Like wildfire, a leaked email sent at 4 AM October 4th, 2021, to all managers and supervisors working for the City of Toronto went viral on social media within minutes of it getting posted. Currently, social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp (all owned by the same people) have gone down.
The contents of the email are both suspicious and eye-opening. It starts off by stating that all documentation pertaining to the vaccine and vaccination status of staff employees will be removed from the system by IT. It then directs management to shred all hard copy documents, spreadsheets or files regarding staff status and PCR testing information.
They want management to delete all emails and any other electronic method of sharing information of employee vaccine status and if they are to attend a training course or have already. The email advises management not to collect further proof of vaccination documents or information from staff in hard copy or email. In order to update a vaccination status, the staff is required to use an official City of Toronto Staff Vaccination Status Disclosure Form.
I spoke with a source that works for the City, and they confirmed this email was sent to management. While it’s yet to be confirmed, we were told that names, vaccination status, doctor letters/notes and other confidential information were stored on spreadsheets. We were told some of the vaccination status info of staff was sent in error via email to people that had no use for this information. Complaints were made to management, and the problem escalated. The leaked email is from the Mayor’s office (where City management gets its directives from).
Does this seem shady? Absolutely. Could this be a compliance issue? Definitely.
It is illegal to keep private medical information easily accessible. Part of the information being asked to be expunged is the names of people who have taken the online learning course. If a staff member decides not to get the shot, they are required to do an online training course on vaccines. At the end of the video learning, they are asked if they have changed their mind about receiving the vaccine or not.
It seems they are trying to clean up the mess created by keeping people’s confidential medical information in non-secure places, able to be viewed by anyone.
Why did social media go down shortly after the leaked email started circulating? Is there a connection, or is it a coincidence?During the composition of this article, Instagram and Facebook are still down. Telegram is still up and running but slowing down a bit because of the increase in use. There is speculation that this ‘big tech’ take down might be coming from a source outside of Facebooks scope. More on this later as we come into new information.
EDIT: After 7 hours, Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp resumed service.According to facebook, it wasn’t a hack, but rather a self-inflicted problem.
An update to Facebook’s routers that coordinate network traffic went wrong, sending a wave of disruptions rippling through its systems. As a result, all things Facebook were effectively shut down, worldwide.
Why did the outage last so long?
The problem was made worse — and its solution more elusive — because the outage also whacked Facebook’s own internal systems and tools that it relies on for daily operations. Employees also reportedly faced difficulty in physically reaching the space where the routers are housed.
“From a technical perspective, they’re going to have to review what they do and how they’ve designed things,” cybersecurity expert Barrett Lyon said in an interview with NPR.
The outage cost the company tens of millions of dollars.