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Canadian Supreme Court Delivers Huge Win For Internet Privacy

Soulskill posted about 5 months ago | from the getting-a-lot-done-now-that-the-Habs-lost dept.

Canada 112

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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But (4, Interesting)

rossdee (243626) | about 5 months ago | (#47232447)

What if the company involved is in the USA

This ruling .... (0)

MondoGordo (2277808) | about 5 months ago | (#47232511)

barely means shit in Canada ... to foreign governments it means less than spit on a windy day.

Re:This ruling .... (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 5 months ago | (#47232553)

Your post history(sorry) suggests you're American. Why do you feel like you have jack shit to say about how Canadian government works?

Re:This ruling .... (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about 5 months ago | (#47232679)

I think you didn't read the GPs comment after the '...'.

Re:This ruling .... (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 5 months ago | (#47232687)

Or maybe I was commenting on the inanity of the part before. Does that scenario seem plausible to you?

Re:This ruling .... (1)

MondoGordo (2277808) | about 5 months ago | (#47232901)

what scenario ? that the government will ignore the SCoC and continue to do whatever it wants ?

Re:This ruling .... (1)

mirix (1649853) | about 5 months ago | (#47233325)

Seems like standard procedure for the "accountable and transparent" Harper Government.

Re:This ruling .... (1)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | about 5 months ago | (#47235435)

That was extreme sarcasm in case anyone missed it.

Re:This ruling .... (-1, Troll)

MondoGordo (2277808) | about 5 months ago | (#47232883)

I grew up there, ... 31 years in Canada ... only 17 south of the 49th. still have family and friends there, so yeah I've got skin in the game ... I see the stupid bastards in Ontario elected themselves another Liberal government ... when will they learn ?

Re:This ruling .... (0)

MondoGordo (2277808) | about 5 months ago | (#47232949)

sorry ... meant to type "Liberal led" ...

Re:This ruling .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47234439)

Who do you support federally?

Re:This ruling .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47232995)

Who would you like them to vote for? The cons? The NDP? Yeah - those options would totally be better. Just another flavour of corruption and bullshit.

Re:This ruling .... (1)

MondoGordo (2277808) | about 5 months ago | (#47233247)

how about if everyone put a big black X in the No Vote box ?

Re:This ruling .... (1)

Guspaz (556486) | about 5 months ago | (#47233375)

While I've never voted in an Ontario election (since I live in Quebec), I've never seen a "no vote" option on any ballot in Canada, be it federal, provincial, or municipal.

Re:This ruling .... (1)

Gramie2 (411713) | about 5 months ago | (#47233577)

Rather than mark your ballot, you have to go to the polling station personnel, and tell them that you decline your vote. That is treated differently than a spoiled ballot.

Re:This ruling .... (2)

Guspaz (556486) | about 5 months ago | (#47234861)

Looks like that's only allowed in a handful of provinces (including Ontario), not in the majority of the provinces or federal elections. It also seems a pretty useless option.

Re:This ruling .... (0)

master_kaos (1027308) | about 5 months ago | (#47233673)

At least it would be better than liberal garbage who literally stole over 1 billion dollars from the tax payers.

Re:This ruling .... (0)

John Nemesh (3244653) | about 5 months ago | (#47233001)

Get used to liberalism...now that the GOP has all but self destructed here in the US, you are going to see a lot more of it in our government too. Dont like it? Move. (please)

Re:This ruling .... (3, Informative)

Mashiki (184564) | about 5 months ago | (#47233373)

There's no liberalism in the liberal party. And living in Ontario, it's a case of the big cities deciding "what big city projects they want us rural folks to pay for." Never mind that ontario has a per person debt higher than california.

