This doesn't bode well for liberty. :mad:Canadian court orders release of forum data
posted at 8:36 am on March 24, 2009 by Ed Morrissey
A judge has ordered Free Dominion, the Canadian counterpart to Free Republic, to release the records of its anonymous forum posters in order to enable a lawsuit by Richard Warman. The release will mean the end of anonymity for all practical purposes in Canada, as well as an end to privacy for Free Dominion itself, which must also produce all its hosting agreements and ownership information as well. The judge offered this ironic justification for his order:
That’s the threshold for privacy in Canada? Anyone styling themselves as an “anti-hate speech advocate” can raid the records of a web community he doesn’t like? Note also the circular reasoning here employed by Judge Stanley Kersham. If the government sees fit to block a website from its employees at some level, then it’s permissible to strip them of their rights to privacy and speech at any point. In the case before the court, we are dealing with an anti-hate speech advocate and Defendants whose website is so controversial that it is blocked to employees of the Ontario Public Service.
As far as the “anti-hate-speech” advocate himself, Kersham seems to have missed this finding by the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal from just two weeks ago. Richard Warman was not just a customer of the CHRC, he was one of its big offenders as well:
In essence, Kersham just allowed a participant on neo-Nazi discussion forums to raid Free Dominion’s business records.I do not see any acceptable reason for Mr. Warman to have participated on the Stormfront or Vanguard sites, since there appears to be ample easily obtained messages on these sites available without his involvement. Moreover, it is possible that his activity in this regard, could have precipitated further hate messages in response. His explanation for including other hate messages in his postings by mistake seems very weak to me.
Mr. Warman has, with the assistance of the Commission, instituted most of the s. 13 (1) complaints under the Act that have come before the Tribunal. He has been very successful in these cases and has garnered accolades for his work in this regard. The evidence in this case of his participation on Internet sites similar to the Northern Alliance site is both disappointing and disturbing. It diminishes his credibility. For this reason and because the activities of the Respondents have ceased for a lengthy period of time, I will not make any further Orders in this matter.