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EFF To Canadian Court: Order Allowing Worldwide Censorship of Google Search Results Violates Users’ Free Speech Rights

December 15, 2016

Tuesday Hearing in Case With Potentially Significant Implications for Free Speech

Ottawa, Ontario - On Tuesday, Dec. 6, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) will tell Canada’s highest court that an overbroad court order that censors Google search results for users everywhere violates our rights to freely search the web without government interference.

The court is hearing arguments in Google v. Equustek, a trade secret case in which a British Columbia court issued an order forcing Google to block certain websites from its search results around the world, setting a dangerous precedent for online free expression. Equustek Solutions sued a group of defendants for allegedly misappropriating designs for its routers and selling counterfeit routers online. While Google isn’t a party to the case and had done nothing wrong, Equustek obtained a court order telling the search engine company it must delete search results that directed users to the defendants’ websites, not just in Canada but from all other local domains such and EFF filed a brief in the case siding with Google.

EFF's Canadian counsel, David Wotherspoon of MacPherson Leslie & Tyerman and Daniel Byma of Fasken Martineau DuMoulin, will urge the court to recognize that the order, which puts the private commercial interests of one company ahead of the interests of Internet users worldwide, improperly dismissed free expression concerns. The order issued by the British Columbia court failed to consider international free expression principles, and in particular, how the order would likely run afoul of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and well-established U.S. Internet policy.

Hearing in Google v. Equustek

EFF Canadian Counsel David Wotherspoon of MacPherson Leslie & Tyerman and Daniel Byma of Fasken Martineau DuMoulin

Tuesday, Dec. 6, 9:30 am

Supreme Court of Canada
Main Courtroom
301 Wellington Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1A OJ1

For more information contact:
Vera Ranieri
Staff Attorney
Electronic Frontier Foundation
Phone: -

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