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Canada’s Top Court Quashes Child Porn Warrant

March 20th, 2010 03:51 admin Leave a comment Go to comments

m.ducharme writes “The CBC is reporting that the Supreme Court of Canada has handed down a decision quashing a search warrant used to obtain the computer of a man accused of possession of child porn. ‘Urbain P. Morelli maintained his charter rights were violated when police searched his computer for child pornography after a technician who had visited his home to work on the machine expressed concerns to police.’ What the Slashdot community may find notable about this decision is the distinction drawn between ‘accessing’ and ‘possessing’ digital images, most particularly the recognition that a user does not ‘possess’ cached data. From the decision: ‘[35] When accessing Web pages, most Internet browsers will store on the computer’s own hard drive a temporary copy of all or most of the files that comprise the Web page. This is typically known as a “caching function” and the location of the temporary, automatic copies is known as the “cache.” While the configuration of the caching function varies and can be modified by the user, cached files typically include images and are generally discarded automatically after a certain number of days, or after the cache grows to a certain size. [36] On my view of possession, the automatic caching of a file to the hard drive does not, without more, constitute possession. While the cached file might be in a “place” over which the computer user has control, in order to establish possession, it is necessary to satisfy mens rea or fault requirements as well. Thus, it must be shown that the file was knowingly stored and retained through the cache.’”

Source: Canada’s Top Court Quashes Child Porn Warrant

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