R. v. Spencer, 2014 SCC 43 (CanLII)

  • December 09, 2014

Date: 2014-12-9. Docket: 34644. Cromwell J. | Link

Police identified the Internet Protocol (IP) address of a computer that had been used to access and store child pornography. They obtained subscriber’s information from the internet service provider (ISP) . The subscriber sought to exclude the evidence found on his computer on the basis that obtaining his home address from the ISP amounted to an unreasonable search contrary to s. 8 of the Charter. The SCC held that the search was within the meaning of s. 8 but that the evidence should not be excluded under s. 24(2) of the Charter. If a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy in the totality of the circumstances then obtaining that information is a search. The search was warrantless and not lawful. However, the evidence was found to be reliable and the use of it would not bring the administration of justice into disrepute.