06-08-15 11:53 PM
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  1. Smitty13's Avatar
    For my fellow Canadians who have not been following the news on this today, I thought I would share the decision handed down today by the Supreme Court of Canada in regards to cellphone privacy and law enforcement:

    Source: Cellphone searches upon arrest allowed by Canada's top court - Politics - CBC News

    Quoting the article:

    The Supreme Court of Canada says law enforcement officials can go through the cellphone of someone under arrest as long as the search relates directly to the arrest and police keep detailed notes.

    The Supreme Court of Canada split 4-3, with the minority arguing cellphones and personal computers are "an intensely personal and uniquely pervasive sphere" that needs clear protection.

    The majority also found that whether someone has protected their phone with a password doesn't carry much weight in assessing that person's expectation of privacy.
    I have personally sifted through a number of news article on today's ruling and ironically did not find any mention of a situation where one encrypts their phone if they could be compelled to hand over the password/keys by threat of being charged with obstruction.

    Comments? Thoughts?
    12-11-14 05:52 PM
  2. tjseaman's Avatar
    That's okay with me personally as I don't have anything on my laptop or phone that would get me in trouble.

    Secondly, can't think of any reason I would be getting arrested anyway.

    Posted via CB10 - Z10 'Powered by BlackBerry'
    velkod likes this.
    12-11-14 06:02 PM
  3. Smitty13's Avatar
    That's okay with me personally as I don't have anything on my laptop or phone that would get me in trouble.

    Secondly, can't think of any reason I would be getting arrested anyway.

    Posted via CB10 - Z10 'Powered by BlackBerry'
    Well, if it is one thing I do, I know no one in Canadian history has ever been falsely arrested and convicted of a crime they did not do.
    /sarcasm

    I really do take exception to your first statement, as essentially you are parroting the usual rhetoric of, "Well I have nothing to hide!". While that may indeed be true, what of people who have nothing to share? While the two may seem the same, they are two very distinct ideas.

    Additionally, I have seen no distinct language published anywhere about today's decision in regard to what exactly constitutes the data as it "relates directly to the arrest". Would you also be okay with law enforcement accessing your online banking through your phone? I mean, you could be stashing some money away in your accounts that could be directly linked to someone's false accusation you have been committing armed robbery.

    Why would obtaining a warrant all of a sudden be a major hurdle to climb over? It is required for essentially every other communication tool we use in Canada.
    12-11-14 06:11 PM
  4. baarn's Avatar
    That's okay with me personally as I don't have anything on my laptop or phone that would get me in trouble.

    Secondly, can't think of any reason I would be getting arrested anyway.
    "If you give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest of men, I will find something in them which will hang him."

    Cardinal Richelieu
    12-11-14 06:25 PM
  5. eddy_berry's Avatar
    Do you guys realize that simply calling or texting someone of interest and what time and location those texts were sent could be critical to piecing together alibis or even motives? Things can happen. If suddenly you realize you do have something on your phone that could potentially make you an accessory or something then you better keep your device password locked until you can seek legal counsel. Other than that, if they have a warrant they might be able to get all that info through your carrier without ever looking at your phone. Incriminating files and photos would then be the only reason to search your phone.

    Edit: protect yourself first and foremost.

    Posted via CB10
    12-11-14 06:30 PM
  6. canadian nick's Avatar
    That's okay with me personally as I don't have anything on my laptop or phone that would get me in trouble.

    Secondly, can't think of any reason I would be getting arrested anyway.

    Posted via CB10 - Z10 'Powered by BlackBerry'
    What's next are you doing to let cops search your wife's underwear drawer without provocation or warrant because "you have nothing to hide ". That's a slippery slope were on.

    I also have nothing to hide but enjoy my freedoms.

