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Are IP Addresses Private?

ONLINE PRIVACY—CANADA

November 11, 2010

The Montreal Gazette reports on a potentially groundbreaking case for Canada as the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal grapples with the privacy of Internet protocol (IP) addresses. The case involves a man who was convicted last year on child pornography charges. Using a Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act request, Saskatoon law enforcement officers sought his IP address from his Internet service provider, which provided his name, home address, phone number and e-mail address. The defense has argued it was too easy for police to find the user of the IP address, the report states, but the prosecution says IP addresses are not private because anyone on the Internet can find them.
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