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Canada Privacy The Courts Your Rights Online

Canadian Supreme Court Delivers Huge Win For Internet Privacy 112

Posted by Soulskill
from the getting-a-lot-done-now-that-the-Habs-lost dept.
An anonymous reader writes For the past several months, many Canadians have been debating privacy reform, with the government moving forward on two bills involving Internet surveillance and expanded voluntary, warrantless disclosure of personal information. Today, the Supreme Court of Canada entered the debate and completely changed the discussion, issuing its long-awaited R. v. Spencer decision, which examined the legality of voluntary warrantless disclosure of basic subscriber information to law enforcement. Michael Geist summarizes the findings, noting that the unanimous decision included a strong endorsement of Internet privacy, emphasizing the privacy importance of subscriber information, the right to anonymity, and the need for police to obtain a warrant for subscriber information except in exigent circumstances or under a reasonable law.
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Canadian Supreme Court Delivers Huge Win For Internet Privacy

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  • by sribe (304414) on Friday June 13, 2014 @04:27PM (#47232665)

    This whole situation assumes a government having access to and data-mining your online activities is inherently more dangerous than the same behavior by large, multinational, profit driven corporations.

    Large multinational corporations do not (yet, at least) have the ability to storm your house with heavily armed troops, kick in your door, throw you face down on the floor, tear apart your house, and shoot you dead if you so much as give any hint of resistance. So yes, government is more dangerous.

  • Great to see, eh? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sasparillascott (1267058) on Friday June 13, 2014 @04:34PM (#47232715)
    Just awesome to see the Canadian legal system still has its eyes open. Now the political/intelligence system has been in lockstep with the U.S. on the surveillance of everything/everyone program - but maybe there's hope up in the great north. I wish our (U.S.) legal system was so clear sighted on these issues.
  • Re:Maybe Not (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dskoll (99328) on Friday June 13, 2014 @04:40PM (#47232767)

    Does Canada have a real way to stop the government from breaking its own laws?

    Well, yes. We have a constitution, so we can challenge laws that are passed by the government. And we have something called "democracy" and "the rule of law" which tend to curb the worst excesses.

  • Re:Meaningless (Score:4, Insightful)

    by compro01 (777531) on Friday June 13, 2014 @05:37PM (#47233157)

    Right, so law enforcement can twist that to any meaning they want.

    At which point the judge crumples up their illegitimately obtained evidence and tosses it out, along with their case.

  • Re:But (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 13, 2014 @10:02PM (#47234471)

    A US court can order a US company with a Canadian subsidary to disclose information on a Canadian citizen but if the susidary was set up correctly there would be little to no information under the control of the American comapany and the Canadian subsidary would balk at handing it over in many circumstances because of privacy/etc/ laws here in Canada would trump a dumb desicion from an American judge.

    If the companies are set up poorly ... the American parent company can be sued by Canadians and hit with large fines by provincial and/or federal laws and regulations. It makes little to no sense to hand over the information when proper seperation of companies make it easy enough to say "We don't have any information on Canadians in Canada"

  • Re:Maybe Not (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 13, 2014 @10:06PM (#47234491)

    The Supreme Court struck down the unconstitutional appointment of Marc Nadon after his appointment was challenged by an Ontario lawyer.

    The government has lost 5 opinions/or cases in front of the Supreme Court in the last few years.

    Any more proof needed?

When you don't know what to do, walk fast and look worried.