Judge blanks cops as they try to get passwords for businessman’s devices

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Judge blanks cops as they try to get passwords for businessman’s devices

A police request for a special warrant to force businessman Adrian Scoon to disclose the passwords for his electronic devices seized during a search of his home in January has been denied.

In a 12 page judgement, Justice Geoffrey Henderson said one had to be careful in limiting Scoon’s right to privacy beyond what was reasonable.

“In my judgment, the disclosure requested is not proportionate to what is sought to be achieved.”

“I am of the view that the relief seems excessive and disproportionate in the face of what the applicant seeks to achieve, that is, to gather evidence of promotion of an event,” Justice Henderson said.

He added, “While it is within the discretion of the applicant to seek to gather additional advertisements, I see no rational connection with that aim and the wide breadth of the orders sought.”

On January 5, police searched Scoon’s home in Maraval and his business place at Queen’s Park West, Port of Spain, as part of their investigation of the seaside brunch event which happened in Chaguaramas on December 26, when some 100 people were detained on the craft which Scoon claimed was converted into “a floating restaurant.”

Police seized Scoon’s cellphone and laptop and other electronic devices and also sought the special warrant after he refused to provide them with the passwords and other data to access the information on them.

Scoon is challenging the legality of the warrants used for the searches and the seizure of his phones and laptop. This matter is expected to come up for hearing again in March, while police are yet to lay charges despite having reportedly received the advice of the Director of Public Prosecutions.