The Canadian Privacy Law Blog: Developments in privacy law and writings of a Canadian privacy lawyer, containing information related to the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (aka PIPEDA) and other Canadian and international laws.

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The author of this blog, David T.S. Fraser, is a Canadian privacy lawyer who practices with the firm of McInnes Cooper. He is the author of the Physicians' Privacy Manual. He has a national and international practice advising corporations and individuals on matters related to Canadian privacy laws.

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The views expressed herein are solely the author's and should not be attributed to his employer or clients. Any postings on legal issues are provided as a public service, and do not constitute solicitation or provision of legal advice. The author makes no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained herein or linked to. Nothing herein should be used as a substitute for the advice of competent counsel.

This web site is presented for informational purposes only. These materials do not constitute legal advice and do not create a solicitor-client relationship between you and David T.S. Fraser. If you are seeking specific advice related to Canadian privacy law or PIPEDA, contact the author, David T.S. Fraser.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Spokane Mayor Debates Privacy Online 

The Mayor of Spokane, WA has found out the hard way that there is virtually no anonymity online. Apparently, he is accused of offering city jobs in a gay chat room, among other things: Spokane Mayor Debates Privacy Online:

"SPOKANE, Wash. -- After what Mayor James West called his 'brutal outing' by a newspaper that published transcripts of his conversations from a gay chat room, he complained in an e-mail to the city's commission on race relations. West asked: 'Should we all fear that our private conversations will be splashed publicly and out of context for all in our sphere to see?' The answer, Internet privacy advocates say, is 'yes.'

'Online anonymity is kind of hard to come by,' said Beth Givens of the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, a consumer information privacy group in San Diego.

'You cannot count on anonymity in virtually any online communication, unless you are an expert at using encryption and do a lot of research on the service you are using,' Givens said.

After receiving a tip the mayor was offering city jobs to young men he met in a chat room, The Spokesman-Review found a way to corroborate the information without having to subpoena records from the chat room's sponsor.

It hired a computer expert to track the identity of the person behind the screen names 'Cobra82,' 'RightBiGuy' and 'JMSElton' that it suspected was the mayor...."


6/19/2005 05:36:00 PM  :: (1 comments)  ::  Backlinks
The mayors problems are one thing, but the thing we should all be concerned about is who will be next on the list for the newspaper to entrap, in order to have a big story. If this was all illegal,t hen it should be turned over to the authorities, but in this case, the Spokesman Review is calling all the shots, have the mayor convicted of everything in the book, without a charge of anything to date. How can this happen.
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