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R v Bykovets

R v Bykovets is a case that will determine whether Canadians have a reasonable expectation of privacy in their Internet Protocol (IP) addresses. Essentially, the question is whether police need to seek a search warrant before obtaining this personal information. In R v Bykovets, police obtained the IP address of the defendant, Andrei Bykovets from an online payment processing company without first getting a warrant. Police were then able to use this information to get Bykovets’ name and address, leading to his arrest.

In this appeal, the BCCLA has intervened to protect the right to privacy in IP addresses. The BCCLA argued that there is an inherent imbalance of power between internet users and companies that provide services online. Individuals have no choice but to use an IP address to access the internet and participate freely in modern society. After accessing services through the internet, we should expect to decide for ourselves whether our IP addresses should be shared with others.


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