Last month, the Canadian delegation at the Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen found itself targeted by the Yes Men in a widely publicized hoax. The well-known activists satirized the Canadian government’s position on the environment by launching a pair of phoney websites that looked official but promoted different policies. The hoax attracted considerable media attention, prompting Prime Minister's Office spokesman Dimitri Soudas to label it a childish prank. Soon after, Canadian officials quietly set out to shut down the two websites.
My weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) notes that what followed creates a cause for concern, because Environment Canada appears to have misrepresented the harms posed by the sites in an effort to force them offline without a court order.