In order to help you see what 10 years of liberal policies have brought us I give you this list:

- The EHealth scandal
- The slush fund scandal
- The lottery corp scandals
- The CancerCare scandal
- The MPAC scandal
- The Children's Aid scandal
- The hospital consultants scandal
- The Niagara Parks Commission scandal
- The tire tax
- The electronics tax
- The cheap beer surtax
- The hidden hydro tax
- The hidden gas tax
- The 'smart meter' tax
- The 'Eco' tax
- No reduction in HST despite $4.3 Billion from the feds
- The forcing of WSIB on all construction owners
- The staggering increase in the Sunshine List
- The failure at Caledonia
- Selling out to the teachers & civic unions
- The blatant Nanticoke lie
- The squandering of record revenues
- The nanny-state banning of nearly everything
- The public funding of sex-changes while de-listing eye exams phsyio & chiro
- The billion-dollar-per-year burden of Family Day
- The billion-dollar flip-flop on The Oakville gas plant
- Saddling rate-payers with billions in subsidies to Samsung & Ikea
- The Ombudsman/Auditor-General condemnations
- Turning Hydro into a luxury for the rich
- The by-election briberies
- The refusal to correct foreign ownership of our beer market
- The outrageous property assessments
- The stifling of private health services
- The illegal and unconstitutional secret G20 law
- The acceptance of garbage-striker extortion
- The harassing labour inspectors
- The idiotic preoccupation with homosexuality lessons for third-graders
- Dumping the blue box program onto small businesses
- Imposing blood alcohol rules that punish the innocent
- The $58 Million 'severance' to tax-collectors who didn't miss a single day's work
- Socialized daycare
- Canceling the 'mandatory' LHIN review & giving their CEO's$15000 raises
- The failure at Caledonia
- Sneaking tax-dollars into Liberals campaign team coffers
- Raising tuition & auto insurance to highest in Canada
- Sinking Ontario into Have-Not status.
- ORNGE
- Gas Plants
- Pan Am Games budget overruns
- Ontario Northland Railway
- OPG pension scandal and deficit

Re:This ruling .... (0)

legojenn (462946) | about 5 months ago | (#47234091)

But besides that, they're okay.

Re:This ruling .... (0)

dryeo (100693) | about 5 months ago | (#47234299)

Sounds amazingly like a list of what the Liberal Party of BC has accomplished. Of course our Liberals are the right wing party who are in no way associated with the Liberal Party of Canada or any other Liberal Party as the right wing here keeps self destructing and when people vote third party, the right wingers move to the 3rd party and take it over. Right wing leaders seem to keep getting caught with envelopes full of money (or safety deposit boxes full of $1000 bills in the case of Mulroney).
Of course as our glorious open and transparent leader shows, mostly the right is interested in forcing their morals on everyone and they can't help thinking of the children (or in some cases the baby sitter) and sex.
The truth is all politicians are shit and the longer they're in power the worse they become.

Re:This ruling .... (1)

Mashiki (184564) | about 5 months ago | (#47234879)

The truth is all politicians are shit and the longer they're in power the worse they become.

That's not really true, a good politician remembers the people that they're working for. I live in Oxford county(between London and Kitchener Waterloo aka K/W), our MP's are usually in power for a decade+ but remain on good standing with the community with an open-door policy which keeps them extremely popular. I've had my fair share of problems, which Hardeman(previously was the mayor of SW-Oxford same policy.) has helped me with and I know quite a few others who've gotten a hand as well. We're rural, and he's as popular in the cities(Woodstock, Ingersoll, Tillsonburg, etc) as he is in the country. The same held true of Southerland, and Tatham.

Personally I believe the problem lies when a MP or MPP forget who they're employed by and would rather listen to special interests instead of the people who elected them. A down-to-earth politician is as rare as a moose in a city.

Re:This ruling .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47235039)

That list is actually funny, because in the US that list could go well into thousands of pages, from both parties..

""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.""

This part in particular "except in exigent circumstances" is how our (US) government gets away with warrantless "letters" claiming this bullshit 'terrorism' as the reason, they use this claim to suspect anyone that they want to investigate. I suspect this ruling does absolutely nothing to prevent your government from passing more broadening surveillance laws all in the name of stopping terrorism.

