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.
This one has been a foregone conclusion ever since Marc Lemire pulled similar claims from his constitutional challenge a couple of months ago. If the man behind the criminal complaint didn't believe his own allegations, why should anyone else? Nevertheless, the decision has been a long time coming.
Furthermore, the charges were ridiculous in the first place. As I have argued repeatedly, at about 350 metres distance, Nelly Hechme's wifi network was out of range of CHRC computers. Nor would it have been necessary for the CHRC to hack her connection, as a wifi scan of the street in front of CHRC HQ shows any number of wireless access points within range.
Furthermore, as some excellent work by Bucket's demonstrated (well, I helped a little), the IP address that Stormfront owner Don Black and Marc Lemire handed over to the tribunal was originally used by CHRC investigator Dean Steacey to access Stormfront in September of 2006. Given the highly dynamic nature of Bell's wireless network, it is wildly unlikely that Streacey's computer should have been given the same IP address in December, when he accessed the site on a 2nd occasion.
I wrote at the time:
Hint One: Most likely nobody visited Stormfront from 126.96.36.199 on December 8, 2006. Not Steacy, not Hechme--nobody. Lemire's criminal complaint, which refs that IP number, will therefore come to nought.
Hint Two: Given the search tools employed by Stormfront, a thorough search of IPs related to Jadewarr should have returned more than a single address. And the address used by CHRC staff in December, 2006 is almost certainly sitting undiscovered in Stormfront records.
This is interesting in the light of this bit from Brean's National Post story:
...to investigate further would involve [the RCMP] going after technical data from a website based in the United States, stormfront.org, which they said is not possible.
Mark Lemire elaborates unhelpfully:
...the RCMP will not criminally charge the CHRC with theft of an innocent woman’s internet connection because the evidence leads to an American website, which is outside the jurisdiction of the RCMP.
Well, wait a minute, if Don Black handed over technical information to Lemire, why could he not do the same for the RCMP? It is quite possible that he in fact refused to hand over this information, and that he is hiding the presence of the 2nd address mentioned above in his records. In other words, the information turned over to the Tribunal and RCMP may have been intentionally left incomplete.