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Throwing the book at the Chief Judge II

By Steven | July 10, 2014

Former Privacy Commissioner Bruce Slane also criticises the High Court order requiring Kim Dotcom to seek documents from author David Fisher under the Privacy Act so that he can turn them over to the Crown. But he takes a different tack to mine.

He argues (very persuasively, I think) that these documents are not really under the power of Dotcom, even though he can request access to them, since that access is subject to a number of conditions and processes. This is pretty similar to the point Ewan Morris makes in the comments in my previous post. The proper process here would have been for the Crown to apply for third-party discovery from Fisher directly.

Bruce Slane doesn’t comment at length on whether investigative authors come within the definition of news media, though he seems to assume that the status quo is that they don’t and adds that, as far as he’s aware, there have been “no difficult cases of authors facing requests which the Privacy Act procedures have failed to deal with satisfactorily”. It’s not clear whether there have actually ever been any complaints relating to authors. But he suggests that no reform is necessary. He doesn’t explain why he’s so sure an investigative author is not producing “news”, but I think it’s fair to say his views are grist for the mill of Glassboy, who also commented in the previous thread.

Topics: Privacy Act | 35 Comments »

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