Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Judge tosses Charter challenge against cops posing as journalists

The Star's Wendy Gillis reports:
Two OPP officers working for the make-believe news company “United Press Associates” spied on protesters at Ipperwash Provincial Park.
In another case, a provincial cop posed as a reporter to gain better access to demonstrators at another aboriginal protest.
In a third, a female OPP officer pretended to be an independent author to pick the brain of a convicted killer.
Media groups went to court against the police pretenders, arguing that such actions violate the Constitution by creating a chilling effect on freedom of the press.
The deceptive practice, the journalists argued, could threaten their work because it might cause suspicion about who they really are. It could also make it more difficult for reporters to earn the trust of sources, meaning they might lose out on getting vital information in the public interest, the groups argued.
But in a recent decision, Ontario Superior Justice Benjamin Glustein dismissed the application brought forward by the CBC,
Canadian Journalists for Free Expression and the Radio-Television News Directors Association of Canada (RTNDA), which sought a declaration from the court that cops pretending to be journalists was an unjustified violation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

No comments:

Blog Archive