This week, there was some news about how law enforcement is either ignoring or simply unaware of the Spencer decision. If you recall, this was the decision in which the Supreme Court indicated that the police needed a warrant prior to asking Internet service providers (ISPs) to hand over customer information. The news coming out of one large ISP is that the police are apparently, despite the decision, still asking for this customer information without a warrant.
This is troubling, to say the least. But, I have to admit that the cynic in me is not surprised. I have always had my doubts as to whether or not the police are actually as educated as they could be in the nuanced decisions that come from the Supreme Court. It would look like this particular decision is an example in which important rights get debated and decided upon by those jurists that sit on our highest court, but the substance of the decision then fails to make it to where it matters most—to those in charge of enforcing those rights on a daily basis.
And, while this story didn't surprise me, what I do find strange is that there's so little in the media about the impact of another important Supreme Court decision, one that seems to be lingering in some sort of black hole: the decision from last year that struck down the Alberta PIPA as unconstitutional. The court delayed its decision for a year so that the Alberta legislature could fix the law. But what's been happening? If anything, it sure is quiet. Via this Digest, I’m hoping that anyone who might know what’s going on in this regard can share it with me and perhaps we can update our readers in an upcoming edition.
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