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Canadian court orders release of forum data (Free Dominion)
HotAir ^

Posted on 03/24/2009 7:01:42 AM PDT by Sir Gawain

Canadian court orders release of forum data

posted at 8:36 am on March 24, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

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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:

[33] 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.

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.

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:

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.

In essence, Kersham just allowed a participant on neo-Nazi discussion forums to raid Free Dominion’s business records.

Free Dominion wants to fight this ruling but is just about out of funds. Read their entire post to find out how you can help, and keep up with the story at Five Feet of Fury as well. If you haven’t already done so, order your copy of Ezra Levant’s Shakedown, which has more on the Human Rights Commission, its tribunal, and Richard Warman.


TOPICS: Breaking News; Canada; Government; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: freedominion
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To: nitzy

?

It’s not the Canadian government, it’s the Liberal tyranny in the Ontario, and the Ontario provincial government, and obviously the leftwing gay rights activists in a position of power who arbitrarily blocked Free Dominion’s URL on provincial government computers.
This, and who knows how many other instances of media/ information blocking being carried out by Ontario liberals in an attempt to prevent it’s citizens from learning of liberal corruption exposed by anything they see as “conservative, right wing” media and information sites on the internet is illegal. This is a juicy scandel that the conservatives should jump on and expose, adding it to the list of liberal corruption scandals. Just in time for a possible election too.


41 posted on 03/24/2009 9:29:57 AM PDT by Nathan Zachary
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To: chuck_the_tv_out

Do they know about the Canadian hosted sites that preach hate against Christians and conservatives? I do.


42 posted on 03/24/2009 9:32:56 AM PDT by rintense (Go Israel!)
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To: Gatún(CraigIsaMangoTreeLawyer); PapaBear3625

See PapaBear3625’s post # 39.

Maybe that’s it.

Connie and Mark live here.


43 posted on 03/24/2009 9:36:03 AM PDT by fanfan (God, Bless America, please.)
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To: headstamp 2
"They should fold up shop, destroy the records and move the hosting to the US. Screw the fascist bastards."

I am sure Comrade Barry would protect those Canadian refugees. /sarc

44 posted on 03/24/2009 9:36:07 AM PDT by Mad Dawgg (will work for bailout bonus.... Twitter: maddawggmorgan)
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To: Gatún(CraigIsaMangoTreeLawyer)

It’s not federal, “The Canadian government”, It’s the Ontario provincial liberal court, and players within the Ontario liberal government.

Freee Dominions case would probably be thrown out of the higher, federal court based on the Canadian Human Rights commissions findings alone.

As far as where Free Dominion is being hosted, it shows as a “.com /pa” so I would agree that the provincial court is either bluffing, or stupid.

That doesn’t relieve Free dominion site owners from having to argue it in court however, the sites owners are Canadian and live in Ontario I believe. That may tangle the issue if there aren’t any similar case laws that make Free Dominion outside of Ontario’s courts reach.


45 posted on 03/24/2009 9:48:22 AM PDT by Nathan Zachary
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To: PapaBear3625
"The physical servers might be in Panama, but as long as personnel remain in Canada they can be grabbed and ordered to hand over info from wherever it happens to be stored. For FreeDominion to be secure, then they would need to not have any operations staff or owners be within reach of Canadian authorities."

That's what I was thinking.

Plus People seen to lump anything to do with Canadian law into one catagory "The Canadian government". There court structure is the same as ours, they have "State" courts and "Federal" courts. Free Dominions case is all within the Ontario "state" courts at this point, and it's not specified which Human rights commission is involved with the complainant. Ontario's, Alberta's, B.C's? Regardless, it's a completely different entity.

46 posted on 03/24/2009 9:55:16 AM PDT by Nathan Zachary
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To: fanfan

“Good luck to the Canadian government in trying to get information.”

That was not part of the original article. It got posted there by mistake. I wondered what had happened to my comment.

I just now noticed it.


47 posted on 03/24/2009 9:58:36 AM PDT by Gatn(CraigIsaMangoTreeLawyer)
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To: Nathan Zachary

Thank you for your comments.


48 posted on 03/24/2009 10:06:04 AM PDT by Gatn(CraigIsaMangoTreeLawyer)
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To: PapaBear3625

Also, this lawsuit that Warman is trying to launch is against someone who posts on the site, who may or may not be a Canadian. He has no case if he can’t prove it’s a Canadian, and who it is for that matter, and that’s what this is all about, whether free dominion has to prove the info or not.

That’s why people should use an anonymous proxy server, like https://www.torproject.org just in case courts order a site to turn over their records.


49 posted on 03/24/2009 10:11:51 AM PDT by Nathan Zachary
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To: PapaBear3625
Free Dominion would have been better off to have kept it’s hosting in the US or in some other place that was out of reach of Canadian busy-bodies.

