SELECTED CASE LAW
In 2015 BCCA 374, Mr. C was convicted of possessing and distributing child pornography and breaching his recognizance. He was acquitted of child luring, invitation to sexual touching, and breaching his recognizance for those offences. He appealed this conviction arguing the search of his computer was unlawful and that he had a reasonable expectation of privacy in his inter-net service provider subscriber information.
Mr. C had shared child pornography with an undercover police officer using a file sharing pro-gram. The officer made a “law enforcement request” to the internet service provider, which gave the officer the subscriber information associated with the IP address of the user who shared the images. The subscriber information was associated with Mr. C’s previous roommate Mr. F, who was not aware that Mr. C reinstated his internet and continued to use it after Mr. F moved out and cancelled the account.
A search of Mr. C’s residence resulted in a hard drive with thousands of child pornography images and videos being found. The videos were predominately of young boys and included violent and humiliating content, as well as at least one bestiality video involving a young girl. There were also videos of children playing in the snow in the school across from Mr. C’s apartment. All the images were well organized in a database. The search also resulted in chats where Mr. C discussed child pornography. There was some evidence of Mr. C talking with young boys on the internet, but not enough to convict him on child luring or invitation to sexual touching.
On appeal, the court found that Mr. C did not have Mr. F’s permission to use the internet account and therefore did not have an objectionably reasonable expectation of privacy to the de-tails of Mr. F’s account. His appeal was dismissed.
Also see: 2012 BCSC 627 (Trial); 2012 BCSC 525 (Charter – search and seizure); 2012 BCSC 482 (Evidence).