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.
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.
Again, I dont know these folks, but here is more:
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 -
When Richard Warman loses his case, and he will, Free Dominion needs to sue him for a zillion dollars.
I’m lucky I don’t own a car.
I don’t think they need to subpoena Jim Rob. They probably already know.
It’s not the Canadian government, it’s those weasel liberal left over Judges that were appointed for life by Creepien!! CO
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.
Don't worry about that; they will.
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.
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?
To be succinct:
Rich, powerful people will be the only ones with "free speech".
Open your peasant yap - you'll have an expensive lawsuit shoved down it. Or the ones with the ultimate blank checkbook will come after you - the government.
People don't seem to understand that the Founders didn't have or envision a government with an unlimited budget for "rules enforcement".
We've inherited the traditional respect for government operations, but often fail to examine what's really going on.
Sometimes, government operatives don't do what's "right". That's when the blank checkbook becomes a problem.
Just post using TOR.
Takes just a few minutes to install the Vidalia package and the TOR button for the browser. Traffic is encrypted from your browser through many servers until the last hop...which for me right now is a PC in Europe.
I rarely use it except to browse democraticunderground
and to post images on tinypic.
My IP right now is 126.96.36.199
Whois lookup lists this for my IP
OrgName: RIPE Network Coordination Centre
Address: P.O. Box 10096
NetRange: 188.8.131.52 - 184.108.40.206
NetType: Allocated to RIPE NCC
Comment: These addresses have been further assigned to users in
Comment: the RIPE NCC region. Contact information can be found in
Comment: the RIPE database at http://www.ripe.net/whois
# ARIN WHOIS database, last updated 2009-03-24 19:10
# Enter ? for additional hints on searching ARIN’s WHOIS database.
% This is the RIPE Whois query server #1.
% The objects are in RPSL format.
% Rights restricted by copyright.
% See http://www.ripe.net/db/copyright.html
% Note: This output has been filtered.
% To receive output for a database update, use the “-B” flag.
% Information related to ‘220.127.116.11 - 18.104.22.168’
inetnum: 22.214.171.124 - 126.96.36.199
descr: ipipe network
status: ASSIGNED PA
source: RIPE # Filtered
person: Soldatov Maxim
address: Marylebone high street 78
address: W1U 5AP London
phone: +380 50 4985406
source: RIPE # Filtered
person: Vladimir Klenov
address: London, United Kingdom
phone: +380 50 4985406
source: RIPE # Filtered