I say investigate, which could mean a number of things, 98% of the time the investigation leads to no arrests, or charges. So according to our courts that is perfectly okay, as long as it is in the name of National Security, I'll say that again, the courts find no problems, despite their rulings against illegal invasion of privacy, as long as it is in the name of National Security. Even tho evidence has been brought forth that shows there surveillance attempts have been failures, and their investigations have resulted in nothing more then propaganda.

Every country is or will be doing the same, and seeing how Canada is the US's hand puppet I wouldn't expect any of your political parties to doing any that your people demand.

Re:This ruling .... (1)

a_mari_usque_ad_mare (1996182) | about 5 months ago | (#47235097)

The cities are vastly more productive than rural areas, so they're already subsidizing the rest of the province. Toronto by itself is responsible for a huge part of the entire country's GDP. Improving public transit for these cities (where an increasingly large number of voters live) seemed like a better use of public money than yet another corporate tax cut, which is why Ontario voted as it did.

I couldn't 't vote Liberal personally, as I felt the party should be punished for its ethical lapses, but I understand why the voters rejected Tim Hudak's glorious right-wing revolution. If the Conservatives remember that this is centrist province and smarten up they will have a chance next time around.

Re:This ruling .... (1)

Mashiki (184564) | about 5 months ago | (#47235439)

The cities are vastly more productive than rural areas, so they're already subsidizing the rest of the province.

Want to make a bet? Back before the liberals managed to screw over the province, Oxford County was responsible for 6% of the provinces GDP. The population at the time was 131k people, what Ontario needed was the liberals to be tossed out of office for breaking the rule of law, then thrown in jail as an example.

But voters didn't reject a "right-wing revolution" they rejected hudak for being unlikeable. Even the various canadian right-wing sites disliked him. Ontario isn't a centerist province, go look at your electoral map. The majority except for the cities are right-wing, the cities are predominantly left-wing.

Re:This ruling .... (1)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | about 5 months ago | (#47235453)

I was going to move back to Ontario but not after the liberals got a majority government. Especially if you take into account this [fraserinstitute.org] (here is a synopsis):

Per person, Ontarians currently owe $20,166 (Cdn) compared to $3,844 for Californiansâ"more than 5 times the per capita level of debt. Consequently, Ontarians shoulder much higher debt servicing costs: 9.2% of budget revenues in Ontario are devoted to interest payments compared to 2.8% in California.

People make fun of California and talk about them teetering on bankruptcy. But they look positively peachy compared to California. Granted this is from a right wing think tank, but the truth is the truth. And the new liberal government's budget proposals promise to run 10+ billion dollar deficits per year for the following several years. Ontario is doomed. It is the last place anyone would want to go now.

Re:This ruling .... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47233145)

Librals have done more good for this province... every problem I've encountered with our provincial government has been a direct result of Mike Harris.

Re:This ruling .... (-1, Troll)

master_kaos (1027308) | about 5 months ago | (#47233709)

you are clearly a government worker or married to one. No private sector employee would seriously vote for liberal unless they are retarded or married to a public sector employee unless they are an idiot.
Oh my God Tim Huddak is evil, he wants to balance the budget!! Oh my fucking God what a monster.
Meanwhile liberals are spending like there is no tomorrow with the 12 billion deficit.

Re:This ruling .... (0)

Gwarsbane (905113) | about 5 months ago | (#47234153)

Cons, NDP, BQ, and Green are no better then them.

Cons have lots of scandals going on too and once they got majority government they rammed all the bad idea bills down peoples throats and turned them into laws.

NDP have been doing naughty stuff, least by the looks of it.

BQ want to rip the country apart and are basically only in Quebec. Only way they should be able to run for federal government is to have people voted into office in every province.

