RCMP and Crown prosecutors illegally distribute Senator Mike Duffy’s email password to the public

In the Duffy case, the RCMP and Crown prosecutor committed a criminal offence under section 402.2(2)

A cynic might say that the corruption trial of suspended Senator Mike Duffy has produced no surprises, but that does not do justice to most ordinary Canadians who, despite all the standard jokes about politicians, expect and demand that laws, rules and standards should apply equally to all; including to those in positions of power and authority such as police, lawyers and Crown prosecutors.

As Ezra Levant points out in the above video, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Crown prosecutors released to the public, an unredacted version of Senator Duffy’s personal diary; including intimate communications with his wife, personal medical details and some of Senator Duffy’s Identity Information (as defined in the Criminal Code), including his email password.

Notwithstanding how disgusting it is that Canada’s national police agency and Crown prosecutors should have engaged in an act that is so obviously designed to embarrass and punish Mr. Duffy and his close family members, the release of Mr. Duffy’s email password is a criminal act, specifically prohibited by law in Canada. The fact that the reckless distribution happened in court documents is no excuse in law. Some would say the abuse of the court process makes the act even more reprehensible.

Best v Ranking civil lawsuit alleges prosecuting lawyers recklessly distributed to the public tens of thousands of documents containing Identity Information

As terrible as the actions of the police and the Crown are in the Duffy case, the amount of Identity Information illegally distributed pales in comparison with another case currently before the Ontario Superior Court.

In the Donald Best vs Gerald Ranking civil case, the plaintiff Donald Best alleges that defendants Gerald Ranking, Paul Schabas, Lorne Silver and others deliberately released and recklessly distributed to the public tens of thousands of unredacted privileged legal documents containing vast amounts of Identity Information and other personal and confidential information for Mr. Best, his family members and dozens of other persons who had nothing to do with the case before the courts.

In his March 31, 2015 affidavit asking the court to issue an injunction against the defendants, Mr. Best alleges:

“The defendants previously placed into the public domain, and recklessly distributed, tens of thousands of documents containing Identity Information and other private, confidential information for me, my family members and my company’s witnesses; and also for dozens and dozens of persons and entities who have nothing to do with me or my case.

As just one egregious example of thousands, defendants unlawfully took from the Orillia, Ontario law office of my company’s lawyers, the medical file of my lawyer’s dying mother, including end-of-life ‘do not resuscitate’ instructions to medical staff. The defendants and their ‘John Doe’ co-conspirators recklessly distributed this to members of the public, published it on the internet, and then filed it as ‘evidence’ with the court without notifying the judge. The defendants and their co-conspirators are still recklessly distributing this medical file in 2015. The defendants refuse to stop.”

Further, Mr. Best states: 

“In October 2009, the defendants knew that I was a former undercover Toronto Police Sergeant, and undercover investigator working for 30 years against organized crime and other serious, violent criminals. They naturally and correctly knew that some criminals I had arrested and charged in the past would threaten me, and my loved ones, and do us violence and other harm if they could learn our addresses and other Identity Information. Some of the defendants and their ‘John Doe’ co-conspirators actually published this intent on the internet in plain language, starting in October 2009 and continuing to this day in 2015. With this intent on October 30, 2009, the defendants and their co-conspirators first recklessly published on the internet at ‘Barbados Underground’ website; my Identity Information including my full name, driver’s licence number, date of birth, and address history since I was 17 years old.”

“As a direct result of the defendants and their co-conspirators recklessly distributing my Identity Information to the public, and continuing to do so via the internet and other means today in 2015, I am currently denied employment, denied rental accommodations, and suffer identity theft and repeated attempted identity theft. As related in other sections of this and other affidavits, I was beaten on the street, the family car was shot up, and one of my children was directly threatened. In November 2009 my family and I had to leave Canada on an emergency basis to be safe and deal with this. All of this and more is a direct result of the actions of the defendants and their co-conspirators. It was and still is their intent to do me harm, and the harm is continuing every day.”

QUICK DOWNLOAD: Injunction Notice of Motion and Donald Best’s supporting affidavit (without exhibits) here: (March 31, 2015 Injunction / Donald Best affidavit; no exhibits 1.8mb) or with exhibits here: 20150331 Injunction Motion with Exhibits (PDF 17mb)

Canada has very strict rules and laws applying generally and in the courts, concerning the protection of Identity Information and other personal, confidential and/or privileged information. The nondisclosure, non-distribution and non-publication of such information, as reflected in these various rules and laws have been breached by the RCMP and the Crown in the Duffy case.

The Supreme Court of Canada requires that the following be removed or redacted in court documents (quoted from SCC rules):

“personal data identifiers* or personal information that, if combined with the individual’s name and made widely accessible to the public, could pose a serious threat to the individual’s personal security.

*The following are some examples of personal data identifiers or personal information that could pose a threat to an individual’s personal security (as a result, for example, of identity theft, stalking or harassment): • names of individuals together with their addresses, • social insurance numbers, • account numbers for bank accounts, lines of credit, credit cards or other assets and corresponding PINs, and • medical records.”

Canada’s Criminal Code Section 402.2(2) makes it a criminal offence to transmit, make available or distribute ‘Identity Information’ while being reckless as to whether it will be used to commit fraud, identity theft and other similar crimes. ‘Identity Information’ is specifically defined to include email passwords (quoted from the Criminal Code):

“402.1 For the purposes of sections 402.2 and 403, “identity information” means any information — including biological or physiological information — of a type that is commonly used alone or in combination with other information to identify or purport to identify an individual, including a fingerprint, voice print, retina image, iris image, DNA profile, name, address, date of birth, written signature, electronic signature, digital signature, user name, credit card number, debit card number, financial institution account number, passport number, Social Insurance Number, health insurance number, driver’s licence number or password.”

The rules of the Law Society of Upper Canada and other standards also make it clear that personal identity information is not to be distributed to the public.

In Mr. Duffy’s case, the Criminal Code clearly has been breached by police and Crown prosecutors.

Canadians need to be shown that the laws, rules and standards apply equally to all, and that the court process is not a shield to enable the criminal, reckless and abusive distribution of Identity Information and other personal and confidential documents.

Notes

As always we remind our readers that none of the allegations in Best v Ranking has yet been proven in a court of law, and to our knowledge only one of the defendants has filed a Statement of Defence. Visitors to this website are encouraged to examine the legal documents and other evidence posted here, to do independent research and to make up their own minds about the civil lawsuit known as ‘Donald Best v. Gerald Ranking et al’. (Superior Court of Justice, Central East Region: Barrie, Court File No. 14-0815)

One comment

  • I saw they released check copies too with Mr. Duffy’s bank account number etc.

    Why has Duffy’s lawyer not made a big deal about this?

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