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Dateline: 9 May 2000 Early Edition
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Editorial
The Identity Of That Policeman
First-up... no, I won't be naming or linking to any sites that name the police officer involved in the Waitara shooting incident.

Why not?

Well, unlike the US millionaire (who the NZ media is still not allowed to name), the officer concerned has not been found guilty of any charges by a court of law and, although successive NZ governments seem increasingly keen on ignoring the fact -- people in a civilised country deserve the right to be considered innocent until proven guilty.

None of us are privy to all the facts behind the incident so to play judge and jury is totally unreasonable -- lets leave those who have the facts at their disposal to do their job.

The court's decision to allow the media to name the policeman at the heart of this issue simply makes the ongoing name suppression of the US drug-smuggling millionaire even more ludicrous doesn't it?

The fact that The NZ Herald, TVNZ and, so it would seem, the rest of the NZ media have chosen not to publish the policeman's name even though they can, perhaps shows just how out of touch our courts can be with public opinion.

Unfortunately, I have no doubt that some limelighting snot will try to exploit this situation by posting the officer's name to a website or newsgroup somewhere -- but then again, there are people who'd happily try and wreck the entire utility of the Internet by writing viruses aren't there?

The Identity Of That Virus Writer
And speaking of virus-writers... It seems the cops believe they have their man (and woman) over in Manila.

According to the latest reports, a 27-year-old bank worker and his wife (or girlfriend, depending on who you listen to) are being questioned in relation to the virus attack.

Unfortunately, the Philippines police have already admitted that they may not even be able to charge the pair because of the lack of cyber-crime laws in that country.

Does that ring any bells in parliament? How long have I been trying to tell successive governments that it's time the revamped their law-books to cope with what can only be an increasing level of cybercrime with the potential to extract an increasingly high toll on Net users?

Which kind of brings us back to our US millionaire again doesn't it -- if you recall, at the time I linked to US news stories carrying his name, the best the lawyers could do was run around in circles trying to figure out if it was a breach of the name suppression order. Has anything changed yet?

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