The Pirate Party of Canada strives to reform Canadian information laws to meet the needs of the new century. We are supporters of free culture, transparent and accountable government, and engaging democracy.

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Supreme Court Upholds Judicial Oversight of Police Surveillance

On Friday the Supreme Court upheld the need for judicial oversight of police surveillance activities. In R. v. Tse.  the Supreme Court upheld that under emergency conditions police may undertake surveillance activities without a warrant, however the existing provisions for this in the Criminal Code were ruled to be overly broad. The court stressed the need of these emergency powers to be well justified, temporary, include police accountability to judicial oversight, and that the subject under surveillance must be notified after the fact.

This ruling affirms that although police surveillance is sometimes considered necessary there must be requirements for proper oversight of these activities to prevent police abuses and ensure Canadians’ privacy. This ruling also casts doubt on the constitutionality of the warrentless communication interception provisions of the proposed Bill C-30.

Text of the ruling: http://scc.lexum.org/en/2012/2012scc16/2012scc16.html

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