SCOC ruling: Harper’s warrantless internet wiretapping unconstitutional

Via Ottawa Citizen:

The Supreme Court of Canada’s landmark ruling that emergency wiretapping without a warrant is unconstitutional — which could pave the way for a new federal law that better safeguards privacy rights — is being used by critics to revive their attacks on the Harper government’s controversial Internet surveillance bill.

“It’s a huge blow to the Conservative’s Internet snooping bill,” NDP justice critic Jack Harris told Postmedia News.

In a unanimous ruling, the country’s top court said police have an obligation to “give notice to intercepted parties” in the form of a court-issued warrant; that notice can be issued after the investigation.

This would “enhance the ability of targeted individuals to identify and challenge invasions to their privacy and seek meaningful remedies,” according to the judgment released Friday.

Interestingly, this came about because of some actual criminals, who’d kidnapped and tortured a convicted drug lord for 25 days, had their due process violated by these practices. While they are certainly guilty, it’s absolutely appalling that the police couldn’t simply ask a judge for a warrant before grabbing the information on these people. I can’t imagine any situation where a judge would say no in a case like that.

So, now that the SCOC has slapped Harper’s hand, what kind of retribution do you expect he’ll exact?

SCOC ruling: Harper’s warrantless internet wiretapping unconstitutional

7 thoughts on “SCOC ruling: Harper’s warrantless internet wiretapping unconstitutional

  1. 2

    Pathetically, Canadians once again can’t be bothered to give a damn enough to even comment. We have become stupid, complacent sheep. This is why our country is in the toilet. Nobody cares. Except, of course, when things affect them. Then they scream holy hell about how their rights are being abused. I’ve got news for those of you with your heads on backwards: by that time it’ll be too late.

  2. 3

    To clarify, the law which was struck down was passed by the Mulroney gov’t in 1985. The ruling bodes ill for the proposed internet laws.

    All Harper can do about it is froth at the mouth, a duty which is apparently the only reason he keeps Vic Toews on hand.

  3. 4

    The thing I’ve noticed is that a surprisingly large number of Canadians have fallen for the “the market knows best” and “business is better than government” mantra that has been pushed by the cons for the last while. In the wake of the 2008 recession and increasing inequality they have successfully managed to get the middle and lower income groups to turn against themselves rather than the policies that favor the wealthy.

    This whole war on crime is just a sideshow on a non-issue to distract voters from the real problems. It’s sad how many Canadians have bought in.

  4. 5

    While it’s probable that I’m just lucky enough to have smart friends, I’m seeing more and more Canadians waking up and getting mad. The problem is that it hasn’t quite hit a critical mass – we’re not mad enough, or there’s not a high enough number of mad Canadians yet. There’s also the problem with media dissemination of these issues: I visited my parents over Easter and saw that there’s a huge difference between what they know (local cable) and what I and my sister get into (drowning in the interwebs – I don’t watch TV ever, and my sister has both). They were upset about the CPP, but that’s the only thing they seem to think Harper should rot for.

  5. 6

    In about 9 days, we’ll have a little bit of a tell as to whether Harper will make it through another election unscathed. Alberta’s election seems to be a toss-up between right-wing and further right-wing but if enough people vote left, there’s a chance that some of the province is finally starting to see the light.

    I was thrilled when I read about this yesterday afternoon. There should be a system set up for getting emergency warrants when they’re needed, but under no circumstance should anyone be searched/tapped (phones or internet) without police having done their due diligence.

    That this ruling implies that Harper’s little bill of lost privacy won’t stand up is just the icing on the cake.

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