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Breach of confidence

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The blogger and the journalist

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

The Whale certainly created a splash in the last election. More accurately, it was investigative journalist Nicky Hager and his book Dirty Politics that created the splash. The Whale – controversial right-wing blogger Cameron Slater and his Whale Oil blog, whose emails were leaked to Mr Hager – copped most of the spray. […]

Interim injunction against EQC blogger

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

I feel as if I write this same thing about once every year. Someone rushes to court to get an injunction preventing the release of information. It’s based on breach of confidence. Here it’s the Earthquake Commission seeking to prevent the release of a database containing assessments about 83,000 Christchurch claims.
The court grants the injunction, […]

Kiwi Rail injunction lifted

Sunday, August 26th, 2012

They say they had nothing to hide and just wanted to protect free and frank discussion. Clearly, they had nothing to hide except for the things they didn’t want the public to know they were discussing.
The lifting of the injunction rather calls into question the wisdom of spending public money taking out the interim injunction […]

Railing against illegal disclosure

Friday, August 24th, 2012

On late Wednesday night, Kiwi Rail obtained an injunction stopping Radio NZ publishing copies of a leaked draft plan about its infrastructure and engineering. The next day (after distributing a press release about the injunction, I’m told) Labour MP Phil Twyford used parts of the draft plan to ask questions of government minister Gerry Brownlee. […]

Threats! Email! Action!

Tuesday, June 5th, 2012

Barrister and privacy whizz John Edwards has found a way to get a quick injunction when privacy protection is urgently needed. It helps that the case looks like a slam dunk. The circumstances have a familiar ring: an ACC claimant mistakenly given private details about some other claimant’s claim, including her rehabilitation, threatens by email to release them, then when […]

Of sneaky devices

Sunday, November 13th, 2011

John Key’s cunning plan to send a signal to the troops by sitting down for a cuppa with Act’s John Banks may have come undone by another sneaky device.
It seems that the conversation was recorded and may contain “game-changing” comments, according to the Herald on Sunday. The paper says a freelance cameraman was stopped from retrieiving […]

The Wikileaks Papers

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

Who said this, and when?
It’s time to quit making national heroes of those who steal public secrets and publish them in the newspaper?
When whole filing cabinets can be stolen there can’t be orderly government any more.
He’s offering aid and comfort to the enemy, putting himself above the President, Congress and the whole system of government.
No, […]

SST sends blogger a defamation nastrygram

Friday, February 11th, 2011

The Sunday Star-Times has sent a legal letter warning Brian Edwards about his post about its reporting on Amanda Hotchin. The SST quoted her saying:
We don’t have to justify where we get our money from or what it is spent on to anyone. I don’t care what anyone says.
Brian Edwards weighed in with a blog criticising Hotchin.
But Hotchin denied saying […]

Wikileaks: the big question

Sunday, December 12th, 2010

In all of the controversy about Wikileaks, one central question seems to remain unresolved: how should we pronounce “Assange”? Is it “an” as in ”dance” or “blancmange” or “flange”? [Update: these sites suggest that the first is correct].
The main lesson of the Wikileaks saga for me is that we should be skeptical of government assertions that the revelation […]

UK Parliamentary committee recommends reform of media regulation

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

The British Culture, Media and Sport Committee has released its report into press standards, privacy and libel.
Recommendations:
Privacy tort: No change. In particular, no legal requirement for the media to give notice to people who’s privacy they’re about to invade in an upcoming story, though a failure to provide such notice should hike any damages awarded.
Privacy […]

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