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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 50465 Find in a Library
Title: BUGGING CANADA - THE PROTECTION OF PRIVACY AND THE WIRETAP LAW
Journal: PERCEPTION  Volume:1  Issue:3  Dated:(JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1978)  Pages:28-30
Author(s): A A BOROVOY
Corporate Author: Canadian Council on Social Development
Canada
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 3
Sponsoring Agency: Canadian Council on Social Development
Ottawa, Ontario K1Y 1E5, Canada
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Canada
Annotation: THE LACK OF LEGAL SAFEGUARDS AGAINST WIRETAPPING IN CANADA IS DISCUSSED, AND DEVELOPMENTS IN CANADIAN LAW REGARDING WIRETAPPING ARE DESCRIBED.
Abstract: UNDER THE OFFICIAL SECRETS ACT, THE SOLICITOR GENERAL OF CANADA, ON THE BASIS OF HIS OWN UNREVIEWABLE INTERPRETATION OF SUBVERSIVE ACTIVITY, CAN AUTHORIZE ELECTRONIC SURVEILLANCE OF A PERSON FOR AN UNLIMITED AMOUNT OF TIME. ELECTRONIC BUGGING CAN BE APPROVED BY COURTS IN ORDINARY CRIMINAL CASES. SINCE THE ELECTRONIC BUGS CANNOT DISCRIMINATE BETWEEN LEGAL AND ILLEGAL ACTION, THE VULNERABILITY OF PERSONS BEING MONITORED INCREASES. THE FAILURE OF WIRETAPPING AND ELECTRONIC BUGGING IN CONTROLING ORGANIZED CRIME IN THE UNITED STATES IS CITED, AND IT IS RECOMMENDED THAT ELECTRONIC BUGGING ONLY BE USED IN CONNECTION WITH GRAVE CRIMES, AND THE PERMISSION OF A COURT OR INDEPENDENT TRIBUNAL SHOULD BE A PREREQUISITE. IN 1974, LEGISLATION WAS PASSED IN CANADA REQUIRING THE POLICE TO NOTIFY THE PERSONS BEING BUGGED WHETHER OR NOT CHARGES WOULD BE MADE WITHIN 90 DAYS OF AN INVESTIGATION; THE IDEA WAS TO ENABLE AN INNOCENT VICTIM OF BUGGING A CHANCE TO SEEK REDRESS, AND TO DISCOURAGE UNNECESSARY BUGGING. IN 1977, THE LAW WAS MODIFIED TO ALLOW THE POLICE AT ANY TIME, EVEN AT THE OUTSET OF A BUGGING OPERATION, TO REQUEST A 3-YEAR MORATORIUM ON THE REQUIREMENT TO NOTIFY. IT IS ARGUED THAT THIS 3-YEAR PERIOD IS TOO LONG, AND THAT CIRCUMSTANCES CAN CHANGE DURING A 3-YEAR PERIOD WHICH WOULD NEGATE JUSTIFICATION OF ELECTRONIC SURVELLIANCE. RETALIATION OF INNOCENT PERSONS WHO HAVE BEEN BUGGED IS IMPEDED BY THE WIRETAP LAW WHICH PROHIBITS ACCESS TO THE MATERIAL UPON WHICH A WARRANT WAS GRANTED. ALTHOUGH THE WIRETAP LAW REQUIRES EXCLUSION OF RECORDINGS IN COURT, IT DOES ALLOW ADMITTANCE OF INFORMATION OBTAINED FROM THE RECORDINGS. IT IS SUGGESTED THAT POLICE HAVE MORE POWER, AND CIVILIANS FEWER SAFEGUARDS, THAN THEY RESPECTIVELY NEED. (DAG)
Index Term(s): Canada; Constitutional Rights/Civil Liberties; Electronic surveillance; United States of America
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=50465

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