Target: Montreal Police Chief Philippe Pichet
Goal: Condemn excessive monitoring of journalist Patrick Lagacé’s location and contacts.
Montreal police spent several months monitoring the phone and tracking the whereabouts of a journalist without his consent. This massive invasion of privacy represents a serious threat to the concept of freedom of the press.
La Presse, one of Canada’s most important newspapers, revealed that Montreal police obtained at least 24 surveillance warrants in its efforts to follow columnist Patrick Lagacé. The warrants allowed a special investigation unit to use the GPS function in Lagacé’s phone to monitor his whereabouts and track incoming and outgoing calls and texts.
The police force has defended its actions, arguing that this case called for extraordinary measures. The surveillance was conducted as part of an investigation into allegations of fabricated evidence, a scandal that has already seen five officers arrested this summer. Police chief Philippe Pichet claims that Lagacé was monitored in order to find his sources and prevent further criminal activity.
No matter what excuse is offered, this surveillance represents a serious privacy violation and threatens the freedom of Montreal’s press. Sign the petition below to denounce these unethical actions.
Dear Chief Pichet,
I am writing to condemn your department’s unethical surveillance of Patrick Lagacé. Your excessive monitoring of this journalist’s whereabouts and mobile phone activity represent a serious violation of personal privacy, and the constant targeting of Lagacé’s sources threatens one of the most important principles in a democratic society: the freedom of the press.
Regardless of your intentions, this behavior cannot be excused. Personal freedoms are more important than your department’s needs. I urge you to issue a formal apology and refrain from ever conducting such an investigation again.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Hustvedt