Forcing news outlet to turn over records 'dangerous,' court told

TORONTO -- A media lawyer is arguing that forcing a news outlet to turn over materials used for stories on a suspected terrorist would set a dangerous precedent.

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Iain MacKinnon tells Ontario Superior Court that RCMP were on a sweeping fishing expedition when they asked Vice Media and its reporter for its records.

The materials relate to stories the online news outlet published in 2014 after interviews with Farah Shirdon, of Calgary, who has made threats publicly against Canada and the U.S.

In September, RCMP charged the Toronto-born Shirdon, 22, believed to be in the Middle East, with terrorism-related offences.

Police say they need the Vice materials as possible evidence against him.

MacKinnon says if Vice is forced to comply, it could undermine the media's ability to report on matters of public interest.



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