Green, well they are really small and don't know squat about them, but give them time and they will be as bad as the rest.

Biggest problem with government is when any one gets majority power, then they do not have to work with anyone else to push crap though. At least if its a minority government they are forced to work with everyone else to get things done and just can't ram crap down our throats.

If they all work with each other and are willing to compromise, things usually work out for the voters. Sadly though as we have seen over the last few years, the cons of Canada are just like the republicans of the US. They bow to big business and will not compromise unless the other groups agree with what the cons are willing to give them, which is usually not even close to fair for those groups or the voters.

Re:But (3, Informative)

Joe Gillian (3683399) | about 5 months ago | (#47232637)

Companies in the USA could use this as supplementary precedent if they ever get involved in a similar court case. International precedent gets used more often than you might think - for instance, I've heard they cited it in the case in Connecticut where they outlawed the death penalty. Part of the argument was that it had been outlawed at one point, but they cited European laws that outlaw the death penalty as well.

Re:But (2)

Desler (1608317) | about 5 months ago | (#47232691)

They'll hand it over to the US government which will share it to its 5 Eyes buddy the Canadian government. No different than what the UK and the US governments due to get around domestic laws on surveillance.

Re:But (5, Informative)

Mashiki (184564) | about 5 months ago | (#47232857)

What if the company involved is in the USA

It means nothing. Because in Canada, you're still subject to the laws of Canada if you sell, offer, or deliver a product here. And in 99% of all cases, the company either operates here or operates through a subsidiary. If the ruling couldn't go against a company because they had no presence, it would go after those who are distributing the product.

Re:But (2)

Guspaz (556486) | about 5 months ago | (#47233383)

A US court can order a US company with a Canadian subsidiary to disclose information on a Canadian citizen, even if such disclosure would be a violation of Canadian law.

Re:But (1)

Mashiki (184564) | about 5 months ago | (#47233505)

And a Canadian court can do the same. That doesn't mean that data retention laws don't apply, but the number of companies that hold data storage outside of Canada is dwindling quickly and for good reason.

Re:But (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#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:But (3, Informative)

rtb61 (674572) | about 5 months ago | (#47234849)

A US court can order it but the Canadian subsidiary would be required under Canadian law to provide the parent company with that information to hand to the US court. All quite legal. Parent company sends the request with the court order to the subsidiary and the subsidiary refuses, citing the appropriate Canadian law. The US court then fruitlessly fumes because the US parent has obeyed the order and sought the information and can legally substantiate that, they were just unsuccessful in that endeavour, the government can in some circumstances force you to try but in reality regardless of anything claimed they can not force you to succeed, you just must just genuinely try to succeed.

Re:But (1)

MacTO (1161105) | about 5 months ago | (#47233239)

Certain financial institutions, educational institutions, and governmental institutions keep data on domestic soil simply to ensure that it is covered by Canadian privacy laws. That is true even if it is a foreign company.

That said, I have to wonder how much protection that data would have if the data was stored in Canada but accessed from a foreign nation. Say if the U.S. subsidiary receives a warrant for data stored by the Canadian subsidiary, and the U.S. subsidiary accesses the data in Canada from the U.S..

Re:But (1)

Guspaz (556486) | about 5 months ago | (#47233415)

Not just that, there's a general push among small to medium ISPs to avoid routing data through the US if possible, to avoid the security risks inherent in passing through that country. For example, my ISP used to route data between Toronto and Montreal via Chicago and New York City, but these routes it over a more direct Montreal/Toronto route to avoid going through the US, even though it likely costs a bit more. Larger ISPs don't care as much about this, though.

Think of the poor bureaucrats (1)

EmperorOfCanada (1332175) | about 5 months ago | (#47232513)

Think of the poor bureaucrats and how they will now actually have to prove that they have a reason for these invasive abuses. They blah blah about abducted children and whatnot but I am fairly sure that if they go into a judge and say "abducted child" that the judge will be pretty free with the information and might not even mind being woken up in the middle of the night. But if they say, "Hunting a journalist investigating the RCMP" that the judge will tell them to go to hell.

