SCC to hear case about search and seizure of laptops and cell phones

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Ottawa – The Supreme Court of Canada will be hearing arguments on March 27, 2013 in R. v. Vu. The Court will look at whether a search warrant for documents can also allow the search and seizure of personal computers and mobile phones found inside a home.

In this case, a warrant was issued to search for evidence related to the possible theft of electricity at a house in Langley, B.C. The police found pot plants in the basement and two computers and a cell phone in the living room. The police examined and seized the computers and the phone. The police later arrested Mr. Vu because of information found on the computers and the phone.

The BCCLA will argue that applying the ordinary rules of search and seizure to new technologies will greatly expand police search power and chip away at privacy rights. The BCCLA will argue that a warrant must specifically authorize a computer search for the search to be lawful.

The BCCLA is represented by Gerald Chan and Nader Hasan of Ruby Shiller Chan Hasan.

The BCCLA’s argument in the case is available here >>

What: Supreme Court of Canada will hear oral arguments in R. v. Vu

When: Oral arguments begin on Wednesday, March 27 at 6:30 am PST / 9:30 am EST

Where: Supreme Court of Canada (Ottawa, Ontario)

Who: Lawyers for the BCCLA available for comment