OTTAWA, TORONTO & KITCHENER-WATERLOO ONTARIO INFORMATION COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY (ICT) & ONLINE DEFAMATION LAWYERS
The jury's still out on what to call the area of law that emerged in the 1970's with the advent of rudimentary connected electronic devices, expanded in the 1980's with the introduction of the desktop computer, and exploded in the 1990's with the invention of the Internet.
Why ICT Law Has Many Names
Some still call it Information Technology (IT) Law (sometimes shortened to Tech Law) or Computer Law, but they're really pre-Internet terms. Others call it Internet Law, Cyber Law, Web Law, and New or Digital Media Law, focussing on its online information angle. Simplest of all is likely Electronic Law (also Elaw). We use ICT Law to encompass all of the hardware, software, and content in use, both on and offline. Whatever you call it, it's a unique amalgam of complex contract law, privacy law, government regulation, and translational law.
Who We Help with ICT Law
Our firm especially assist ICT start-ups with all their legal needs, and established ICT businesses with ongoing operations & expansion, and especially with regulatory compliance and enforcement issues.
How We Help With ICT Law
Our services include incorporation, shareholder agreements, contracts of all sorts, purchases and sales of tangible & intangible property, resolution of business disputes, and compliance with all government regulations including taxation, trade and licensing.
How We Help Combat Online Defamation
Defamation is the collective legal term for libel (which is written) and slander (which is oral). Black's Law Dictionary (10th ed) calls it: "Malicious or groundless harm to the reputation or good name of another by the making of a false statement to a third person."
In the good old days, there were perhaps only hundreds of outlets within Ontario through which defamatory statements could be spread (mainly newspapers, magazine, book publishers, radio and television). Now there are millions. It's all too easy for someone with an axe to grind to spread malicious false statements about someone else all over the Internet, and all too difficult to later erase those statements once they're out their, even if the maker agrees to retract them.
Fortunately in Ontario civil remedies are available in both the Ontario Small Claims Court (which can only award damages up to $25,000, not order taking down the statements), and the Ontario Superior Court of Justice (which can order statement removal from the Internet, as well as an unlimited amount of damages). Extreme statements or posting of images might also constitute criminal offences that warrant requesting police involvement.
If you're the victim of online defamation, we'll apprise you of all your potential remedies, your prospects of success, the costs involved, and strongly represent your interests against the perpetrators, including commencing court proceedings on your behalf if that is what you wish.
Our Strength in Privacy Law
We can especially offer expertise on Privacy Law, including:
- advice and training to businesses, organizations, governments and individuals concerning privacy & information security obligations and rights under federal and provincial law, including the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) and Fighting Internet Spam Act;
- development of privacy and data protection policies, compliance with industry codes of conduct and reduction of liability exposure for privacy & information security obligations;
- representation and advocacy in responding to government demands for information, subpoenas for testimony or documents at inquiries and other tribunal or court proceedings, search & seizure and electronic surveillance;
- advocacy before government officials and the courts, including responding to or advancing claims before the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, as well as trial and appellate litigation in federal and provincial courts;
- policy development concerning privacy and information security issues like international trans-border data transfers.
There is increasing and self-contradictory pressure on government to protect Canadians' privacy in the ICT sphere while at the same time facilitating the disclosure of user data for law enforcement and intelligence purposes. Private businesses can frequently be caught in the middle of the creation of conflicted government policy that demands protection of user data while simultaneously demanding that data be handed over to government on shifting legal authorities. Being on solid legal ground for both data protection and disclosure is vital in order to avoid civil action by users and government prosecutions.
The Information & Communication Technology (ICT) Lawyers
Matthew MacLean as the firm's Senior Solicitor provides ICT clients with all their corporate commercial legal needs, including business creation & registration, intellectual property protection, and contracts for the sale or purchase of goods, services and real property.
Gordon S. Campbell as the firm's Managing Lawyer heads the ICT practice group. He served as Canada's Director of E-Business Development with Industry Canada, where he led Canada's Internet and technology regulation policy, including being Director of Canada's cryptographic export control policy. He has been a delegate for Canada to Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum and United Nations meetings on Internet governance and the promotion of trade in ICT goods. He also served as a Federal Crown Prosecutor with Justice Canada where his work involved technology-related regulatory and criminal investigations and prosecutions.
Articles for Further Reading on Information & Communication Technology (ICT) Law
G.S. Campbell, “Emerging Issues of the Internet and Canadian Criminal Law” (1998) 3 Can. Crim. L. Rev. 101. I can't give you a link to this one, because it's not publicly available online. It does have a certain quaintness to it, having been written only a few years into the Internet's existence.