In December the Supreme Court of Canada released their decision in R v Reeves. This decision considered what expectation of privacy an individual has in a shared digital device, such as a shared computer or tablet. The Court found that a third-party, even one who has access to the shared device, cannot unilaterally consent to a police search and seizure of the device.
One of the methods by which police are made aware of the presence of child pornography on a computer is when a computer technician is hired to fix the computer and in the process of doing so discovers the illegal content. A recent decision of the Court of Appeal of Alberta, R v Villaroman, 2018 ABCA 220¸ considered such a case.
There has been a steady increase in child pornography prosecutions over the last 10 years, partly as a result on the ease at which it can be found online. In some cases it is relatively easy to determine what constitutes child pornography, for instance videos or photographs depicting young children involved in sexual activities. In other cases, it may be more difficult. One example of that is in the ares of cartoons or anime. Do they constitute child pornography or not? The answer is that it depends.
The Court of Appeal of Ontario recently released a judgment in an extradition case involving a deportation order to the United States against a man alleged to have committed charges of internet luring, child exploitation and child pornography.
A person charged with possessing or making child pornography can raise what is known as a "private use exception" as a defence. The limits of this defence were recently considered by the Supreme Court of Canada in the case of R. v. Barabash.
Last week the Supreme Court of Canada ("SCC") released a decision in a case called R v Spencer with the court upholding internet user's anonymity. The law now requires police officers to get a search warrant before being able to get a user's information from their ISP ("Internet Service Provider"). Prior to this judgment, ISPs would provide police forces with user information tied to an IP address upon a request without a warrant or court order. The SCC ruled that Canadians have a reasonable expectation of privacy associated with their internet use. The SCC also confirmed that the Charter-protected right against unreasonable searches is engaged when police attempt to obtain user information matching an IP address.