    Posted via CB10
    12-11-14 06:32 PM
  7. jdesignz's Avatar
    Unfortunately, I'm not in Canada. :P

    PasaportePilipinasSQW100-1/10.3.1.1154
    12-11-14 06:34 PM
  8. Smitty13's Avatar
    Do you guys realize that simply calling or texting someone of interest and what time and location those texts were sent could be critical to piecing together alibis or even motives? Things can happen. If suddenly you realize you do have something on your phone that could potentially make you an accessory or something then you better keep your device password locked until you can seek legal counsel. Other than that, if they have a warrant they might be able to get all that info through your carrier without ever looking at your phone. Incriminating files and photos would then be the only reason to search your phone.

    Edit: protect yourself first and foremost.

    Posted via CB10
    While everything you said is true to a certain extent, I still pose the first question in my initial post: If in these instances where a warrant is not obtained, and an officer believes he should search your phone as data on it may relate to a crime at hand, and my phone is encrypted, can my refusal to unlock it or provide keys be a punishable offence? Or are we back to the grey area that surrounds this law already?

    Additionally to play devil's advocate with your statements, what if a person is using secure mediums of communication on their phones that not even one's carrier could access? Examples of this may include: BBM Protected, RedPhone, TextSecure, etc. Are all of the passwords to these apps now fair game for a police officer to demand? If so, where are the limitations? Surely one could make a case either way as to whether that data is pertinent to an investigation or not, but who wins out?
    12-11-14 06:41 PM
  9. byex's Avatar
    Last I heard about this was that law enforcement cannot compel you to unlock your password protected phone even under arrest. They needed a warrant for that and even then you can refuse but be charged.

    I guess that didn't last long.

    Posted via CB10
    12-11-14 06:42 PM
  10. tjseaman's Avatar
    Well, if it is one thing I do, I know no one in Canadian history has ever been falsely arrested and convicted of a crime they did not do.
    /sarcasm

    I really do take exception to your first statement, as essentially you are parroting the usual rhetoric of, "Well I have nothing to hide!". While that may indeed be true, what of people who have nothing to share? While the two may seem the same, they are two very distinct ideas.

    Additionally, I have seen no distinct language published anywhere about today's decision in regard to what exactly constitutes the data as it "relates directly to the arrest". Would you also be okay with law enforcement accessing your online banking through your phone? I mean, you could be stashing some money away in your accounts that could be directly linked to someone's false accusation you have been committing armed robbery.

    Why would obtaining a warrant all of a sudden be a major hurdle to climb over? It is required for essentially every other communication tool we use in Canada.
    If you read it correctly, I said it was okay by ME! Apparently I'm not allowed to have my own opinion in the matter.

    As for the banking comment... wouldn't have a problem with that. Not saying that I don't believe in the right to privacy, as I said and will stand by by statement that I simply have nothing to hide.

    If you don't agree that's fine, but I am entitled to my opinion on the matter and do not expect others to agree.


    Posted via CB10 - Z10 'Powered by BlackBerry'
    12-11-14 06:52 PM
  11. tjseaman's Avatar
    What's next are you doing to let cops search your wife's underwear drawer without provocation or warrant because "you have nothing to hide ". That's a slippery slope were on.

    I also have nothing to hide but enjoy my freedoms.

    Posted via CB10
    Really, bringing my wife's underwear draw into a conversation.

    There's a difference when you've been arrested and performing a search opposed to a search without provocation or warrant. Two different scenarios.

    Posted via CB10 - Z10 'Powered by BlackBerry'
    12-11-14 06:59 PM
  12. cbvinh's Avatar
    Meanwhile, in the U.S., Virginia specifically:

    "The Supreme Court ruled in the late 1980s that there's a difference between being forced to give up a key to a locked box versus giving up a combination or passcode to a safe. Courts like Judge Frucci's have taken this ruling to heart, essentially finding that if a phone can be unlocked with an arrestee's fingerprint, it's like finding a key and a lockbox on a suspect.

