Court won’t redact or take down its decision

On September 7th, the Court of Appeal for British Columbia dismissed an application to have part of its reasons redacted or to have the reasons withdrawn from the Court’s website. 

The applicant believed that part of the reasons – released in 2004 – were harmful to his reputation, a problem he said was facilitated by internet search. The Court dismissed the application because redaction would offend the principle of finality. It held that redaction alone would effectively amount to an amendment of the Court’s (substantive) conclusions. (This is a non-obvious point of principle of some significance.) The Court also relied on the open courts principle, which it affirmed. 

MacGougan v. Barraclough, 2017 BCCA 321 (CanLII).

Case Report – Another subscriber data search challenge dismissed

On February 18th, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice held that the police conducted a lawful search by asking an ISP for a subscriber’s name and residential address in order to link that information with a known IP address. Unlike in its February 10th decision in Wilson, the Court accepted that the disclosure of a subscriber’s name and residential address is revealing of the “details of the lifestyle and personal choices of [an] individual” because it allows for the identification of an anonymous internet user. The Court nonetheless held the applicant lacked a reasonable expectation of privacy in the information given the terms of the contract his mother (and co-resident) had entered into with the ISP.

R. v. Vasic, 2009 CanLII 6842 (ON S.C.).