Warrant for Transmission Data Recorder (Repealed)

From Criminal Law Notebook

Courts have generally accepted that there is a reduced expectation of privacy in the phone numbers that persons dial.[1]

Section 492.2 provides authority to a justice to issue a warrant allowing for the installation, maintenance and removal of a number recorder on any telephone or line and to monitor the recorder.

Information re number recorder

492.2 (1) A justice who is satisfied by information on oath in writing that there are reasonable grounds to suspect that an offence under this or any other Act of Parliament has been or will be committed and that information that would assist in the investigation of the offence could be obtained through the use of a number recorder, may at any time issue a warrant authorizing a peace officer or a public officer who has been appointed or designated to administer or enforce a federal or provincial law and whose duties include the enforcement of this Act or any other Act of Parliament and who is named in the warrant

(a) to install, maintain and remove a number recorder in relation to any telephone or telephone line; and
(b) to monitor, or to have monitored, the number recorder.
Order re telephone records

(2) When the circumstances referred to in subsection (1) exist, a justice may order that any person or body that lawfully possesses records of telephone calls originated from, or received or intended to be received at, any telephone give the records, or a copy of the records, to a person named in the order.

Other provisions to apply

(3) Subsections 492.1(2) and (3) apply to warrants and orders issued under this section, with such modifications as the circumstances require.
[omitted (4), (5), (5.1) and (6)]
1993, c. 40, s. 18; 1999, c. 5, s. 19.


Note up: 492.2(1), (2) and (3)

Under s. 292.2, the warrant may only be issued where the justice has "reasonable grounds to suspect" that an offence has been or will be committed.

The nature of the data collected by the DNR does not amount to a "private communication" within the meaning of the wiretap provisions and accordingly does not require a Part VI wiretap authorization.[2]

General Terms

Section 2 defines "peace officer", "justice".

Number Recorder


Definition of “number recorder”

(4) For the purposes of this section, "number recorder" means any device that can be used to record or identify the telephone number or location of the telephone from which a telephone call originates, or at which it is received or is intended to be received.
1993, c. 40, s. 18; 1999, c. 5, s. 19.


Note up: 492.2(4)


The standard of "reasonable suspicion" has been held constitutional due to the low expectation of privacy associated with the information recorded.[3]

  1. R v Croft, 2013 ABQB 644 (CanLII), per Burrows J
    R v Cody, 2007 QCCA 1276 (CanLII), 228 CCC (3d) 331, per Hilton JA
    see also Reasonable Expectation of Privacy
  2. Croft
    R v Lee, 2007 ABQB 767 (CanLII), 427 AR 76, per Sulyma J
  3. Croft, supra
    Cody, supra