Election 'robocalls' probe targets PayPal

Mar 06, 2012
Canada's elections watchdog focused Tuesday on online payments company PayPal's records as part of a probe of "robocalls" that misdirected voters to fake polling stations during last year's election.

Canada's elections watchdog focused Tuesday on online payments company PayPal's records as part of a probe of "robocalls" that misdirected voters to fake polling stations during last year's election.

"PayPal has been served a production order in regards to the Elections Canada investigation," the company said in a statement. Production orders are court orders to turn over documents.

said it is cooperating with Elections Canada's efforts to identify who was behind the automated telephone calls to voters in the town of Guelph, Ontario in 2011 that likely led some to give up on voting.

However the company declined comment further, citing a "strict privacy policy to protect the of our users."

Canada's opposition parties, whose supporters were apparently targeted by the rogue calls, pointed fingers at the ruling Conservatives, but the Conservatives denied any involvement while hitting back at what they claimed was a "smear campaign."

Elections Canada, after being inundated with complaints, is investigating the calls, aided by the federal police.

The has traced the calls to a single telephone number that showed up on call displays and a disposable "burner" cell phone registered to an unknown "Pierre Poutine" at a fictitious address in Joliette, northeast of Montreal. Poutine is a Quebec dish of French fries smothered in cheese curds and gravy.

According to , the cell phone was used to set up an account at an Edmonton, Alberta, call center to make the phony calls two days before the May 2 election.

Explore further: Voice, image give clues in hunt for Foley's killer

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Political calls jam Comcast system in New England

Nov 02, 2010

(AP) -- Telecommunications company Comcast says massive numbers of automatically dialed political telephone calls that caused service outages in New England have dropped off sharply.

Recommended for you

Voice, image give clues in hunt for Foley's killer

Aug 21, 2014

Police and intelligence services are using image analysis and voice-recognition software, studying social media postings and seeking human tips as they scramble to identify the militant recorded on a video ...

Smartphone-loss anxiety disorder

Aug 21, 2014

The smart phone has changed our behavior, sometimes for the better as we are now able to connect and engage with many more people than ever before, sometimes for the worse in that we may have become over-reliant on the connectivity ...

Why conspiracy theorists won't give up on MH17 and MH370

Aug 20, 2014

A huge criminal investigation is underway in the Netherlands, following the downing of flight MH17. Ten Dutch prosecutors and 200 policemen are involved in collecting evidence to present at the International Criminal Court in the Hague. The inv ...

Here's how you find out who shot down MH17

Aug 20, 2014

More than a month has passed since Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crashed with the loss of all 298 lives on board. But despite the disturbances at the crash site near the small town of Grabovo, near Donetsk ...

Assange talks of leaving embassy, sowing confusion

Aug 18, 2014

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange sowed confusion Monday with an announcement that appeared to indicate he was leaving his embassy bolt hole, but his spokesman later clarified that that would not happen unless ...

User comments : 0