OTTAWA – A new data leak shows that about 60 per cent of donors to an “Adopt-a-Trucker” page on the online fundraising platform GiveSendGo were Canadian and 37 per cent were American.
About US$540,000 was raised on the page to support anti-vaccine mandate protesters in Ottawa and throughout Canada, according to data on donations made up to Feb. 10.
The new tranche of data was obtained by transparency group Distributed Denial of Secrets, which has previously provided the media with leaked information from right-wing organizations.
The analysis shows that more than 7,400 donors contributed an average of about US$72.29 for a total of US$540,166.58.
It was released on Tuesday following an earlier leak from the “Freedom Convoy 2022” page on Christian crowdfunding website GiveSendGo, which raised US$8.4 million.
That earlier leak showed that 56 per cent of donors to that page came from the United States and 39 per cent from Canada.
GiveSendGo said in tweet late Tuesday that it was attacked by “malicious actors” and was aggressively pursuing action for what it called a cybercrime.
The company said the attack came on Sunday evening but it would not be deterred. It said it shut down the site at the time of the intrusion to prevent “further illegal actions against our site” and had conducted further security audits before being able to bring it back online.
“We are in a battle. We didn’t expect it to be easy. This has not caused us to be afraid. Instead, it’s made it even more evident that we cannot back down,” said the statement, which expressed thanks for the “continued support, prayers and the countless emails letting us know you are standing with us.”
GiveSendGo did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Canadian Press.
Many of the donors in the latest leak expressed boisterous solidarity with the protesters in a comment section next to their donations.
“Sending trillions of angels to guide and protect all of the brilliant and brave truckers and supporters of freedom! This is such an amazing movement. Keep the joy and love in your hearts! It’s working! The world is waking up and the tide is shifting! Bravo Canada!!!” wrote one U.S.-based donor.
A Canadian contributor cheered the protesters on, but also encouraged them to “back off protests” in provinces where premiers have announced a clear end to vaccine mandates. “Let the other provinces see that the protesters are listening. If the premiers don’t follow (through) on (their) word, then protest again.”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Monday that the government was invoking the Emergencies Act in attempt to end the protests against vaccine mandates and other COVID-19 restrictions that continue to snarl Ottawa.
The measures include giving power to banks to suspend or freeze the accounts of those supporting the blockades and force crowdfunding platforms and cryptocurrencies to follow anti-money laundering and terrorist financing laws.
The protesters had originally used the website GoFundMe to raise more than $10 million before the website shut them down for breaching its terms of service and calling the protest an “occupation.”
That prompted the protesters to turn to other websites such as a GiveSendGo, which has been hit by data breaches.
Last week, the Ontario government successfully petitioned a court to freeze access to millions of dollars donated through GiveSendGo to the convoy protesting COVID-19 restrictions in Ottawa and at several border crossings.
The province obtained an order from the province’s Superior Court of Justice that prohibits anyone from distributing donations made through the website’s “Freedom Convoy 2022” and “Adopt-a-Trucker” campaign pages.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 16, 2022.