Link

Police surveillance scandal: Quebec tightens rules for monitoring journalists

From the Montreal Gazette:

Mark Bantey, a specialist in media law (who is also the Montreal Gazette’s lawyer), said he was stunned by the scope of the warrant involved in the Lagacé case. He said it seems the police were more worried about who was leaking information to the press than the actual crime.

“It sure looks like they (the police) have gone overboard because they’re not out there investigating a crime, but trying to determine who in the police department is leaking information to the press. You can’t use search warrants to get that sort of information,” Bantey said in an interview Tuesday. “There’s an obligation to exhaust all other possible sources of information before targeting the media.”

As for Couillard’s new directive about obtaining search warrants, he called it a first step that was unlikely to bring an immediate change to police practices. A better solution might be to adopt new legislation — a shield law — that protects media sources, he said.

Legislation to protect journalists from police surveillance is a good idea…until you ask a question of ‘who constitutes a journalist’?