Re:Think of the poor bureaucrats (2)

dryeo (100693) | about 5 months ago | (#47234329)

Already heard a cop bitching how much harder it'll make investigating child porn. As if he couldn't go to a judge and get a warrant when he has clear evidence, especially as this ruling also lowers the bar for getting a warrant.

Re:Think of the poor bureaucrats (1)

EmperorOfCanada (1332175) | about 5 months ago | (#47235361)

I think that it was never about child porn, it is about their more petty searches such as whistleblowers, protesters, NGOs, political opponents, and the fishing expeditions that they probably found as making it easier to ruin people's lives with blackmail information. I can just see the police threatening to show your browser history to friends, family, and work. If you don't "help" them with their investigation.

Followed quietly by a treaty overturn (1)

gurps_npc (621217) | about 5 months ago | (#47232517)

when the US demands Canada comply with 'international norms'.

Re:Followed quietly by a treaty overturn (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47233229)

Sure they can take the decades long lobbying approach like they have been for years on our blank media levy, cause that's gone so well

Re:Followed quietly by a treaty overturn (1)

Altrag (195300) | about 5 months ago | (#47234555)

Its called the Trans-Pacific Partnership. http://ourfairdeal.org/ [ourfairdeal.org] .

Internet privacy is an oxymoron. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47232535)

People that believe such a thing exists are plain old simple morons. You can get a warrant in a box of Cracker Jacks. Heh, is if you really need one.

Re:Internet privacy is an oxymoron. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47232841)

Privacy is an oxymoron. People that believe such a thing exists are plain old simple morons. You can get a warrant in a box of Cracker Jacks. Heh, is if you really need one.

Therefore, give up on ever obtaining privacy and just let governments do as they please. Great idea!

Re:Internet privacy is an oxymoron. (1)

maharvey (785540) | about 5 months ago | (#47235129)

There is a big, BIG difference between "no such thing as privacy" and "recording your every move 24/7 and then analyzing the hell out of it"

What's lost in the rhetoric and internet rage (3, Interesting)

stevez67 (2374822) | about 5 months ago | (#47232547)

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.

Re:What's lost in the rhetoric and internet rage (5, Insightful)

sribe (304414) | about 5 months ago | (#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.

Re:What's lost in the rhetoric and internet rage (2)

NatasRevol (731260) | about 5 months ago | (#47232683)

Don't forget hold you in jail indefinitely without a trial or even being able to examine the evidence against you.

Thank you Patriot Act. You're a real fucking patriot.

Re:What's lost in the rhetoric and internet rage (1)

Guspaz (556486) | about 5 months ago | (#47233417)

I think you'll find that the patriot act has little bearing on Canadian citizens, unless they enter the United States.

Re:What's lost in the rhetoric and internet rage (1)

rikkards (98006) | about 5 months ago | (#47235787)

His point is still valid as an example of where things could go if left unchecked. Don't get all high and mighty as this is a Canadian-related thread.

Re:What's lost in the rhetoric and internet rage (1)

davegravy (1019182) | about 5 months ago | (#47233051)

Agreed, except in the case of certain media industries which seem to command the government and police to carry out their orders.

Re:What's lost in the rhetoric and internet rage (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47233093)

What makes you think they do not have that ability? There are plenty of mercenary outfits that will do the job for the right payment. So what if it isn't legal?

Re:What's lost in the rhetoric and internet rage (1)

Flammon (4726) | about 5 months ago | (#47235531)

They do but arming their own men is a poor investment compared to using Government services.

Re:What's lost in the rhetoric and internet rage (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47233481)

Until OCP!

Kim Dotcom (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47233881)

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.

I'm sure Kim Dotcom will sleep better at night knowing the government, which is completely independent of corporate interests, will now be restricted in what it can do when it comes to online laws (at least in Canada).

