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News and Views — Watt's Criminal Law and Evidence Newsletter

Watt's Criminal Law and Evidence Newsletter

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Informational Privacy and Anonymity

Informational privacy is often equated with secrecy or confidentiality, and also includes the related but wider notion of control over, access to and use of information. Especially important in the context of internet usage is the understanding of privacy as anonymity. The identity of the person linked to their use of the internet must be recognized as giving rise to a privacy interest beyond that inherent in the person's name, address and telephone number found in the subscriber information. Subscriber information, by tending to link particular kinds of information to identifiable individuals, may implicate privacy interests relating to an individual's identity as the source, possessor or user of that information: R. v. Spencer, 2014 CarswellSask 342, 2014 CarswellSask 343, 11 C.R. (7th) 52 (S.C.C.)

See: Tremeear's Annotated Criminal Code, Charter, s. CA 8, "Reasonable Expectation of Privacy: General Principles".

Text Messages as Excited Utterances

Text messages may be admitted under the spontaneous statement exception to the hearsay rule provided the messages were sent under the stress of a dramatic or startling event or act and relating to such an occasion. The stress or pressure of the act or event must be such that the possibility of concoction or deception can be safely discarded: R. v. D. (D.L.) (June 26, 2014), Doc. 1301-0226-A, 2014 CarswellAlta 1029 (Alta. C.A.)

See: Watt's Manual of Criminal Evidence, § 27.08, "General Principles of the Exception", § 27.09, "Conditions Precedent".

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