Case # 34644 Matthew David Spencer v. Her Majesty the Queen (December 9, 2013) At issue is Whether section 8 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms was violated. The appellant downloaded child pornography from the internet using a peer-to-peer file-sharing software program. The appellant stored child pornography in a shared folder and did not override the default settings that made the folder accessible to others. Since the files were accessible to other users they could therefore be downloaded. A police officer searched the shared folder and discovered the pornographic files. The officer couldn’t identify the owner of the folder but was able to determine that the IP address being used was assigned by Shaw Communications. The police wrote to Shaw and requested information identifying the assignee at the relevant time. Shaw Communications identified the user as the appellant’s sister. The police obtained a warrant and searched her residence, where they seized the appellant’s computer. The appellant was charged with possession of child pornography and making child pornography available.
An interesting case, especially when read against the scholarship that examines the Charter and PIPEDA implications of disclosing subscriber data absent a court order.