Re:What's lost in the rhetoric and internet rage (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47232705)

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.

Both are bad and should be curtailed. Why the false dichotomy?

Re:What's lost in the rhetoric and internet rage (2)

sinij (911942) | about 5 months ago | (#47232711)

I understand and even agree with your point that data-mining by private companies is nearly as dangerous as when government is involved, but in this specific case what would the Big Data do with information that some dude uploaded bunch of pedobear content? Show him more targeted ads for hand lotion?

Re:What's lost in the rhetoric and internet rage (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47232737)

It isn't lost at all.

This is a war that must be fought one battle at a time. Rest assured that plenty of people are also fighting the corporate data-stalkers. You can do your part by supporting the fight rather than tearing down the victories.

Re:What's lost in the rhetoric and internet rage (1)

Desler (1608317) | about 5 months ago | (#47232933)

Why can't we see both as equally dangerous? Why the false dilemma?

Re:What's lost in the rhetoric and internet rage (1)

dryeo (100693) | about 5 months ago | (#47234357)

Canada also has pretty strong privacy laws for business, so in theory American companies are bared from even bidding for various things. Of course with our open and transparent Conservative government most of the privacy laws don't seem to be enforced as what they actually meant was that the citizens would be open and transparent to the government.

Rare privacy win, for Canadian citizen's (2)

m_number4 (902127) | about 5 months ago | (#47232563)

If nothing else it will make weed out the strong cases from the fishing expeditions. All citizens deserve privacy in the absence of any evidence of wrong doing. To know that we now have that gives one hope that the system is working to a degree.

Re:Rare privacy win, for Canadian citizen's (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47232653)

>citizen's

I really wish we could stop wasting oxygen on illiterates.

Re:Rare privacy win, for Canadian citizen's (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47232877)

I think we'd all be better served if we stopped wasting oxygen on typo-nazis.

Re:Rare privacy win, for Canadian citizen's (4, Interesting)

Mashiki (184564) | about 5 months ago | (#47232677)

What do you mean "rare?" The SCC regularly rules on the side of citizens. Note the striking down of a 30 year old section of the law regarding exigent circumstances. Also note the privacy commissioner regularly going after companies like Google and Facebook for violating the privacy rights of people here. Despite what people think, the courts have started fundamentally shifting back to the rights of the individual. This includes away from the government, business, and criminals. In the last 14 years especially away from the rights of criminals.

Re:Rare privacy win, for Canadian citizen's (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47232725)

He likely means rare in the general context where in many parts of the world privacy is under attack. Not everyone gets to live in sane countries that do more than simply feign concern about the rights of the little people.

Re:Rare privacy win, for Canadian citizen's (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47235345)

... the government, business, and criminals.

You are repeating yourself.

Re:Rare privacy win, for Canadian citizen's (1)

Mashiki (184564) | about 5 months ago | (#47235407)

You are repeating yourself.

Only in the land of anarchists would that be "repeating oneself." Some of us actually live in parts of the world where the social contract still exists.

Maybe Not (1)

Jim Sadler (3430529) | about 5 months ago | (#47232657)

Does Canada have a real way to stop the government from breaking its own laws? The US does not. And how will this effect information that flows internationally? Does a Canadian on vacation in Miami Beach who wants to connect to a Canadian ISP have any real hope of protection? Will criminals who live near the Canadian border cross the border to communicate?

Re:Maybe Not (1)

Desler (1608317) | about 5 months ago | (#47232739)

Five Eyes intelligence sharing will always be used to end run domestic laws.

Re:Maybe Not (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47232741)

1. no. if necessary they'll just rewrite them to suit government wishes, the people's demands be damned.

2. it doesn't. there's enough illegal activities by governments going on all over the world that any international traffic is subject to it.

3. no. they're in the u.s. so they're really fucked. they should have chosen a different vacation destination.

