Posts Tagged ‘Charter of Rights and Freedoms’

Internet users’ privacy and anonymity protected by Supreme Court: R v Spencer

June 13th, 2014

Earlier today, the Supreme Court released a landmark decision dealing with privacy on the Internet. The main issue in R v Spencer 2014 SCC 43 was whether a user of the Internet has a reasonable expectation of privacy in his or her basic subscriber information held by the user’s ISP that prevents the police from obtaining this information from the ISP without a warrant or court order. Prior to the decision some courts had ruled that ISPs could turn over subscriber contact details associated with the person’s IP address to police without  a warrant or court order. The Court rejected this line of cases ruling that a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy associated with Internet activities and that the “lawful authority” exemption in PIPEDA does not create a basis to turn such information to the police.

CASL and Freedom of Expression –The Writing Is on the Wall

May 2nd, 2014

On May 1, I participated in a vigorous discussion on the constitutionality of CASL at the 17th Biennial National Conference on Communications Law and Policy hosted by the Law Society of Upper Canada and the Canadian Bar Association in Ottawa. My talk was on whether CASL could survive a Charter challenge based on freedom of expression grounds. I focused on the recent United Food decision at the Supreme Court of Canada, which struck down the Alberta Personal Information Protection Act for disproportionately impinging on expression rights in order to achieve privacy objectives, and pointed out that CASL might also fall to a similar challenge. Further, I commented on the possibility that even if CASL were found to be Charter-compliant, its implementation by the CRTC and other regulators still might not pass Charter muster, a point raised by the recent Doré decision at the Supreme Court. My slides are shown below.