    This Virginia ruling does not mean that police can now search a fingerprint-unlockable smartphone without a warrant; the Supreme Court has said a warrant is typically required. However, where a suspect may not have been forced to give up his or her passcode, officers with a search warrant for a defendant's phone may force him or her to unlock the phone with a fingerprint."

    Cops Can Force Suspects to Unlock Phones via Fingerprint: Va. Court - Decided
    12-11-14 07:12 PM
  13. Smitty13's Avatar
    If you read it correctly, I said it was okay by ME! Apparently I'm not allowed to have my own opinion in the matter.
    Now, now, is there really any need to cross your arms and get into a huff like that? Where did anyone say you can't have an opinion? Just as you have every right in this great country of ours to say your opinion, that does not in any way shield you from someone else giving an opinion on how misguided and wrong your opinion was.

    As for the banking comment... wouldn't have a problem with that.
    Please do tell me what would happen in a corrupt law enforcement official copied all of your passwords, banking included, so they could maliciously access and use your accounts at a later date? What if that officer's opinion on your banking information is that it is pertinent to a simple speeding ticket? You are insinuating you would have no problem handing that over?

    If you don't agree that's fine, but I am entitled to my opinion on the matter and do not expect others to agree.
    This seems to contradict your first sentence in your reply. If you recognize this, why are you pulling the "Ohhhhhh! I see I can't say my opinion around here!!!111" card?
    12-11-14 07:12 PM
  14. Smitty13's Avatar
    Meanwhile, in the U.S., Virginia specifically:

    "The Supreme Court ruled in the late 1980s that there's a difference between being forced to give up a key to a locked box versus giving up a combination or passcode to a safe. Courts like Judge Frucci's have taken this ruling to heart, essentially finding that if a phone can be unlocked with an arrestee's fingerprint, it's like finding a key and a lockbox on a suspect.

    This Virginia ruling does not mean that police can now search a fingerprint-unlockable smartphone without a warrant; the Supreme Court has said a warrant is typically required. However, where a suspect may not have been forced to give up his or her passcode, officers with a search warrant for a defendant's phone may force him or her to unlock the phone with a fingerprint."

    Cops Can Force Suspects to Unlock Phones via Fingerprint: Va. Court - Decided
    I recall reading about this earlier. It really does leave one scratching their head as to the justification of this. A fingerprint, which acts in lieu of a text or numeric password, is considered different under the definition of this ruling.

    In both America and Canada, it absolutely frightens me that there are people making landmark, precedent setting decisions on technology security when I have a very good suspicion they themselves do not understand the first thing about it.

    "A cellphone?! Isn't that just what you kids using as your portable Nintendo these days?!"
    12-11-14 07:17 PM
  15. tjseaman's Avatar
    Now, now, is there really any need to cross your arms and get into a huff like that? Where did anyone say you can't have an opinion? Just as you have every right in this great country of ours to say your opinion, that does not in any way shield you from someone else giving an opinion on how misguided and wrong your opinion was.



    Please do tell me what would happen in a corrupt law enforcement official copied all of your passwords, banking included, so they could maliciously access and use your accounts at a later date? What if that officer's opinion on your banking information is that it is pertinent to a simple speeding ticket? You are insinuating you would have no problem handing that over?



    This seems to contradict your first sentence in your reply. If you recognize this, why are you pulling the "Ohhhhhh! I see I can't say my opinion around here!!!111" card?
    Lmao...Let's agree to disagree and call it a day.