4. no. they'll be harassed by border agents on either side, or both.

Re:Maybe Not (3, Insightful)

dskoll (99328) | about 5 months ago | (#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:Maybe Not (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47232785)

The cutest part is that you actually believe such fantasy.

Re:Maybe Not (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47233407)

No one is so easy to control as the cynics who convince themselves they have no collective voice.

Re:Maybe Not (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47233691)

Prove me wrong.

Re:Maybe Not (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#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?

Re:Maybe Not (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47233105)

Good little citizen. They taught you well my son.

Re:Maybe Not (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47233271)

Well, yes. We have a constitution

We do? I thought the closest thing we had to a constitution was the BNA Act.

And we have something called "democracy" and "the rule of law" which tend to curb the worst excesses.

Are you living under the same Harper government as the rest of us? They seem to be using what the US does as a template and trying to bring the same malevolence north of the border. They're not always succeeding, but that's not stopping them from trying.

Re:Maybe Not (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47233439)

Welcome to 1982... the BNA acts (only really named as such in 1867, later renamed the constitution act) were repatriated along with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms to produce the Canadian Constitution in 1982, (Constitution act 1982(Canada) / Canada Act 1982(UK)). If you're referring to the fact that Queen Elizabeth II is Queen of Canada... note that is an entirely separate title for the same individual, than Queen of England...

The fact that they're not succeeding is what differentiates us from those south of the border. the fact that Harper has a very slim chance of re-election also makes him a bit scared to do anything too drastic at this point. Justin Trudeau is looking to be the front runner in the future. Being in Conservative Central (Alberta) I have no doubt that my next MP will be Conservative, but I hope for change in government we desperately need it.

Re:Maybe Not (2)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about 5 months ago | (#47233283)

Actually, the biggest way Canada has to deal with lawbreakers is that we have more than two political parties, and they tend to break different laws, and the others gang up on the one who broke the laws (so you always have a majority punishing the lawbreaker).

Now for the bureaucratic level, not so much; but the privacy commissioner actually has a few teeth, and there's enough discord that if people are caught, they usually can't become repeat offenders.

Plus, the government is still accountable to the Governor General, who can suspend parliament if (s)he doesn't like how things are going. It's happened a few times, too.

The other bit is that because Canada has a significantly smaller population than the US, people still have some degree of a voice. Oh, and the provinces are answerable to the Federal government; Canada doesn't have independent states (this is both a blessing and a curse).

So in summary, people in Canada might be polite in general, but they turn into a lynch mob when their politicians step too far out of line. Voter turnout is significantly higher than in the USA.

Re:Maybe Not (2)

dryeo (100693) | about 5 months ago | (#47234445)

While Canada was set up to have a more powerful federal government then America due to us watching the American civil war, the Provinces do have some sovereignty, there are things the feds can't interfere with such as property rights and the Provinces each have their own representative of the Crown in the persons of the Lieutenant Governors who have to give royal assent to bills passed by the Provincial Legislatures before they actually become law.

Re:Maybe Not (1)

Mashiki (184564) | about 5 months ago | (#47232909)

Will criminals who live near the Canadian border cross the border to communicate?

Considering criminals already do, especially for drug related things. This is pretty much old news, what's interesting though is you won't find them communicating to do murders and so on. Because in Canada, we don't ever stop hunting for you, unlike in the US. If you committed a murder 3 months ago or 30 years ago, it won't matter. There's always someone dedicated to it. That's not even counting cold cases.

Re:Maybe Not (2)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about 5 months ago | (#47233287)

If you committed a murder 3 months ago or 30 years ago, it won't matter. There's always someone dedicated to it. That's not even counting cold cases.

In Canada, ALL cases are cold cases...

Great to see, eh? (4, Insightful)

sasparillascott (1267058) | about 5 months ago | (#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.

exigent circumstances or under a reasonable law. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47232835)

So, no change then...

