Post Tagged with: "SCC"

Google by Travis Wise (CC BY 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/rEx9kx

How the Supreme Court Can Avoid Turning the Internet Into an Online Wild West

Last week, the Supreme Court of Canada heard arguments in a case that strikes at the heart of law in the online world. Google v. Equustek Solutions stems from claims by Equustek, a Canadian company, that another company used its trade secrets to create a competing product and engaged in misleading tactics to trick users into purchasing it.

After struggling to get the offending company’s website taken offline, Equustek obtained a British Columbia court order requiring Google to remove the site from its search index. Google voluntarily removed search results for the site from Google.ca search results, but was unwilling to block the sites from its worldwide index. The B.C. court affirmed that the order applied on an international basis, however, issuing what amounted to global takedown order.

The Supreme Court hearing, which attracted intervenors such as the Wikimedia Foundation, Electronic Frontier Foundation, as well as the music and movie industry associations, focused on issues such as the effectiveness of a Google-targeted order, where the responsibility for identifying conflicting laws should lie, and the fairness of bringing an innocent third-party such as Google into the legal fray.

My Globe and Mail opinion piece notes that largely missing from the discussion was an attempt to grapple with perhaps the biggest question raised by the case: In a seemingly borderless Internet, how do courts foster respect for legal rules and avoid vesting enormous power in the hands of Internet intermediaries who may ultimately find themselves picking and choosing among competing laws.

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December 13, 2016 5 comments Columns
Check this out! by Daniele Zanni (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/p3GLMj

Supreme Court’s Privacy Streak Comes To End: Split Court Affirms Legality of Warrantless Phone Searches Incident to Arrest

The Supreme Court of Canada issued its decision in R. v. Fearon today, a case involving the legality of a warrantless cellphone search by police during an arrest. Given the court’s strong endorsement of privacy in recent cases such as Spencer, Vu, and Telus, this seemed like a slam dunk. Moreover, the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 2014 decision in Riley, which addressed similar issues and ruled that a warrant is needed to search a phone, further suggested that the court would continue its streak of pro-privacy decisions.

To the surprise of many, a divided court upheld the ability of police to search cellphones without a warrant incident to an arrest. The majority established some conditions, but ultimately ruled that it could navigate the privacy balance by establishing some safeguards with the practice. A strongly worded dissent disagreed, noting the privacy implications of access to cellphones and the need for judicial pre-authorization as the best method of addressing the privacy implications.

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December 11, 2014 66 comments News
Rogers on the corner of Robson and Seymour by Jeffery Simpson (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/hZGAN

Rogers Releases New Policy on Disclosing Subscriber Information: Come Back with a Warrant

Rogers has updated its approach to responding to law enforcement requests for subscriber information to reflect last month’s Supreme Court of Canada Spencer decision. The company will now require a warrant for access to basic subscriber information (with the exception of life threatening emergencies), a policy that effectively kills the government’s Bill C-13 voluntary disclosure provisions. The government wants to provide full immunity for voluntary disclosure of personal information, but Canadian Internet providers and telecom companies are unlikely to provide such information without a court order given the recent decision. The Rogers update:

After hearing your concerns and reviewing the Supreme Court ruling from last month, we’ve decided that from now on we will require a court order/warrant to provide basic customer information to law enforcement agencies, except in life threatening emergencies. We believe this move is better for our customers and that law enforcement agencies will still be able to protect the public.

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July 16, 2014 10 comments News

Interview Discussing Spencer Ruling: No More Voluntary Disclosure

I talked to Rob Breakenridge on his show on News Talk 770 to about the Supreme Court of Canada’s landmark ruling in Spencer where it eviscerated voluntary disclosure of internet subscriber data.

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June 13, 2014 Comments are Disabled News Interviews, Tv / Radio

Supreme Court of Canada To Hear Appeal of Warrantless Cellphone Search Case

The Supreme Court of Canada has granted leave to appeal in the Fearon case, which involved an Ontario Court of Appeal decision permitting a police search of a cellphone that was not password protected or locked during the course of an arrest. I referenced the case in a brief post […]

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July 15, 2013 Comments are Disabled Must Reads