As you may have read in various news reports, one David Jonathan Ross is suing the Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General of British Columbia and the Attorney General of Canada because, he claims, the R.C.M.P.
attended at his residence near Hope, British Columbia. He alleges that he (and possibly others) was under investigation and was subjected to surveillance techniques that included “neurophone, advanced neurophone and subliminal messaging”. He says that, as a consequence, he suffers from headaches, sleeplessness, loss of normal brain function and related consequences.
Ross v. British Columbia (Public Safety), 2009 BCSC 930
Not surprisingly, the defendants applied for an order dismissing the complaint on the basis that, among other things, the action lacked merit and was bound to fail. Surprisingly, the court refused to dismiss the action.
The crunch (i.e. the sound of crinkling tin foil) comes in para. 27 of the judgment:
. . . In the present case, that exercise has a somewhat surreal dimension to it, since the claim of the plaintiff is, to say the least, novel and unconventional. . . I conclude that the evidence adduced through the affidavit of Staff Sergeant Kjemhus is not of such an effect to cause this Court to conclude that the plaintiff’s claim is doomed to fail. I say that because, while the allegation of these particular surveillance techniques seems outlandish and unlikely, the response that the affiant, a detachment commander with no asserted expertise in the matter, does not know of the technology and has no reason to believe it is a technology that the R.C.M.P. uses is not sufficiently definitive to be dispositive of the matter. Intending no disrespect to this witness, it seems entirely likely there are matters of technical investigation mechanisms that the agency uses of which he is unaware. Put another way, his evidence that he is unaware of the technique is not by any means proof positive that it is not used.
Putting aside the logical difficulty of proving a negative of the “there are no black swans” sort, you have to wonder what planet the judge is from that a “neurophone” is possible in his philosophy. I mean, I’m as paranoid as the next survivor of the sixties, but this is to channel Hunter S. Thompson. And to waste time and money. I humbly suggest that judicial notice might well have sufficed here as a basis for sending Mr. Ross packing.