Meaningless (2)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 5 months ago | (#47232965)

This is meaningless.

...except in exigent circumstances or under a reasonable law.

Exigent : pressing; demanding.

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

Re:Meaningless (3, Insightful)

compro01 (777531) | about 5 months ago | (#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:Meaningless (1)

dryeo (100693) | about 5 months ago | (#47234463)

Maybe. The fruit of the poisonous tree isn't absolute here, note that the conviction of the child pornographer who this case was about did not get his conviction overthrown.

Re:Meaningless (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 5 months ago | (#47234911)

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.

based on what? There is a clear ruling. That's why this is bad.

Re:Meaningless (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47234581)

Exigent circumstances are well defined in Canadian courts any attempt by the police to redefine them on their own would be meet with great resistance by the court system. The Canadian police would find themselves on the losing end of to many legal battles to try that because it would be a massive waste of resources and very bad PR.

Re:Meaningless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47235063)

Also, the province of Alberta doesn't recognize the Canadian Supreme Court.

Privacy in Constitution and US Data Treaty (3, Interesting)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 5 months ago | (#47233135)

It should be noted that not only do Canadian citizens have a Right of Privacy in the Canadian Constitution, but this overrides all agreements and treaties like the US-Canada Data Treaty so that US firms must ensure Canadians in their data have privacy as well.

Period.

well then. (1)

MrShaggy (683273) | about 5 months ago | (#47233339)

Sudden outbreak of common sense...

R v Spencer is a game changer (1)

kartis (67433) | about 5 months ago | (#47233991)

This is an important decision for both Canada and the US. The current government has two bills (proposed laws) in front of Parliamentary committees this week where, over the consistent objections of the Canadian privacy community, they planned to _expand_ warrantless searches. And then this decision comes along - thank heavens - and our Supreme Court says that there has to be a subpoena, or a reasonable law, before the right to anonymity - get that, the right to anonymity!- can be overridden. The 'reasonable' law bit is a shot directed right at the current government. The Senate committee dealing with one of these bills has already said it will have to review their approval of the bill. No one thinks that the police won't have some kind of lawful access - but reasonable for us has always meant with judicial oversight, and transparency - and that there is accountability for making these requests for personal information. This decision is important for Canadians, because it pulls us back from the surveillance state our current government has been building.

At the minimum, it is going to make the True North a great place for Americans to host their data - we have the competitive advantage when it comes to privacy. If we are really lucky, it may remind the US about this fantastic document, something inspiring to the whole world, called the Bill of Rights, and which recent US governments have been happy to ignore. Perhaps your neighbour to the north can remind you of what you were always supposed to be about...

Proper innovation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47233997)

The idea of "deregulation" in terms of
established protocol is just as insane as seeking new interpretations.
For extreme circumstance such as child predators, dedicated warrant issuers or something of the like to expedite the process should be looked at (I'm sure a lot of retired judges would appreciate the potential opportunities).
I have a feeling a lot of this front story is a smoke screen to invoke emotion and deter from a bigger consideration.
Does this impact the future liasons within CSEC and the $2 billion dollar data structure being built?

Canada? (1)

LynnwoodRooster (966895) | about 5 months ago | (#47234259)

So this helps out like, 15 people?

Re:Canada? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47234833)

34.8 million actually. 4 million short of the population of cali....interesting.

Nice but... (1)

rolias (2473422) | about 5 months ago | (#47234589)

More transparency into government and business would, I think, have a lot more benefits than incrementally regaining a little privacy.

A ruling we all want BUT! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47235821)

This is a ruling I think we all wanted, that the release of traceable information related to a known customer IP is a breach of reasonable privacy. Reading further though in the above case, is to note that the ruling does not preclude evidence gathered in this way from being later used in court.

You see in Canada there is a prosecution plea of "In good faith" that can often allow bad evidence to be used in court under a judges discretion, or in the case where it is an appeal used in a later retrial.

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