On The Wire

Crooked House

On December 3, 2018, suppression orders were lifted on an Australian case that blew the lid off the justice system in Victoria. It was revealed that a criminal lawyer had acted as an informant providing information to the police about hundreds of suspects including her own clients. The scandal prompted ...
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Bugs And Betrayers

Betrayal. An unsavoury, but persistent feature of human relations. Friends turn, confidants disclose, trusted allies deceive and forsake. When recruited by the police, betrayers may become informants. Their reports may be akin to schoolyard tattles or engage matters of life and death. Informants can be extraordinarily valuable to the police ...
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More Than A Minimal Scale

On May 20, 2015, Curt Gittens got into an unmarked police vehicle and sold .64 grams of cocaine for $60 to an undercover officer. He bolted when more officers arrived and tossed two small packages during a brief foot chase. The packages contained another 1.06 grams of cocaine. He was ...
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The Right To Be Let Alone

What is the right to be let alone and where does it come from? Canadians expect to go about their daily lives free from state scrutiny. Seeing that citizens are afforded this freedom is one of the goals of Canadian society recognized in the Charter of Rights. The extent to ...
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The Core Of The Encryption Debate

On September 3, 2018, AppleInsider reported that the Five Eyes intelligence alliance consisting of the United States, Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand issued a Statement of Principles on Access to Evidence and Encryption at the conclusion of a two-day meeting on Australia's Gold Coast. "Privacy law must prevent arbitrary ...
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Arresting The Innocent

On May 24, 2009, Randy Fleming was carrying a Canadian flag on his way to a counter-protest organized in response to the occupation of Crown land by Six Nations protesters in Caledonia, Ontario. The Ontario Provincial Police planned to keep the two groups of protesters apart because of the contentious ...
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Protecting Journalists And Their Sources

On September 27, 2019, the Supreme Court of Canada released the 8-1 ruling in Denis v Cote, 2019 SCC 44 examining the trust relationship between journalists and their confidential sources. If it is a victory for freedom of the press, it is not the one many had hoped for. Here's ...
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Deepfakes

Deepfake is a technique for the synthesis of a human image based on artificial intelligence. It is used to combine an image onto a source image by a technique called generative adversarial network. Generative algorithms are getting so good that synthesized media will soon become indistinguishable from reality. In an ...
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Heather Ferg Joins ‘On The Wire’

On January 2, 2014, the inaugural post titled Welcome To: On The Wire described the blog as a forum for opinion about the Charter of Rights and the criminal law with an emphasis on privacy issues. As we approach the end of six years online I am pleased to announce ...
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Cell Phone Border Searches Limited To Contraband

On July 25, 2016, Miguel Cano arrived at the San Ysidro port of entry to the United States from Tijuana, Mexico. He was sent to secondary inspection by officials of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency (CBP) because of a random computer referral. A narcotic-detecting dog indicated his vehicle's ...
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