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NDP kinda-sorta-maybe threatens the media over “possibly illegal” recording?


 

Or does this request only refer to the original tape of the conference call? I can’t tell. Anyway, here’s what the party sent out a few minutes ago. (I’m not sure if this applies to the transcript that PMO so helpfully provided earlier today, but I’m trying to find out.)

NOVEMBER 30, 2008

ATTENTION: MEDIA

RE: PHONE TAP OF NDP CAUCUS MEETING

Based on the advice of legal council, the New Democratic Party is sending this note out to members of the media.

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Today’s news reports that a member of the Conservative Party intercepted and electronically recorded a private communication restricted to members of the NDP caucus raises serious questions as to whether this activity contravened the Criminal Code of Canada. The caucus meeting was intended to be confidential as were the communications that took place during the meeting. The only intended recipients were the members of the NDP caucus. It appears that the call-in number was inadvertently sent to a Conservative MP.

We have been given legal advice that any reasonable person who was inadvertently given access to the call would have understood that he or she was not invited to listen to the communication or to record it. The continued possession of any such recording may also be an offence under the Criminal Code.

The New Democratic Party would request that anyone in possession of the recording to turn it over to the Office of the Commissioner of the RCMP for use in any subsequent investigation.

For your information the provisions of the Criminal Code are set out below.

Criminal Code

PART VI: INVASION OF PRIVACY

Interception of Communications

s. 183. “private communication” means any oral communication, or any telecommunication, that is made by an originator who is in Canada or is intended by the originator to be received by a person who is in Canada and that is made under circumstances in which it is reasonable for the originator to expect that it will not be intercepted by any person other than the person intended by the originator to receive it, and includes any radio-based telephone communication that is treated electronically or otherwise for the purpose of preventing intelligible reception by any person other than the person intended by the originator to receive it;

Interception

184. (1) Everyone who, by means of any electro-magnetic, acoustic, mechanical or other device, willfully intercepts a private communication is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years.

Saving provision

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to

(a) a person who has the consent to intercept, express or implied, of the originator of the private communication or of the person intended by the originator thereof to receive it;


 

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