My name is Ian Linkletter. Today is October 16th, 2020. I have filed legal documents in the B.C. Supreme Court to defend myself against a lawsuit filed by a company called Proctorio Incorporated. You may read these filings at http://defence.linkletter.org . I need financial support to continue this fight.
Proctorio makes academic surveillance software. I call it “academic surveillance software” because that’s exactly what it does. It watches and records students as they take exams online. It uses secret algorithms to track so-called “abnormalities” and then reports the “suspicion level” for every student to their professor.
As colleges and universities move online during the COVID-19 pandemic, many students have been required to use this software. In dozens of petitions from around the world, students are saying that academic surveillance software is harmful. Students have very valid concerns and should be heard.
I have also been vocal with my criticism of Proctorio, and they have noticed. In August, I wrote seven tweets with links to YouTube videos about Proctorio. When Proctorio disabled the videos, I wrote another tweet pointing out how they deleted them. For these eight tweets, Proctorio has sued me, claiming I infringed their copyright and distributed “confidential” material.
This kind of lawsuit, in which a company like Proctorio sues an outspoken critic like me, is sometimes referred to as a Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation (or “SLAPP“). SLAPP lawsuits are a threat to freedom of expression. The Protection of Public Participation Act gives every British Columbian a streamlined legal process for getting these lawsuits dismissed.
That is what I am now set to do, with your help. Fighting this lawsuit for over a month has cost my wife and I tens of thousands of dollars so far – more than the goal of this campaign. I am all in and at peace with that decision. However, my legal costs continue to grow. This crowdfunding campaign will help with the balance.
I am represented by Joseph Arvay Q.C. and John Trueman of Arvay Finlay, LLP. The legal documents they filed today in the B.C. Supreme Court are now available at http://defence.linkletter.org . These documents provide a fulsome account of my defence to the lawsuit and my application to have it dismissed as a SLAPP case.
Please read what we’ve filed and consider standing with me by donating to my legal defence fund.
If we succeed and this SLAPP suit is dismissed, Proctorio may be ordered to pay full indemnity legal costs. This is special to the Protection of Public Participation Act. If we fully succeed in defeating Proctorio’s SLAPP, they’ll pay for it.
If Proctorio is ordered to pay for my legal defence, what happens to your contribution? It pays forward.
if our application is successful and Proctorio is ordered to pay full indemnity legal costs, the entire proceeds from this campaign will be donated to the BCCLA (British Columbia Civil Liberties Association). This donation will sustain the important work the BCCLA does to promote, defend, sustain, and extend civil liberties and human rights. Most importantly, it will send a message to litigious corporations that British Columbians will not stand for SLAPPs.