R v Internet Part II

December 4th, 2009 at 2:10 pm by David Farrar

Before I add my comments, you can also see some summaries at Tech Liberty NZ blog (worth subscribing to also).

Also the Twitter feed is extensive. Over 250 tweets. Is one of the best Twitter coverages I have seen as we had nine or ten people et the seminar twittering and several people not there also commenting and asking questions.

The morning session was mainly focused on , and the afternoon on issues.

Warren Young, the Deputy President of the Law Commission, gave an overview of the recommendations from their recent report on suppressing names and evidence. He said the threshold for getting name suppression shoudl be “extreme hardship” not just hardship as at present.

Most usefully he clarified that the recommendation relating to ISPs removing or blocking suppressed material is not meant to imply an obligation on ISPs to block overseas hosted material, just to remove material hosted on their own networks.

I asked a question about whom an ISP should be obliged to act on a complaint from – my preference is it should only be if the Crown Law Office or Police inform an ISP of suppressed material.

Judge Harvey spoke about the challenges of the and supressed material, but did not think the horse had bolted. He made the case that one doesn’t have to achieve perfect suppression – it is often mainly aimed at making it hard for jurors to access material not relevant to the trial.

The final panel was myself, Sinead Boucher (Group Online Editor for Fairfax) and Ursula Cheer from Cant Uni Law School. Sinead and I talked about the issues we face from a practical point of view in trying to complay with the law, and Ursula touched on how different technologies come in and out of vogue with different challenges.

Now I can’t avoid mentioning a huge fuckup I did. It was one of the rare times I was speechless as I realised what I had done. I had a few slides to go with my talk, and I was talking about the recent high profile entertainer case, and was detailing the different sites you could find out on.

The point I was making was it was not just blogs, but the name was on Yahoo Answers, MSN NZ, was findable through Google search and even on the entertainer’s facebook page. I found it amusing that the entertainer himself could be liable for breaking his own name suppression.

rvi

I displayed the above page to show the comment someone had made on the page. I pointed out to the room packed full of lawyers from the Courts, Ministry of Justice, Crown Law, Law Commission etc (plus the Judge who originally dealt with the case) how careful I had been to draw green boxes over seven parts of the page to stop my showing the page, itself being a breach of the suppression order.

I went on to say how I then realised the URL gave the name away also, so had to go back and green that out also, and then also realised two of my open tabs displayed the name, and edited the graphic for a third time to green them out.

Just as I was about to move on, someone in the audience then pointed out that sadly I had overlooked the Google search box in the Google toolbar, and to my horror there indeed was the name of the entertainer (now behind a yellow-brown box). I was mortified as the audience started pissing themselves with laughter.

I mean how much worse can it be – you are boasting about how careful you have been to not break the name suppression order, and bang the name is up on the screen in front of everyone – and especially in front of that audience.

In the general discussion at the end, there was some discussion around the role of the media committee of the Courts. The TVNZ lawyer said the committee had one rep from print media and one from broadcast media, and many in the room thought an additional rep from Internet media could be a useful thing. Of course that is a decision for the judiciary, but it was agreed would write to the Chair to discuss the concept.

Feedback from participants was incredibly positive, especially from many of the lawyers. A common comment was how useful it was not just having lawyers there discussing things academically, but also having media and Internet practitioners with practical knowledge. There was a strong feeling that there should be more opportunities to get the various industries together on issues of mutual interest.

Kudos to InternetNZ President Frank March who MC’d the day well to finish ahead of time, and to the InternetNZ staff who primarily organised it. And most of all to the participants – had many great contributions not just from the speakers, but from the floor.

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23 Responses to “R v Internet Part II”

  1. rainernz (19 comments) says:

    The Firefox title bar still shows the name of the Facebook page…

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  2. the prince (10 comments) says:

    ermmm, you realise the name is still there at the top of the page -” FACEBOOK | *-***** – Mozilla Firefox”

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  3. KiwiGreg (3,224 comments) says:

    ROTFLOL – you goin’ to jail man

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  4. mjanderson (39 comments) says:

    What happens when a page such as this [breaching name suppression - firefox application bar] is uploaded to the web, and web search archives are kept which show the page has breached name suppression and can be accessed through web archives such as google?

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  5. David Farrar (1,873 comments) says:

    Good God. I did it again. And I spent several minutes looking at the graphic in case there were any other mentions. It is amazing what blind spots you can have. I have added an extra box!

