2001 ABCA 181

In 2001 ABCA 181, Mr. W was convicted of possessing child pornography.

Mr. W’s internet service provider was conducting routine repair on Mr. W’s email inbox. The ISP opened some emails that they believed contained child pornography and informed the police. It also provided the police with Mr. W’s billing address.

The police used this information to obtain a warrant. They searched his home and found child pornography in emails and attachments found on Mr. W’s computer and diskettes.

At trial, Mr. W argued that the ISP was acting as an agent of the state when it read and for-warded his emails to the police, but the trial judge disagreed, finding the ISP was not perform-ing a government function. He also argued the information used to obtain the warrant was in-sufficient, which the trial judge also disagreed with. The trial judge did not find that Mr. W’s privacy rights were violated. She also found there was enough evidence to demonstrate pos-session of the images, the photos had been emailed to other people from his email account. Mr. W was convicted.

Mr. W appealed the decision, but the Court of Appeal agreed with the trial judge’s decision and dismissed the appeal.

Also see: 1999 ABCA 275 (Appeal).

Criminal Offence(s): Child Pornography Offences