- The Washington Times - Friday, April 12, 2002

TORONTO The Canadian government has committed a major gaffe by posting sensitive details about the upcoming G-8 summit on the Internet, security experts say.
Dozens of diagrams, documents and blueprints were included in an online request for bids by private contractors.
"There's no way that information should be on the Internet, no way in the world," Alan Bell, a Toronto-based security consultant and former member of Britain's elite Special Air Service, who has protected delegates at similar meetings, told The Washington Times.
About 1,700 contracts to serve the upcoming summit of the world's top eight industrial democracies are up for bid.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police, world-renowned for its scarlet tunics and broad-brimmed Stetson-style hats, is coordinating security at the June summit and vetted the information before it was posted seven weeks ago.
It believes the posting doesn't compromise its $100 million plan to protect President Bush and seven other world leaders.
"It's not the kind of information we're concerned about at all," RCMP spokesman Cpl. James Johnston said.
That may be, but the documents quickly disappeared from the government Web site after news of the controversy broke yesterday.
The leaders will meet in Kananaskis, Alberta, a rural location amidst the Canadian Rockies and protected woodlands about 60 miles east of Calgary.
All it took to get to the information, buried among 1,700 contracts up for bid, was a name, e-mail address and credit card far too easy, experts say, to download what should be classified.
"It provides an opportunity for some of the high-end security threats," said John Thompson, director of the Mackenzie Institute, a Toronto-based think tank that specializes in political instability and organized violence.
The summit's remote location in a valley that will be heavily guarded is already a strong deterrent for would-be troublemakers, Mr. Thompson noted.
Reporters, protesters and a large part of each leader's own entourage will be kept well away from the meeting area.
Posting the information could have been far more damaging had the location been in an urban center surrounded by tall buildings, he said, but is still "a major faux pas and certainly unprofessional."
Opposition critics took the Liberal Party government to task yesterday, using stronger language to describe the gaffe.
"The preparation for the G-8 meeting has been bungled from the beginning," opposition lawmaker Myron Thompson told the House of Commons in Ottawa.

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