By Joseph Brean
November 20, 2008
The RCMP will not pursue charges against the Canadian Human Rights
Commission over allegations that its investigators hacked an Ottawa
woman's wireless internet account to conceal their identity on websites
under investigation for hate speech, the National Post has learned.
A parallel investigation of the same incident by the Privacy
Commissioner remains ongoing.
The complaint arose in March at the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal hate
speech prosecution of Marc Lemire, webmaster of freedomsite.org, when
his legal team brought a subpoena against internet service provider Bell
They were seeking the identity of whoever logged on to the neo-Nazi
website stormfront.org under the name "Jadewarr" in December, 2006, just
as bloggers were using technical data to reveal "Jadewarr" as the online
pseudonym of Dean Steacy, a lead hate speech investigator at the CHRC.
Mr. Steacy later acknowledged this under oath.
In his testimony, Alain Monfette, director of Bell Canada's law
enforcement support team, read out the name and address of a woman,
coincidentally a Bell Canada employee, whose computer IP address matched
that of Jadewarr at the time in question, according to the Florida-based
owner of stormfront.org, Don Black.
Neither the CHRC lawyers nor Mr. Lemire's team had ever heard of her.
She has no connection to CHRC investigators, but she did have a laptop
computer with a wireless connection, and the address Mr. Monfette gave
for her apartment in downtown Ottawa is near the CHRC offices.
This led to speculation that CHRC staff were illegally using an innocent
woman's internet account to hide behind her identity when investigating
target websites, a claim Mr. Lemire made in a formal complaint to
police, while also posting detailed photographs and schematics of her
apartment building. That investigation is now concluded without charges.
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