    Posted via CB10 - Z10 'Powered by BlackBerry'
    12-11-14 07:20 PM
  16. cbvinh's Avatar
    I recall reading about this earlier. It really does leave one scratching their head as to the justification of this. A fingerprint, which acts in lieu of a text or numeric password, is considered different under the definition of this ruling.
    Maybe they're using the same reasoning as finding a suspect with a phone and the password written on a piece of paper in his/her wallet?
    12-11-14 07:25 PM
  17. cbvinh's Avatar
    Please do tell me what would happen in a corrupt law enforcement official copied all of your passwords, banking included, so they could maliciously access and use your accounts at a later date? What if that officer's opinion on your banking information is that it is pertinent to a simple speeding ticket? You are insinuating you would have no problem handing that over?
    Let's say it's not corrupt law enforcement but general law enforcement procedure. You get pulled over for speeding. The police sees that you have a cellphone. The police proceeds to pull all the data off your cellphone (passwords, banking info, contacts, photos, etc.) and can store it indefinitely. Whether you have anything to hide doesn't matter. Are you comfortable with having your private data in the hands of someone who cannot guarantee that they'll keep it safe? And based on scope, speeding, is any of the data collection relevant? It's good that the court decision limits the data collection to the arrest at hand. That's some foresight at least.
    12-11-14 07:33 PM
  18. Smitty13's Avatar
    Let's say it's not corrupt law enforcement but general law enforcement procedure. You get pulled over for speeding. The police sees that you have a cellphone. The police proceeds to pull all the data off your cellphone (passwords, banking info, contacts, photos, etc.) and can store it indefinitely. Whether you have anything to hide doesn't matter. Are you comfortable with having your private data in the hands of someone who cannot guarantee that they'll keep it safe? And based on scope, speeding, is any of the data collection relevant? It's good that the court decision limits the data collection to the arrest at hand. That's some foresight at least.
    You bring up many points that point out the serious methodological flaws of this ruling. Law enforcement officers are granted a very large range of discretion in how they apply the law; that said, the language in today's ruling is ambiguous at best. Who is to decide what data is relevant to the case at hand? Is this a decision based on a single officer? Multiple? Multiple superior officers on duty? A committee? No where is this explained clearly.

    What grounds are there to declare particular data as being recent enough to potentially contribute to a crime? 1 hour? 1 day? 1 month? How far will this go back?

    Will I be informed, or get to read "these notes", on what exactly these officers went through on my phone?

    Just as with any data being connected to a network, not even law enforcement is immune from the dangers that malicious black hats pose. I do not trust even seasoned IT professionals to handle such a wide and sensitive array of my data.
    12-11-14 07:50 PM
  19. eddy_berry's Avatar
    While everything you said is true to a certain extent, I still pose the first question in my initial post: If in these instances where a warrant is not obtained, and an officer believes he should search your phone as data on it may relate to a crime at hand, and my phone is encrypted, can my refusal to unlock it or provide keys be a punishable offence? Or are we back to the grey area that surrounds this law already?

    Additionally to play devil's advocate with your statements, what if a person is using secure mediums of communication on their phones that not even one's carrier could access? Examples of this may include: BBM Protected, RedPhone, TextSecure, etc. Are all of the passwords to these apps now fair game for a police officer to demand? If so, where are the limitations? Surely one could make a case either way as to whether that data is pertinent to an investigation or not, but who wins out?
    I would hope that justice would win out. I did say to refuse until you have legal counsel. That should buy time to ask what the best course of action would be. In the end though, if you believe you have not done anything wrong then you really shouldn't obstruct justice. If your possibly guilty of something or a possible accessory to a crime then you are going to need that lawyer anyway.

    Posted via CB10
    12-11-14 08:33 PM
  20. silversmith75's Avatar
    For my fellow Canadians who have not been following the news on this today, I thought I would share the decision handed down today by the Supreme Court of Canada in regards to cellphone privacy and law enforcement:

    Source: Cellphone searches upon arrest allowed by Canada's top court - Politics - CBC News

    Quoting the article:



    I have personally sifted through a number of news article on today's ruling and ironically did not find any mention of a situation where one encrypts their phone if they could be compelled to hand over the password/keys by threat of being charged with obstruction.

