In a surprising and troubling decision, the Ontario Court of Appeal has permitted a police search of a cellphone that was not password protected or locked during the course of an arrest. The court found that the police had a reasonable belief that the phone might contain relevant evidence and […]
Archive for February, 2013
The business opposition to Canada’s anti-spam legislation has added an unlikely supporter: the Canadian Recording Industry Association, now known as Music Canada. The organization has launched an advocacy campaign against the law, claiming that it “will particularly hurt indie labels, start-ups, and bands struggling to build a base and a career.” Music Canada is urging people to tweet at Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore to ask him to help bands who it says will suffer from anti-spam legislation.
Yet Music Canada’s specific examples mislead its members about the impact of the legislation. The organization offers seven examples posted below in italics (my comments immediately follow):
Hollywood crime dramas are infamous for the scene when an accused is taken to a local police station and permitted a single phone call to contact a relative or lawyer. While the storyline is myth – there is no limit on the number of phone calls available to an accused or detainee – a recent Alberta case established a new, real requirement for law enforcement. After a 19-year old struggled to find a lawyer using the telephone, the court ruled that police must provide an accused with Internet access in order to exercise their right to counsel.
Christopher McKay, who faced a driving while under the influence charge, told police that he wanted to exercise his right to legal counsel. McKay’s cellphone and other personal belongings were placed in a police locker when he arrived at the station. McKay was told there was a toll-free number available to contact a lawyer as well as White and Yellow pages that could be consulted. He called the toll-free number but was unable to find assistance.
My weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) notes that what followed was the product of a demographic deeply familiar Hollywood movies and reliant on the Internet. McKay assumed that he had used his single phone call and did not consider using directory assistance (411), which he did not think was a “viable search engine.” Instead, he noted that Google was his main method to search for information.
Appeared in the Toronto Star on February 15, 2013 as You Have the Right to Google for a Lawyer Hollywood crime dramas are infamous for the scene when an accused is taken to a local police station and permitted a single phone call to contact a relative or lawyer. While […]
For the past month, business groups from across the country have waged an extraordinary campaign against Canada’s anti-spam legislation. With the long overdue law likely to take effect by year-end, groups such as the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, and the Canadian Marketing Association, have launched an all-out blitz to carve out large loopholes in the law and exempt highly questionable conduct.
My weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) notes that the business groups’ chief concern is that the law moves Canada toward a stricter “opt-in” privacy approach that requires marketers to obtain customer consent before sending commercial electronic messages. The move will provide Canadians with greater control over their in-boxes, while also resulting in more effective electronic marketing campaigns for businesses.