On The Wire

The Right to be Forgotten

On November 26, 2014, the European Commission adopted the "Guidelines on the Implementation of the Court of Justice of the European Union Judgment on Google Spain and Inc v. Agencia Espanola de Proteccion de Datos (AEPD) and Mario Costeja Gonzalez C-131/12." With the adoption of the Guidelines this seemed like a ...
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Spies and Surveillance Warrants

On July 31, 2014, the Federal Court of Appeal released its judgment in X (Re), 2014 FCA 249 upholding a Federal Court ruling that limited the scope of powers that may be exercised by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) while carrying out surveillance of Canadians abroad. This per curiam judgment ...
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Nothing to Hide

We have all heard the argument by those who are not opposed to government surveillance: "I've got nothing to hide." In the United Kingdom the use of closed circuit television in public places is pandemic. The advance of the British government's CCTV program moved forward with the motto: "If you've ...
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Class Action Plaintiffs Get Wiretap Records

In a decision released on October 17, 2014, the Supreme Court of Canada had a rare opportunity to consider s. 193 of the Criminal Code which makes it a crime to disclose or use an intercepted private communication without the consent of the originator or the intended recipient of the ...
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New Test for Appellate Courts to Raise New Issue

In a judgment released on September 12, 2014, the Supreme Court of Canada established a new test for when an appellate court may interfere with the adversarial system by raising an issue not previously raised by the parties. The decision attempts to strike a balance between two competing roles for ...
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Privacy and Telephony Metadata

On June 5, 2013, the British newspaper The Guardian reported the first of several leaks of classified material from Edward Snowdon, a former National Security Agency contractor, which revealed multiple U.S. government intelligence collection and surveillance programs. The NSA bulk telephony metadata program has come under scrutiny since the Snowdon leaks ...
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Voice Identification Breached Defendant’s Rights

In a recent wiretap trial I concluded in Edmonton Justice Brian R. Burrows of the Court of Queen's Bench decided a trilogy of motions excluding voice identification evidence obtained by the police in breach of the defendant's right to counsel and right to timely disclosure. In the first ruling reported ...
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Provincial Court Judge Criticized

For nine months from October 2013 to June 2014 I defended a drug conspiracy case in Edmonton which included a wire tap component. During the investigation the police obtained a General Warrant granted by Judge Marilena Carminati who is a Provincial Court Judge in Edmonton. The warrant authorized the police ...
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Internet Engages Privacy as Anonymity

In a judgment released on June 13, 2014, the Supreme Court of Canada unanimously recognized that Canadians have a reasonable expectation of privacy in subscriber information held by their internet service providers. In R. v. Spencer, 2014 SCC 43 Justice Thomas A. Cromwell concluded, at para. 66, that the, "...disclosure ...
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The Right to Notification

A wiretap authorization may only be granted by a superior court judge. The application is made by an agent of the Attorney General of a province or the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness. An agent is specially designated under the Criminal Code. The application is usually based on ...
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