    Comments? Thoughts?


    i could be wrong but i was under the assumption that they can search your phone/tablet if it is not pasword protected.. and can not ask you to give password if it is...that is what i thought was the rule..
    12-11-14 08:54 PM
  21. Smitty13's Avatar
    I would hope that justice would win out. I did say to refuse until you have legal counsel. That should buy time to ask what the best course of action would be. In the end though, if you believe you have not done anything wrong then you really shouldn't obstruct justice. If your possibly guilty of something or a possible accessory to a crime then you are going to need that lawyer anyway.

    Posted via CB10
    No offence meant by this, but what you are doing is merely dressing up the phrase "You have nothing to be scared of if you have nothing to hide."

    Merely because one is innocent of wrong doing they should forfeit their rights as a citizen? Only those who are guilty should exercise their rights? I cannot in good conscience agree with either of those things.

    Sure, you will probably take that traffic stop down to 10 minutes from an hour if you just let them search through your vehicle, phone, and other possessions, but does one's principles mean they should be scrutinized further?

    The problem with you saying: "if you believe you have not done anything wrong then you really shouldn't obstruct justice", is that it isn't justice. If one is completely innocent of any wrong doing but is essentially forced to forfeit their right to privacy, what "justice" exactly is being done here? Perhaps this is more of a philosophical question, but is any form of justice actually taking place in that scenario? What wrongs are being corrected through law enforcement? None, because there were none to begin with.

    Little by little, if we do not exercise the fundamental rights we do have, we will slowly but surely see them eroded over time.
    12-11-14 08:58 PM
  22. BCITMike's Avatar
    F'n stupid judges. Having a password that wipes the phone if entered incorrectly isn't valid expectation of privacy? F off. If only judges were treated the same as citizens.

    I was in BC Supreme Court of Appeals one time, and one of the old ladies couldn't see how watching TV was freedom of speech. I'll never forget the expressions on literally every one in the court wondering wtf with that judge. Our lawyer spoke slowly and explained it to her.. she agreed, but not in a convincing way. It really lowered my respect for judges, as I thought the lower court judge Brenner knew his stuff and she was in a higher court. Judge Brenner did get promoted shortly after, so I still have tremendous respect for him.

    Posted via CB10
    12-11-14 09:01 PM
  23. Smitty13's Avatar

    i could be wrong but i was under the assumption that they can search your phone/tablet if it is not pasword protected.. and can not ask you to give password if it is...that is what i thought was the rule..
    I was under that assumption too, until today's ruling. I am honestly left wondering if encrypting one's phone and adding a system password is enough for plausible deniability in these new scenarios or if you would be charged with obstruction of justice if you failed to provide entry to your phone for law enforcement.

    I have been following issues surrounding this for a while now, and I am still very unsure on this, given today's ruling.
    12-11-14 09:03 PM
  24. nuff_said's Avatar
    You're not going to have a cop go out of his/her way to search your phone unless you **** them off or, as the ruling says, you are already under arrest. Meaning you are being held on legal grounds.
    Trust me...I've had my fair share of run ins with cops and never really had too many altercations which escalated to where I was held or illegally searched. To all those in Canada who has problems with it know your rights and learn the Charter. You'll be surprised how many cops will leave you alone if they feel you are aware of your legal rights. They muck around with the dumb ****s so don't hang around too many of them and don't act like one.
    Listen we all know there are good and bad people in all professions cops included. Let's not paint all with the same brush - be it cops or those being pulled over by them.
    eddy_berry likes this.
    12-11-14 09:13 PM
  25. flacrack's Avatar
    While I don't live in Canada, I think it is similar to the US. To say you don't care that your phone can be searched because you don't break the law is nonsense. I'm sure your constitution gives you the right to privacy, as does mine. People died to give you this right. Giving up basic rights isn't something any of us should consider, ever.

    (If your phone has strong encryption (including a complex password), you probably can't be forced to testify against yourself and give it up. Willingly, at least. Apparently some south of your border think breaking fingers is ok, though).
    12-11-14 09:25 PM
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