Supreme Court Grants CIPPIC Leave to Intervene in Sniffer Dog Appeal
The Supreme Court of Canada has granted CIPPIC leave to intervene in R. v. Chehil & R. v. MacKenzie (SCC File Nos. 34524 & 34397, respectively) , two now joint appeals in which the SCC that will examine the 'reasonable suspicion' standard in the context of sniffer dog searches. The 'reasonable suspicion' standard forms the basis for a rapidly increasing number of privacy-invasive state powers including several electronic surveillance powers currently being proposed by the Government in an attempt to increase its online spying capacities.
As stated in its motion for leave to intervene, CIPPIC intends to argue for a reasonable suspicion standard that cannot be marshalled in order to conduct mass surveillance of individual citizens. CIPPIC is particularly concerned that an overly permissive standard will be used to justify privacy infringements by means of a vast array of police-assisted tools. Many have noted this potential for sniffer dog judgments to be applied more broadly to other means of technological surveillance, most recently in the context of an upcoming Supreme Court of the United States hearing on sniffer dogs. For more information and resources, see CIPPIC's project page for this intervention: http://www.cippic.ca/sniffer_dogs.