VaxiCode flaw: Quebec refused to give immunity to the whistleblower
Thomas Gerbet reports (machine translation follows):
Contrary to what the Minister of Digital Transformation, Eric Caire, said, the Quebec government has never offered immunity to the computer scientist who discovered the security flaw in the VaxiCode health passport application. Exchanges of emails obtained by Radio-Canada reveal the underside of this affair and show that the whistleblower had offered his help from day one, but not without protection.
Read more on Radio Canada about how a researcher reached out to alert the government and for his trouble, was referred for criminal investigation (and possible prosecution, it seems). He had given them his real name in an early communication where he offered to help them but asked for immunity from any prosecution.
His experience shows — once again — why researchers and journalists need protections under the law. What happened to him will only discourage others from ever offering to help the government without a shield or immunity in advance.
In response to the outrage being shared on Twitter about the government’s actions, Florian Martin-Bariteau tweeted about the launch of a new web site to inform Canadians about whistleblower protections — and lack thereof:
Today seems a good day to launch https://www.infowhistleblowers.ca/… a new website to inform Canadian whistleblowers about the existing legal protection—and (mostly) their limits.
Years of research made available… hopefully it will be helpful! pic.twitter.com/ji3RjrUjXt
— Florian Martin-Bariteau, aka FMB (@f_mb) August 31, 2021