OMNI TV File: Canadian supreme court rules emails are private communication, cops told to get wiretap warrants from judge

Zuhair Kashmer on OMNI TV commentary logo

Steven Harper goes right, Supreme Court goes left

It is heartening to witness how as Steven Harper’s government moves to the extreme right, our Supreme Court continues to maintain a steady respect for civil rights – we saw recently how it backed the Saskatchewan human rights commission that free expression does not mean unfettered hate speech that demonizes an identifiable group — now it has told our police that they cannot obtain all the e-mails of individuals without the same process as wiretapping, meaning they must first convince a judge — the Sudbury police had argued that a general warrant was enough since e-mails were not private conversations — TELUS Mobility very rightly appealed the general warrant, which is far easier to obtain than a wiretap — our iconic Justice Rosalie Abella pointed out that e-mails are private conversations, only the means of transmission is different — I am elated — it was only 30 years ago that I sat through a trial where the police described how they walked into an apartment building, broke into a Bell Canada box, wiretapped the wrong apartment where they listened to a matrimonial quarrel — All without any warrant – but pressures are mounting to resurrect Ottawa’s infamous internet surveillance bill to give law enforcers a free reign, as we saw after sensational media coverage of the two young radicalized Muslims from London, Ontario, who were involved in the terrorist takeover of a gas plant in Algeria – my take is that the ineptness of our police and intelligence is no excuse to legalize Dirty Harry — think about it, I’m Zuhair Kashmeri.

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