Monday, May 11, 2015

Cops posing as journalists breaches charter rights, media groups argue

Colin Perkel of The Canadian Press writes:
Undercover police officers who pose as journalists for investigative purposes are violating the Constitution by having a chilling effect on freedom of the press, an Ontario court heard Monday.
In their application to Superior Court, three media organizations argue the deceptive practice could put working journalists at risk, especially in high-stress environments, by raising suspicion about who they are.
The practice can also make it harder to win the trust of important sources and therefore get key information that is in the public interest, they say. “This is very destructive of everything our clients do,” media lawyer Philip Tunley told the court.
“This chill is a real and substantial one.” The media organizations — the CBC, Canadian Journalists for Free Expression, and RTDNA Canada — want the court to declare impersonation of journalists by Ontario Provincial Police a charter violation that can’t be justified.
The full story

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