Police did not overstep their powers when they asked a Calgary electricity company to effectively spy on one of its customers by installing a special tracking device to determine if he was growing marijuana, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled Wednesday.
In a 7-2 decision, the court overturned an earlier ruling in the Alberta Court of Appeal, which had concluded that “co-opting” the power company to install a “digital recording ammeter” (DRA) amounted to spying on his home and breached the constitutional guarantee against unreasonable search and seizure. […]
The main issue before the Supreme Court was whether it violates the Charter of Rights and Freedoms for third-party service providers to turn over information without police securing a judge’s approval. […]
The ruling is in keeping with at least two other decisions in the Supreme Court dealing with police powers and privacy rights.
The court ruled last December that there’s no right to privacy of your curbside garbage and, in 2004, the bench found that it is not unconstitutional for police to conduct aerial “infra-red” searches, using heat detectors to root out power consumption in a suspicious home.