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

Archive For Entries On Telecommunications

R v Elliott: An Unhinged Use of Hashtags

In R v Elliott, 2016 ONCJ 35 [Elliott], Gregory Elliott was found not guilty of criminally harassing two women by repeatedly communicating with them via Twitter through various hashtags they had created. In my view, Mr. Elliott fulfills the definition of a “Twitter troll” and I find his opinions personally offensive. But is the fact […]

Does Government Spying Make Us Safer? Liberty v Secretary of State

A Decision of the United Kingdom’s Investigatory Powers Tribunal (“the Tribunal”) in Liberty v Secretary of State, [2015] UKIPTrib 13 77-H [Liberty], endorsed the importance of transparency in the surveillance practices of British security agencies such as the Security Service (“MI5”), the Secret Intelligence Service (“MI6”), and the Government Communications Headquarters (“GCHQ”). The decision emphasized […]

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 until […]

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 of plaintiffs to […]

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 […]