Father of man in Rehtaeh Parsons case questioned in Wikipedia probe: Warrant

HALIFAX–Military police questioned the father of a young man convicted in the Rehtaeh Parsons case about whether he used a military computer to make changes to websites discussing her death, says a search warrant.

The warrant was requested by military police to seize paper and digital records from the Canadian Forces Network Operations Centre in Ottawa on Tuesday.

It was executed as military police investigated complaints from Parsons’ father that someone in the military used a Defence Department computer to post offensive comments about his teenage daughter’s death on four separate occasions from last September until January.

Glen Canning went to the military police alleging offensive comments he received on his blog and revisions to a Wikipedia page were made by a member of the Armed Forces who is the father of one of two young men convicted of child pornography, the warrant says.

On Feb. 5, a military police officer interviewed the father, “who stated it was possible that he may have written a couple of the comments on Glen Canning’s website, but was unsure if he had or not,” says the document obtained from provincial court.

The warrant contains allegations not proven in court.

Maj. Yves Desbiens said Thursday the arrest of an Armed Forces member two days earlier at Canadian Forces Base Shearwater in Halifax was the result of the search warrant.

Desbiens said the identity of the member is protected by the Privacy Act.

No charges have been laid, the man was released on several conditions and the investigation continues, he added.

The search warrant alleges the author of the offensive comments violated military rules that prohibit the use of Defence Department computers for purposes that may be contrary to the law or could result in court proceedings or civil liability.

The document cites a number of instances where comments were posted on Canning’s blog. One said, “Why keep posting your lies? You have been posting complete lies and mistruths for a long time.”

In another case, the warrant says someone revised a Wikipedia entry in January to make it appear as though Canning said his daughter had consensual sex with the two boys convicted in her case.

The comments were posted from an IP address assigned to the Defence Department, the warrant says.

Both men convicted in Parsons’ case were youths at the time of the offence and they cannot be identified under provisions of the Youth Criminal Justice Act. The father cannot be named because it would reveal the son’s identity.

Parsons attempted to take her own life at 17 and was later taken off life-support in 2013. Her parents say she was cyberbullied and driven to suicide after a photo of one of the boys having sex with her was passed around her high school.

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