Result » Canadian federal legislators need to enact legislation that will be enforceable within Canadian jurisdiction.
If Facebook, and others, want to operate within Canadian borders, they must be expected to work within Canadian society’s rules, regulations, and customs.
The case involved Facebook messages that police in London, Ont., wanted to access in order to proceed with a homicide investigation and trial.
Because Facebook is an American company, the usual legal process involves Canadian authorities applying for evidence, in this case from the Facebook Messenger app, through a mutual legal assistance treaty (MLAT). The treaty has been used for decades by police on both sides of the border to get access to physical evidence.
In this case, a judge issued a production order — essentially a legal order for Facebook to give up the information. Authorities thought that would be quicker than the treaty process, which takes about four months.
But when it became clear this fall Facebook would fight tooth and nail against having to comply with a Canadian judge’s order, the Crown applied through the MLAT for the messages and received them.