Law enforcement authorities in Canada require a search warrant to obtain users’ private data from the internet providers during investigations. The Supreme Court’s unprecedented ruling ensures the Canadians’ right for online privacy and anonymity.
The top court’s ruling came in an appeal of a 19-year-old Matthew David Spencer, who faced child pornography charges in 2007 and was then convicted. Police used his internet address to access details from his provider, without first getting a search warrant. Lawyers argued that their actions breached his constitutional right to be protected from illegal search and seizure.
Spencer appealed his conviction, arguing that the search was unconstitutional and his rights had been violated. The Saskatchewan Court of Appeal ruled there is no reasonable expectation of privacy for basic internet subscriber information.