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Archive for July, 2009

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MPs expenses: some thoughts

Friday, July 31st, 2009

It’s good, but it’s not enough. Why can’t we have more details about the travel and accommodation? And how much are they each spending on mail-outs?
One thing I find striking: if New Zealand was prepared to invest half as much on funding to political parties’ campaigns once every three years as we currently spend on our MPs’ […]

Clayton’s defence

Friday, July 31st, 2009

Provocation. The defence you use when you’re not really putting on a defence.
The end of the Weatherston trial is a relief to Sophie Elliott’s family, the nation… and (for much less serious reasons) to me personally. Over the past few weeks I’ve received a string of calls from reporters wanting me to comment on the […]

Secret judgment lifts lid on other secret judgment

Friday, July 31st, 2009

You might have missed it, but last week news emerged that Kirstin Dunne-Powell has obtained an injunction against Tony Veitch to prevent him publicly disclosing private and confidential material about her.
Apparently she filed for the injunction shortly after Veitch pleaded guilty, back in April. That evening, Veitch had told Close Up that he “did some […]

Minister in breach of privacy laws?

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

Did Paula Bennett’s release of her critics’ benefit details breach privacy laws? My VUW law school colleague Dr Nicole Moreham thinks it might have.
UPDATE: Paula Bennett was squirming under Mary Wilson’s skewer on Checkpoint last night, simultaneously trying to insist that she had done the right thing in “getting the facts out there” and also […]

Nothing but net?

Monday, July 13th, 2009

The NZ government and NZ ISPs are quietly working on a form of internet filtering that starts to look a bit like censorship. Read these fascinating analyses.

Blogger busted

Sunday, July 12th, 2009

A British detective blogging about police issues under the pseudonym “NightJack” has failed in his attempt to stop the Times from revealing his identity.
The ruling suggests that anonymous bloggers don’t have a reasonable expectation that their identities will be kept private. Well, those who are breaching police regulations in writing their blog, anyway. But much […]

Not quite…

Sunday, July 12th, 2009

The Herald On Sunday has a story on the Solicitor-General’s investigation of blogs and social networking sites that are commenting on the Clayton Weatherston trial in ways that may prejudice the trial. I’m quoted explaining the reason for the law of contempt, and also as saying it has nothing to do with shutting down freedom […]

Muckhacking

Friday, July 10th, 2009

For anyone who’s missed it: a fascinating expose of journalistic practices at News of the World. They hire private investigators to illegally hack public figures’ mobile phones; try to pass it off as a one-off lapse by a rogue journalist if caught out; and if sued pay out enormous sums as hush money in confidential […]

Laws unto himself

Tuesday, July 7th, 2009

Michael Laws has been potted by the Broadcasting Standards Authority again, this time for a tirade against two fire service spokespeople, who had warned the public about the dangers of leaving chips unattended in a frying pan and not having working smoke alarms. This was after a fatal fire, killing four children, had been caused […]

Defamation stoush looming in London

Tuesday, July 7th, 2009

Looks like a humdinger.

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