New York, October 31, 2016–Montreal police have been tracking an iPhone belonging to La Presse reporter Patrick Lagacé since the beginning of the year, the journalist’s paper reported today. Canadian courts authorized 24 warrants to surveil Lagacé’s phone, according to court documents obtained by the French-language Montreal daily. The warrants allowed police to access the journalist’s call register and track him by activating a GPS monitor on his phone, according to reports.
“The decision by Montreal police to spy on Patrick Lagacé for information about his sources could have a chilling effect on the flow of information,” said Carlos Lauría, CPJ’s senior program coordinator for the Americas. “We call on Canadian authorities to ensure that journalists can do their work without fear of reprisal against them or their sources.”
During an October 28 meeting to discuss the paper’s findings, police told Lagacé warrants were requested after police found his contact details in the phone of an officer suspected of leaking information to the press, La Presse reported.