Four public officials plead guilty to selling information to the Sun

March 9, 2013

In the UK 3 ex and one current public official have pleaded guilty to selling information to the Sun.  The Guardian reports on it here.  They pleaded guilty to misconduct in public office. The charges stem from the phone hacking scandal that has engulfed UK’s tabloid press.

It provides:

Old Bailey hears first guilty pleas following arrest as part of investigation into alleged illegal payments to public officials

Two former police officers, an ex-prison officer and another public official have admitted selling information to the Sun – the first people to plead guilty in relation to the investigation into alleged illegal payments by journalists.

Alan Tierney, an ex-Surrey police constable, and former prison officer Richard Trunkfield, both pleaded guilty to misconduct in a public office Read the rest of this entry »

Drones set for a commercial take off with CASA proposing rules

March 1, 2013

The ABC, per Mark Corcoran, undertakes the latest detailed analysis of Drones,  This time, in Drones set for large-scale commercial take-off the issue is that the Civil Aviation Authority is about to provide rules to permit the use of drones.

It provides:

Hundreds of small commercially operated drones could soon take to Australian skies under a radical new set of rules proposed by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) in Melbourne this week.

Under a new weight class system, prospective drone entrepreneurs with craft weighing 2 kilograms or less could take off after completing nothing more than an online application form.

CASA officials say Read the rest of this entry »

ICO fines Nursing and Midwifery Council

February 22, 2013

On 12 February the ICO  issued the Nursery and Midwifery Council a £150,000 fine for breaching the data Protection Act.

The council lost three DVDs related to a nurse’s misconduct hearing, which contained confidential personal information and evidence from two vulnerable children. The  ICO  found the information was not encrypted.

According to the ICO press release David Smith, Deputy Commissioner and Director of Data Protection, said:

“It would be nice to think that data breaches of this type are rare, but we’re seeing incidents of personal data being mishandled again and again.
While many organisations are aware of the need to keep sensitive paper records secure, they forget Read the rest of this entry »

Charlottesville, Virginia, the first city in the USA to pass an aerial drone ban.

February 9, 2013

The use of drones has sped from exclusive military usage to availability by citizens in a matter of a few years.  The cost, size and feasability of technology is now within reach of citizens.  That means they are well within the reach of governments for domestic uses, obviously including as part of a policing approach.  This development has involved precious little policy considerations and little regulation.  In Australia there is no privacy protection relating to the use of drones, notwithstanding the obvious issues.  It is a case of technology fast outpacing the law’s need to regulate in order to protect competing rights and interests.

Charlottesville has reportedly restricted the use of aerial drones (report found here).

It provides:

This week, the city of Charlottesville, Virginia became the first city in the US to limit the use of unmanned aerial drones. Drafted Read the rest of this entry »

Tracking software, cookies and privacy

January 22, 2013

In the Age today in Australians most vulnerable to virtual stalkers the issue of tracking software and privacy is covered with reference to a report from the Centre for Internet Safety, Taming the Cookie Monster.

The article provides:

Australians are among the world’s heaviest internet users but also the most exposed to being tracked online by companies after personal information, a report warns.

The report by the Centre For Internet Safety, associated with the University of Canberra, calls for greater privacy protection for Australians through Read the rest of this entry »

ROCKNROLL v NEWS GROUP NEWSPAPERS LTD [2013] EWHC 24: misuse of private information, privacy, restraining publication of photographs

January 19, 2013

On 17 January 2013 Mr Justice Briggs, sitting in the High Court Chancery Division, published his reasons in  RocknRoll v News Group Newspapers Ltd granting an interim injunction restraining News Group Newspaper from publishing photographs of Edward RocknRoll (the “claimant”).  See my post on the reportage here.


In July 2010 the claimant attended a private fancy dress party to celebrate the 21st birthday of his then wife’s sister at her parent’s private estate [1].  Another guest at the party took photographs of the claimant (“the Photographs”), some of which showed him partly naked. The Photographs were posted on the photographer’s Facebook page where they could be viewed by his 1,500 “friends”, until subsequent changes to the Facebook settings resulted in them being made accessible to the general public (unbeknownst to the photographer).  Since the Photographs were taken the claimant divorced his first wife and married Kate Winslet, an actress [2].  The Photographs came to the attention of the defendant at the beginning of January 2013 [3] and it:

“..wishes to publish the Photographs, together with a description of their contents, in the Sun newspaper, and notified the claimant of its intention to do so, albeit not the source of the Photographs… it intended to pixillate the part of any published photographs which showed the lower half of the Claimant’s body.”


At [5] his Honour set out the general principles applicable in considering an application for injunctive relief against misuse of private information in the Read the rest of this entry »

Ned RocknRoll obtains interlocutory injunction in the UK High Court, on privacy grounds, against Sun newspaper over photographs

January 10, 2013

The Age and the Guardian report that Ned RocknRoll has obtained an interlocutory injunction in the High Court in the UK restraining the Sun newspaper from publishing embarrassing photographs of him at a fancy dress party.

The Guardian article provides:

 Kate Winslet‘s husband, Ned Rocknroll, has won his high court bid to prevent the Sun from publishing “embarrassing” pictures of him partly naked at a fancy dress party.

Lawyers for Rocknroll argued that his privacy would be grossly invaded if pictures Read the rest of this entry »

Lord Justice Leveson speech to the University of Melbourne on 12 December 2012

December 15, 2012

On 12 December Lord Justice Leveson gave his second speech in a week, titled Hold the Front Page – News gathering in a time of change.  It is a broad ranging consideration of the law and the internet.

It provides:

1. It is a real privilege to have been asked to give this public lecture and, echoing the Vice Chancellor, I am pleased to acknowledge that we are standing on the land of the Wurundjeri people and to pay respect to their Elders and families past and present. I would also like to thank the Centre for Advanced Journalism at the University of Melbourne for the invitation. I am delighted to be here.
2. I hope you will forgive me for providing some context to what I am about to say. As you are aware, I have spent the last 17 months engaged in an Inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the press. The Report was published nearly a fortnight ago, on 29 November 2012, and, as I have said before, it may be that some of you are hoping that I will elaborate. If you Read the rest of this entry »

A very insightful article in the Economist regarding on line privacy and regulation of the net.

December 12, 2012

The Economist has written a very interesting story on recent developments in on line privacy in Difference Engine: Nobbling the internet .

It provides:

TWO measures affecting the privacy internet users can expect in years ahead are currently under discussion on opposite sides of the globe. The first hails from a Senate committee’s determination to make America’s online privacy laws even more robust. The second concerns efforts by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), an intergovernmental body under the auspices of the United Nations, to rewrite its treaty for regulating telecommunications around the world, which dates from 1988, so as to bring the internet into its fief.

Many fear Read the rest of this entry »

Naomi Wolf on Cheaters and privacy lost

November 27, 2012

Naomi Wolf, author of the Beauty Myth amongst others, provides some an analysis of the surveillance society in the context of the television show Cheaters in Cheaters and the sinister normalisation of our surveillance society.

It provides:

Flicking through TV channels last week, I was unwillingly riveted by a reality show I had never seen before: “Cheaters”.

In ominous tones Read the rest of this entry »

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