Ontario Criminal

International Law

Likely that volume and breadth of relevant data was enormous

Attorney General of Canada applied for order pursuant to s. 15 of Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Act (Can.) sending mirror-imaged copies of 32 computer servers to authorities in U.S.. American prosecutors alleged that individuals and corporate accused were parties to offence of criminal infringement of copyright, conspiracy to infringe copyright, money laundering and racketeering in that corporate accused facilitated wrongful dissemination of copyright protected material such as movies and music. Websites in question purportedly had 50 million daily users and caused losses in area of half a billion dollars. Accused submitted that volume of data on servers was equivalent of that contained on 100 laptop computers, and that court should either refuse sending order or in alternative make order under s. 15(2) of Act compelling servers seized to “be brought before court in form of report from independent forensic examiner who could inform court as to nature of information contained on 32 servers”. Application for sending order adjourned without fixed return date, returnable on seven days’ notice for determination if counsel were unable to agree as to how scope of relevant material was to be defined. Given nature of allegations, it was likely that volume and breadth of data relevant to prosecution as whole was enormous; financial, web traffic and transactional information were all likely to be relevant. Crown indicated that if court ordered servers brought before court, counsel would consult as to whether some consensual means could be established for sorting irrelevant from potentially relevant data on servers.

United States of America v. Equinix Inc. (Jan. 9, 2013, Ont. S.C.J., Pardu J., File No. M-9-11/12) 104 W.C.B. (2d) 848.

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