A mysterious operative known only as Pierre Poutine could have obtained the ammunition he needed to launch his election-day attack on the electorate simply by walking into the campaign office of Guelph Conservative candidate Marty Burke.
...sources close to the Burke campaign have told the Mercury hard-copy versions of the CIMS data suspected to have been used in this case were routinely printed off and used for legitimate campaign purposes, such as canvassing or arranging rides to polls.
Someone who passed through the Burke campaign office on York Road could have picked up a copy of these printed lists, sources say.
On Twitter, Kady O'Malley already pointed out one problem with this theory: the information would have to be supplied to RackNine, the service that hosted the calls, in digital form.
So our mysterious infothief, having wandered through the office at just the right time to get hold of the data, would have had to sit down at a computer with his stolen documents and rekey everything to get it ready for submission. Or scan it all, put it through the optical character recognition process and then separate the Conservative supporters, who didn't get calls, from those who had indicated an intention to support a different party, who did get calls. It all seems unlikely.
But put that objection aside for a moment and consider what "sources close to the Burke campaign" have just suggested about the way the campaign managed information.
We've been given to believe that CIMS is a highly secure system with access controlled by password. Are we now to understand that all that security was actually a waste because users in the riding offices were casually printing off supposedly secure data and leaving it laying around where any casual visitor could scoop it up and walk out the door with it?
The defence on offer now appears to be: we're not guilty, just completely irresponsible.
And gee, are there any privacy concerns here?