On November 21, 2012, Gregory Alan Elliott was arrested and jailed. For several months, Elliott had been arguing with political activists on Twitter.

 
 
 
 

Elliott was charged with criminal harassment. Canada's criteria for this offence are much easier to reach than the criteria in most other countries. Under Canadian law, it's possible to be convicted of criminal harassment even if you've never threatened or endangered anyone. His Twitter activity was enough to have him indicted.

Elliott was granted bail, but was subject to strict conditions for release. Most significantly, Elliott was restricted from using any "Internet-enabled device". A key term of his employment was his ability to share work remotely. With his access to the Internet revoked, Elliott was forced into unemployment.

 
 

Over the course of the trial, it was repeatedly established by the defence and police that Elliott's accusers had not been threatened and never had reason to fear for their safety. Elliott has no criminal background.

This case marks the first time in Canada's history that anyone has been criminally charged for commenting on social media. If he is convicted, a precedent would be set that could curb free expression on the Internet.

Gregory Alan Elliott has accumulated nearly one hundred thousand dollars in legal fees. If convicted, he'll also face up to six months in jail. The judge is scheduled to render his verdict on January 22.

 
 

Over the course of the trial, it was repeatedly established by the defence and police that Elliott's accusers had not been threatened and never had reason to fear for their safety. All he did was argue. 

On January 22, 2016, Gregory Alan Elliott was found not guiltyThe case marks the first time in Canada's history that anyone has been criminally charged for commenting on social media. 

Gregory Alan Elliott has accumulated nearly one hundred thousand dollars in legal fees, and has been out-of-work for three years.

 

 
 

Updated January 22, 2016