Surrey Creep Catchers president on order to destroy videos: 'I told them to go f--- themselves'
Ryan LaForge, president of a new Surrey chapter of Creep Catchers. (Tom Zytaruk/Surrey Now)
The Surrey Creep Catchers, a controversial group of vigilante pedophile hunters, have been ordered to destroy all videos and "stop collecting, using and disclosing" the personal information of two individuals caught up in their sting operations.
In a ruling, B.C.'s acting privacy commissioner Drew MacArthur found that the Surrey Creep Catchers had violated the Personal Information Privacy Act in regards to two complainants, and that they weren't carrying out an investigation of any sort, but rather a campaign to publicly shame both individuals.
The complainants are not named in the ruling.
"Despite its suggestions to the contrary," said MacArthur in his ruling, "the organization was not actually collecting, using or disclosing the complainants’ personal information for any investigative purpose. I agree with the complainants that the organization’s true purpose was eventually to publicly name and shame them, as its dissemination of the videos and its request that others share them indicates.
"This belies any argument that, when it posted or responded to the Craigslist advertisements, or when it confronted and video-recorded the complainants, the organization was trying to investigate individuals who had lured or may lure a child."
MacArthur also dismissed the Surrey Creep Catchers' argument that the act did not apply to them because they were acting as journalists.
"There is no fair attempt to describe or analyze the facts, or to provide opinion or debate. The purpose of the exercise is to entrap individuals," he said. A definition of journalism by the Canadian Association of Journalists was cited by MacArthur as part of his ruling.
The Surrey Creep Catchers must now take down and destroy all videos related to the two complainants by Sept. 6 or potentially face hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines.
However, Ryan LaForge, the organization's president, has indicated that he doesn't intend to comply. In a Facebook Live video posted Monday, LaForge spoke about the ruling.
"For you all to know and for our biggest haters listening, the decision from the privacy commissioner did find in the favour of (the complainants)," he said. "We have 30 days — I have 30 days — to destroy all information on these predators that lured children out that wanted to do sexual things."
"I told them to go f--- themselves."
LaForge continued, "I said it from the beginning and I'll say it again: I will never destroy, I will never take down videos voluntarily. I will fight to the very, very end to keep all these videos up. I'll never destroy chat logs. These guys are predators.
"The privacy commissioner is saying that we didn't have permission to do it, we obtained it wrongfully, et cetera, et cetera. Every single goof we've caught can go and cry to the commissioner and say this and you know what I'm gonna say? I'm gonna tell them the same thing."
In April, LaForge was charged with assault after pushing and threatening one of the group's targets.