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Supreme Court: Warrant Needed for E-mails, Texts

PRIVACY LAW—CANADA

March 28, 2013

Canada’s Supreme Court has ruled that police need to obtain a judicial warrant prior to accessing an individual’s electronic communications, The Globe and Mail reports. In a 5-2 majority, the justices invalidated a general warrant obtained by an Ontario police investigation in 2010 that required Internet provider Telus to disclose stored text messages and future electronic communications of three suspects. The court ruled the police should have obtained a judicial wiretap authorization. “Technical differences inherent in new technology should not determine the scope of protection afforded to private communications,” said Justice Rosalie Abella. Scott Hutchison, a lawyer representing Telus, said, “The court is saying that the fact a communication takes a particular form cannot deprive it of its private nature.”
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