Talk about moxy! More nerve than a tooth. Canadian telecommunications giant Rogers Communications has told police forces that they will be charging them fees for retrieving information that may assist in investigations and has therefore been requested by the police. This is not a matter of Rogers going to bat in defense of their clients’ privacy; they will turn over the records, but they want to charge for the ‘service’. No acts of good corporate citizenship on the part of this beast, no sir. Even if they are presented with a court order to furnish police with details, Rogers says they will hand over an invoice as well as phone records.
Anyone who has been paying attention to the current manhunt for terrorists in the wake of last weeks Paris attacks knows how important these records can be in locating suspects.
Rogers spokesman Kevin Spafford said “For most court-ordered requests for information, we assume all costs associated with providing a response. In some cases we charge a minimal fee to recover our costs based on the work required to comply with requests.”
In response the RCMP has told Rogers to get stuffed. They have no intention of paying anything for court ordered information, and they encourage other police forces to do likewise. In fact they have gone so far as to suggest Rogers could be charged under the Criminal Code for failing to comply with a court order if it refused to provide the services unless compensated.
I imagine that should push come to shove Rogers will comply and turn over court ordered documents without charge. But I have a hunch that when they do, they may make the information available to police at one of several venues, and they will constantly be changing the location of the phone records, making the police jump through hoops trying to find it. Much like Rogers has done with NHL hockey broadcasts!