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.
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.
For full contact information and a brief bio, please see David's profile.
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, August 20, 2006
Last week, on August 17, 2006, a United States District Judge declared the Bush administration's warrantless wiretap program to be illegal and unconstitutional. The order to end the program is stayed until September, allowing the government to appeal. From the New York Times:
Federal Judge Orders End to Warrantless Wiretapping - New York Times:
District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor found that President Bush exceeded his proper authority and that the eavesdropping without warrants violated the First and Fourth Amendment protections of free speech and privacy.
“It was never the intent of the Framers to give the president such unfettered control, particularly where his actions blatantly disregard the parameters clearly enumerated in the Bill of Rights,” she wrote, in a decision that the White House and Justice Department said they would fight to overturn. A hearing will be held before Judge Taylor on Sept. 7, and her decision will not be enforced in the meantime pending the government’s appeal.
The judge’s ruling is the latest chapter in the continuing debate over the proper balance between national security and personal liberty since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, which inspired the eavesdropping program and other surveillance measures that the administration says are necessary and constitutional and its critics say are intrusive.
In becoming the first federal judge to declare the eavesdropping program unconstitutional, Judge Taylor rejected the administration’s assertion that to defend itself against a lawsuit would force it to divulge information that should be kept secret in the name of national security.
“Predictably, the war on terror of this administration has produced a vast number of cases, in which the states secrets privilege has been invoked,” Judge Taylor wrote. She noted that the Supreme Court has held that because the president’s power to withhold secrets is so powerful, “it is not to be lightly invoked.” She also cited a finding in an earlier case by the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit that “whenever possible, sensitive information must be disentangled from nonsensitive information to allow for the release of the latter.”
The New York Times also has a handy-dandy guide on how the usual process operates for law enforcement to obtain a warrant under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The Bush administration is arguing that the process is too cumbersome for the current situation and that their procedure of avoiding authorization from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court is constitutionally kosher.
The US administration has come out strongly against the Court's ruling and argues that it will be successful on appeal.
Bush Predicts Appeals Court Will Lift Ban on Wiretaps - New York Times:
WASHINGTON, Aug. 18 — President Bush predicted Friday that an appeals court would ultimately overturn a decision this week declaring his warrantless wiretapping program illegal, and he said that “those who herald this decision simply do not understand the nature of the world in which we live.”
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