Skip to comments.Canadian court orders release of forum data (Free Dominion)
Posted on 03/24/2009 7:01:42 AM PDT by Sir Gawain
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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:
 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.
I read some lefties opining that we should have lost this motion because people have no right to defame someone anonymously.
I think it is important to clarify our position here.
It has never been our position that people should be able to break the law anonymously (including defamation). Our argument is that "outing" a person online is a drastic thing to do (especially when our opponents like to destroy them after they find out who they are), and it should not be routinely done just because someone files a statement of claim.
We belive that a prima facie case should have to be established before a possibly innocent person's privacy is irrevocably compromised.
We thought this was entirely reasonable. Unfortunately, the judge did not agree.
Nice transparancy look!
hello and sorry to read about this ruling, but am not quite up to speed on all the facts
queens bench ruling against you based solely on a statement of claim seems like a reach, of course
but i’d like to know what was so controversial that someone (allegedly posted) on freedominion that someone sued you as sysops/owners ? is there a libel issue ? or is this one of those fasciist tribunal things? clearly coqb found something compelling, yes ? liberal judges suck but its canada, after all. like all bureaucracies everywhere they love to waste our time justifying their existence and protecting their paycheques, right ?
not trying to play devils advocate or anything but not sure what you are fighting for ? you guarantee your site users anonymity on the internet ?
i’d be willing to fight to the death to defend another’s rights to free speech, but thats the price of freedom. and that person would have to be willing to stand up and own their words.
to defend someone’s ‘right’ to anonymous freedom of speech is something else entirely. i’m not really sure how i feel about that...can someone more enlightened than i am explain to me why this is bad ?
ah sorry your latest response cleared some things up for me, thanks
Thanks potlatch -
A “blend” composite at I-M
Thanks for telling, I wondered how you got that effect.
You may recall the Eagle/Eagle .jpg I did back a while
Same technique used
For some reason I’m not recalling that one.
A Bald Eagle and a fighter jet composite blend
The colors and darkness need to be compatible for it to work right
I’ll come across it sometime again.
Thanks Snowyman. That is EXACTLY what I said. It paints a very perverted picture of our current government. PO’s me actually.!! CO
Not true Nully. It’s the left over judicial liberal slime from the 13 years of judicial appointments that Creepien made. Harper is DELIBERATELY not filling judicial vacancies at this time. He needs a majority and then watch out. May all these destructive fools on the “bench” be removed “somehow”. CO
Connie, u got a Trudeau/Creepien judge. Simple as that. And not in reference to your post but anothers, I too, want to know how they knew WHO it was? I have posted many times that I know Stephen Harper thru a mutal GOOD friend. I intend to be meeting with my friend very soon to find out what is happening. CO
Free Dominion was sold to a Panamanian corporation at the time the servers were moved to Panama. There are no known staff of this Panamanian corporation and it is unknown (I believe) who the owners are. Somethings have to be well thought out in advance of possible problems that may arise.
No, he wouldn't.
By the way, welcome to Free Republic.
Damn nasty power spikes down in that power grid can wipe hard drives out in seconds ya know?
What makes you think the U.S. is a safe harbor?