I thought they had... a year or two ago.

50 posted on 03/24/2009 10:27:43 AM PDT by Publius6961 (Change is not a plan; Hope is not a strategy.)
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To: Publius6961

Apparently they do. Panama. I wonder if Panama government even requires servers there to retain such records. It may not matter what the Canadian courts order Free dominion to do. The info might not even be available if they operate like other security conscious anonymous servers, they don’t keep those records period.

Acording to post #33, they probably don’t. Free Dominion should save themselves some money and check with their host to see if the do or not.


51 posted on 03/24/2009 10:35:20 AM PDT by Nathan Zachary
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To: Nathan Zachary

Again, I don’t know these folks, but here is more:

____________________________________

http://www.escapeartist.com/Offshore_Webhosting/Internet_Privacy.html

The one of a kind e-commerce bill was signed into law in August 2001 by Panama’s President Mireya Moscoso has created internet privacy in Panama. Believed to be the first of its kind to be implemented in Central America and the Caribbean, the law has, as was expected, begun to move Panama’s e-commerce industry into the one to beat for offshore web hosting and for IT connectivity.

According to legal authorities in Panama, the law is based on the guidelines of the UNCITRAL Model Law on E-Commerce and awards electronic documents and signatures the same validity as written documents. This is especially important as Panama has strict banking and corporate laws designed to protect the privacy of investors. The implication is that Panama now has the best protected internet eCommerce legislation in the world.

The law has received a warm welcome from the Panamanian business community and customers alike because the law’s provisions did away with the one key obstacle to e-commerce transactions in the country, i.e. the requirement for written acceptance by users of terms and conditions under traditional Civil Law.

Under the law, the Directorate of Electronic Commerce of the Ministry of Commerce has been granted the authority to maintain an optional register of certification authorities. The government hopes that the legislation will attract web hosting, call-centre and data centre companies to the country as they can also take advantage of Panama’s fully dollarized economy, lack of exchange restrictions and preferential taxation regime for information technology companies, Panama also is the hub where the Maya 1, Panamerican, Global Crossing and Arcos 1 underwater cables meet -


52 posted on 03/24/2009 10:48:11 AM PDT by Gatn(CraigIsaMangoTreeLawyer)
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To: Nathan Zachary

P.S.

When Richard Warman loses his case, and he will, Free Dominion needs to sue him for a zillion dollars.


53 posted on 03/24/2009 11:05:11 AM PDT by Gatn(CraigIsaMangoTreeLawyer)
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To: Sir Gawain

I’m lucky I don’t own a car.


54 posted on 03/24/2009 11:05:46 AM PDT by wastedyears (April 21st, 2009 - International Iron Maiden Day)
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To: TexasRepublic

I don’t think they need to subpoena Jim Rob. They probably already know.


55 posted on 03/24/2009 11:11:12 AM PDT by wastedyears (April 21st, 2009 - International Iron Maiden Day)
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To: nitzy

It’s not the Canadian government, it’s those weasel liberal left over Judges that were appointed for life by Creepien!! CO


56 posted on 03/24/2009 11:20:39 AM PDT by Canadian Outrage (Conservatism is to a country what an antibiotic is to an infection - Healing!!!!)
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To: All

Connie and Mark sold Free Dominion, when they moved the servers to Panama. They are no longer the owners. To the best of my knowledge the owners are Liberty News Service, also sited in Panama.


57 posted on 03/24/2009 12:57:03 PM PDT by NorthernRight (Liberalism is a mental disorder - Socialism is a mental illness!)
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To: Gatún(CraigIsaMangoTreeLawyer)
When Richard Warman loses his case, and he will, Free Dominion needs to sue him for a zillion dollars.

Don't worry about that; they will.

58 posted on 03/24/2009 12:59:44 PM PDT by NorthernRight (Liberalism is a mental disorder - Socialism is a mental illness!)
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To: Sir Gawain

bump


59 posted on 03/24/2009 2:07:29 PM PDT by Velveeta
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To: All

Free Dominion was sold to Liberty News Service in Panama, and the server resides in Panama. Also, no IP addresses or server logs are kept (and they haven’t been for well over a year).

The problem is that, because we are Canadian citizens, we were required under the law to save the IP addresses and email addresses of the posters in question once we were served with the lawsuit (which was before the sale of the site).

Although that information has been retained, the IP addresses are so old they will not likely produce any useful information, and who uses a real email address in a forum?

But, we are fighting this on principle. Although Liberty News Service is very careful with user information, most Canadian sites are not. And, this ruling means that anyone can find out anything about any forum poster by merely filing a statement of claim against the website owner. This is a very, very dangerous precedent.


60 posted on 03/24/2009 2:17:48 PM PDT by conniew
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