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  6. democracymum (660 comments) says:

    I think you have done an admirable job of demonstrating by example, just how hard it is to keep this sort of thing a digital secret :-)

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  7. fizzleplug (72 comments) says:

    He is also visible (and identifiable) in the remaining photo

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  8. Repton (769 comments) says:

    So, “Vise Ma’ Asi” is a fan of this guy. According to his public facebook info, Vise is a fan of five musicians, only two of whom are New Zealanders..

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  9. Repton (769 comments) says:

    Also, DPF — you use Norton? Really?

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  10. KiwiGreg (3,224 comments) says:

    I think knowing Tau Henare is a fan of Snickers is actually TMI.

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  11. dave (986 comments) says:

    dpf check your ph message

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  12. Put it away (2,888 comments) says:

    So many toolbars eating up your screen real estate ! DPF = teh n00b !!! Cut that all back to just the navigation menu in text-only ( no icons ) to be L337 !!!!!

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  13. mike tan (433 comments) says:

    lol this turned out hilariously positive for the anti-supression crowd

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  14. lastmanstanding (1,241 comments) says:

    Dont too too hard on yourself David What you did was to prefectly illustrate the dumbarse purpose of trying to coverup information in the new world.

    Sadly the 19th century legal system and Judicary just dont get it they are all stuck in a time warp or believe if they say we arent allowed to know the truth then thats it

    The idiots need to get with the programme and stop trying to prevent the citizens from having information.

    they are acting like the old Priests in the ancient time when the peasants couldnt be trusted with knowledge and information.

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  15. m@tt (612 comments) says:

    Showing your normal lack of attention to detail.

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  16. Political Busker (231 comments) says:

    http://menz.org.nz/2009/bank-of-new-zealand-v-bad-dad/

    I cannot say that #22 is anything like kiwisfirst.com – but it is certainly worth consideration.

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  17. noskire (835 comments) says:

    If you type in the “entertainers name”, then “name” into Google, Google Auto Suggest comes up with “***** name suppression”. Is that a breach as well?

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  18. Put it away (2,888 comments) says:

    The edges of the main photo you can still see are recognisable as the cover photo of his latest single…

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  19. Yvette (2,745 comments) says:

    http://big-news.blogspot.com/ mentions your posting, David, but has a cleaner screenshot:
    http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2009/12/r_v_internet_part_ii.html
    From what remains in that image I could still find the Facebook page and draw my own conclusions. [see I don't exactly say what, in case that is aiding and abetting, although saying where a cleaner copy of the image is may be enough!]
    I doubt however John Key had to go to this trouble – someone [guilty of breaching the law] probably just told him. The question here is whether you David in raising the matter and providing enough information [although actually intending to show how many times you had to hide information and how difficult that was] have broken the law in enabling me to find out the supposed suppressed name? Or am I alone in my guilt for taking the extra steps needed to find out – to be equal in my knowledge to John Key, who will be equally guilty if he actually asked for the information ["John Key was curious. He wanted to know the name of a high profile entertainer that got name suppression. . . Key said he asked somebody he knew."]
    I guess if they come after you, DPF, they can also go after Key too – and you seemed better motivated!

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  20. Yvette (2,745 comments) says:

    So, is some one guilty of breaking a court suppression of identity, if they do not actually reveal a name, but make sufficient information available for someone else to determine the name themselves, even if that information requires some further deduction?

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  21. Viking2 (11,281 comments) says:

    Musician’s victim breaks silence

    Sunday, 6, Dec, 2009 10:05AM

    The teenage girl indecently assaulted by a prominent musician has broken her silence.

    Seventeen-year-old Brittany Cancian is demanding the prominent entertainer be named.

    She has spoken exclusively to the New Zealand’s Woman’s Weekly, saying the case has left her wanting justice.

    The Lower Hutt teen says police tried to dissuade her from pursuing charges against the star, who has permanent name suppression.

    Brittany Cancian says she has been treated like a dog.

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  22. kiwiyoda (3 comments) says:

    Although he was discharged without “conviction” he apparently to date hasn’t paid the victim the agreed 5k reparation. “He was given permanent name suppression because naming him would affect his record and concert ticket sales.” Can’t be making too much money if pe can’t afford the court ordered reparation.” What good is name suppression if it only protects the victimiser and casts suspicion on other prominent kiwi entertainers. Also what is the court doing to enforce the reparation payment.

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  23. dave (986 comments) says:

    kiwiyoda,
    I have had information from the court that the victim was paid the 5k reparation on 30 November.

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