Alberta NDP politician steps aside while RCMP investigate computer privacy breach
By Canadian Press
By Canadian Press
Dec. 21, 2021, Edmonton, Alta. – A member of the Alberta Opposition has left the NDP caucus after reporting he is involved in a criminal investigation.
Thomas Dang, the member of the legislature for Edmonton-South, said he was notified Tuesday by a family member that the RCMP had executed a search warrant on his home.
He said he believes the search warrant is connected to his efforts to check vulnerabilities with COVID-19 vaccination records on an Alberta government website.
“In September, a concern was raised to me as a member of the legislative assembly about the security of the vaccination system,” he said late Tuesday on Twitter. “I tested these concerns and found that a security flaw did exist.”
Dang said he immediately notified Alberta Health with the information so the vulnerability could be corrected. He said the problem was resolved shortly after.
“I have offered my resignation from the NDP Opposition caucus to our leader while the investigation is ongoing and she has accepted it.”
Earlier Tuesday, NDP Leader Rachel Notley said Dang had stepped down as per caucus policy.
“Our caucus has a long-standing policy that members under active police investigation will not sit in the caucus, and Thomas understands this,” she said.
Notley said she believed the investigation is related to anecdotal reports that surfaced in September about Albertans being able to get access to the private health information of others through glitches on the province’s COVID-19 website.
She said Dang visited the government’s website at the time and called Alberta Health about his concerns.
RCMP said in a release that its cybercrime team executed a warrant at an Edmonton home on Tuesday but did not name Dang, noting that no arrests or charges have been laid.
The release said a criminal investigation started in November after it received information about suspicious activity related to the access of private information of vaccination records.
It described the investigation as a priority and involved a significant volume of digital evidence that will take time to complete.
Notley said she wasn’t sure of the specifics of the investigation.