Saturday, November 05, 2011

Saskatchewan Court refuses to admit expert evidence on reasonable expectation of privacy for ISP customer information

The Saskatchewan Court of Queen's bench has just released a decision in which the Court refused the defendant's application to admit expert evidence to support the proposition that there exists a reasonable expectation of privacy in customer name and address information when the police request it from an ISP with only an IP address.

In R v Pinsky, 2011 SKQB 371, police were carrying out an investigation into alleged possession and distribution of child pornography. The police had an IP address and asked Shaw, an internet service provider, for the customer name and address connected to the IP address at the relevant time. The ISP handed it over without a warrant.

In the course of the trial, the defendant asserted that there is a reasonable expectation of privacy in such information and that the evidence obtained following this should be excluded. The defendant sought to have Dr. Sunny Handa qualified as an expert, but the Court declined on the basis that such evidence is not necessary.

The decision only deals with the question of whether expert evidence can be put forward for such an argument, not whether the reasonable expectation of privacy exists. It'll be interesting to see how the court decides on the ultimate question.

No comments: