The technical Internet Service Provider («ISP») including simple transporters of technology documents, providers offering services of caching could be liable to third parties of their clients on several different levels. ISPs could in certain cases be held liable to third parties for the illicit character of the information that they diffuse. Certain information circulating on the Internet could infringe copyright protected material, or defame certain individuals and the ISPs could play a role in the transmission of this information on the Internet. ISPs that have access to the personal information of their clients for the purposes of offering the requested services could in certain cases be found responsible for having collected, using or divulging without proper authorization the information. There is equally the potential to be held responsible for delivering unsolicited commercial advertisements through email to their clients or in certain cases for having suspended the account of a client for having sent spam.
The present article treats questions of liability of Internet service providers in Québec : to third parties with respect to the illicit character of documents transmitted or hosted; to their clients relative to the obligation to respect the clients’ personal information as well as the service provider’s liability relating to spam.