The Supreme Court of Canada says police need wiretap authority, not just a search warrant, to snoop on cellphone text messages as part of criminal investigations.
In a 5-2 decision, the court has sided with wireless giant Telus (TSX:T) and quashed a general warrant that had forced the company to turn over all texts to police.
The case arises from a warrant the Ontario Superior Court granted to police in Owen Sound, Ont., that ordered Telus to turn over texts from two of its customers.
The warrant forced the company to email police a copy of the customers' texts every day for two weeks, unbeknownst to the owners of the phones.
Telus appealed to the Supreme Court after losing its initial bid to quash the warrant.
The case before the Supreme Court is one of several involving privacy concerns in an age of electronic communication.