckwithable, may limit the number of broadcast media references to his efforts, although notice has been growing. Right now, the 29-year-old native of Montreal — a current contributor to Le Monde who previously worked for the CBC — also happens to be living in Miami. But he was asked to take a quick trip to Ottawa this week to give evidence to Elections Canada.
Links to the Tumblr-hosted website have appeared with increasing frequency on Twitter, where @unfuckwithabIe (the second last letter is capital-'I' not 'l') has a relatively modest follower count, although increased attention is being paid to references to tips about "Julian Fantino's Spiro Agnew moment" — based on an apparent affidavit although summed up for now as a one-act play.
"I don't have the resources to report this like it needs to be reported," conceded LaRue earlier this week, "especially with the backing of good editors to make key decisions on whether or not certain information needs to be released publicly, or to certain federal agencies."
So, essentially, here is an independent blogger with professional credentials inviting the mainstream media to do a better job than he can — because he does not want the story to die because of leaving too many holes behind.
What the robocalls affair has brought to the attention of more Canadians, at least, is just how sophisticated the Conservative party's Constituency Information Management System database was. Claims about its security might be more exaggerated than many observers think.
"If I, one person, can get all of the information I've retrieved in just a few months," writes LaRue, "several people with an array of technical skills could crack this case wide open.
"The party still uses Hotmail accounts — 'the official email service of foreigners and poor people.' It's only a matter of time."