THE COURT is the online resource for debate & data about the Supreme Court of Canada.*

Archive For Entries On Telecommunications

Metadata and the Fourth Amendment

The American National Security Agency’s (NSA) bulk metadata collection program has been the subject of considerable scrutiny ever since The Guardian revealed the program’s existence last summer as part of its reporting on leaks from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. Perhaps the most salient legal issue regarding the metadata program is whether it violates the […]

Cutting the Wire but Not the Responsibility – Peracomo Inc v Telus

On November 15, the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) will hear Peracomo Inc v Telus (“Peracomo”) a case where the sole officer and directing mind of a fishing company is trying to escape the consequences that stem from his deliberate decision to cut a telephone line cable. This case explicitly deals with Maritime Law. It […]

Law Enforcement Wins at the Expense of Internet Privacy in R v Ward

Yesterday, after weeks of incessant prodding by Apple, I finally decided to upgrade to the latest version of iTunes. Before doing so, however, a window emerged before me with a dizzying and seemingly endless block of text. Like most people faced with an ominous set of “Terms and Conditions,” I scrolled directly to the bottom […]

Privacy trumps the press: The Supreme Court grants anonymity to victims of cyberbulling in AB v Bragg Communications Inc

We have all seen how Facebook can shine a global light on local events with the help of news media. Posts that attract enough attention are reported, creating an even bigger splash online. This feedback can even amplify the impact of these events, turning a small protest into a revolution and a politician’s indiscretion into […]

Tweeting the Evidence in R v Sonne

The trial of Byron Sonne is an intriguing case that has baffled the media since he was arrested aboard a bus in the lead up to the Toronto G20 summit in June 2010. Following his arrest, Mr. Sonne was detained and questioned for 14 hours. He was denied the opportunity to speak with a lawyer […]

Breeden v Black and Éditions Écosociété v Banro: Exercising Jurisdiction in Multijurisdictional Defamation Cases

In the companion cases of Breeden v Black, 2012 SCC 19 (“Breeden”) and Éditions Écosociété Inc. et al. v Banro Corp., 2012 SCC 18 (“Banro”), the Supreme Court of Canada clarified the manner in which courts should determine whether to exercise jurisdiction over multijurisdictional defamation claims involving foreign defendants. Although the decisions support the ability […]

Delineating the Charter’s Scope in Pridgen v University of Calgary

Section 32 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms limits the Charter’s application to the activities of the Federal government and Parliament, and the government’s of each province. While the purpose of this provision is to clearly limit the scope of the Charter’s application, as in many areas of law, what initially appears to […]

At the Court: The Homicide Common Sense Inference and Online Bullying

When it Comes to Homicide, What’s Common? The Supreme Court of Canada will have the opportunity to revisit the charges laid of Adrian John Walle, a developmentally delayed Calgarian (cf. R v Walle, 2010 ABCA 384) on April 13. The Court will decide whether the Alberta Court of Appeal was correct in applying the “common […]

Interpreting the Message in Reference re Broadcasting Act

In a recent reference, the Supreme Court of Canada confirmed that when Internet Service Providers (ISPs) provide consumers with access to “broadcasting” programs through the Internet, they do not carry on “broadcasting undertakings” and are thus not subject to the Broadcasting Act (the “Act”). The Reference re Broadcasting Act, 2012 SCC 4, came about in […]

Amici Curiae: Privacy on Twitter, the Chief Justice on Access to Justice, and the Trouble with Troublesome Clients

Twitter Ordered to Hand Over User’s Private Information The nature of privacy rights in the digital age are being challenged once again after a judge in the United States ordered the social media site Twitter to surrender information that was allegedly obtained by hacking into police websites to the Boston district attorney. The decision came […]