The Nine. by Jamie McCaffrey (CC BY-NC 2.0)

The Nine. by Jamie McCaffrey (CC BY-NC 2.0)


Google v. Equustek: The SCC Hearing on Internet Jurisdiction and Free Speech

The Supreme Court of Canada heard arguments in Google v. Equustek Solutions, a hugely important Internet case with implications for Internet jurisdiction and free speech online. I wrote about the lower court and appellate court decisions and I have a forthcoming piece in the Communications of the ACM on the case.  I attended yesterday’s hearing and live tweeted some of the main exchanges between counsel and the court. As my final tweet of the hearing indicated, I have no idea where the court is heading in this case. A storified version of my hearing tweets is posted below.


  1. A question should be asked of the court:
    Based on the arguments for blocking, would it be legitimate for a court in Russia, to order Google to globally remove all references to the Conservative Party of Canada from their index? What about courts in Cuba, Afganistan or Somalia?
    Similarly, would it be legitimate for Boeing to obtain an injunction in the country of its choice to globally remove Bombardier from Google’s index?

  2. Devil's Advocate says:

    I don’t understand how a court in any country would have any jurisdiction to even entertain the idea they can rule on anything outside its own borders.

    And, what about the inevitable, international challenges generated by the actions of the “ruling” countries?! Or is a global “notice and stay down” system being proposed? (Once again, inviting a whole assortment of players to interfere with the very flow of the Internet, in the name of “IP enforcement”, with no oversight or user rights built into the process.)

    That’s not even getting into how futile such an effort as the one described would actually be. Once again, we witness high-impact court actions being sought and decided by those who understand very little of that which they’re proposing to fool with.

  3. It would seem to me Google’s main line of defense (only defense) should be the negative business impact of orders to remove search results: fewer people will trust Google, they will use other services, and Google will generate less revenue.

    If the information is still out there then simply removing it from Google without removing the actual information just means other search engines can still show links to the info, generate ad revenue, and collect market information. Singling out Google seems biased.

    If it is illegal to present certain information, including links to the source, within a given jurisdiction then Google should respect that. As should all other search engines, catalogs, etc.

    Going down the slippery slope just means we never do anything because eventually everything ends up at the bottom of the swamp.

    • Devil's Advocate says:

      Singling out Google on such things IS ridiculous.
      Indeed, singling out anyone who is merely a search engine is insane.

      As to whether it would be “illegal” to publish something, are there not already more appropriate laws in place that center out the actual “publisher” on such matters?

      A search engine doesn’t publish anything. It only locates that which has already been published.

      The same mass idiocy we’re discussing here has already crippled torrenting. (Yet, content is still “pirated” at the same rate regardless.)

      This case needs to be shot down before it hurts something.

  4. @crade – the factums can be found here:

    always better to know what you’re talking about rather than simply talking out-your-ass … no?

  5. the only result will be the isolation of the complainers.

  6. Pingback: Potential worldwide impact re Google Inc. v. Equustek Solutions Inc., et al. | Kempton - ideas Revolutionary

  7. Pingback: Google v. Equustek: The SCC Hearing on Internet Jurisdiction and Free Speech – WP RSS Aggregator Advanced Demo

  8. Pingback: Law and Media Round Up – 12 December 2016 | Inforrm's Blog

  9. Pingback: Google v Equustek: Courts Still Don't Understand the Internet |