Google
 

Aardvark Daily

New Zealand's longest-running online daily news and commentary publication, now in its 25th year. The opinion pieces presented here are not purported to be fact but reasonable effort is made to ensure accuracy.

Content copyright © 1995 - 2019 to Bruce Simpson (aka Aardvark), the logo was kindly created for Aardvark Daily by the folks at aardvark.co.uk



Please visit the sponsor!
Please visit the sponsor!

Justice Minister, meet the internet

12 December 2018

Apparently, Justice Minister Andrew Little is somewhat upset and maybe even a tad surprised that a name suppression order issued by the New Zealand courts has been ignored by the British media.

Whilst such suppression orders carry stiff penalties for NZ media if breached, there is no such penalty available, should the suppressed information be published by someone outside the country. That is exactly what's happened in this case.

The sensitive information is related to the case of English tourist Grace Millane who was sadly murdered a week or so ago.

The name of the accused and other details which were ordered suppressed by the court have since been published by UK newspapers and, since such newspapers are now easily accessible to NZers via the Net, that information is effectively not suppressed at all.

I'm sorry Mr Little, this is just how the internet works.

With a huge percentage of Kiwis now reading online tabloids such as The Daily Mail, "the cat is out of the box", so to speak.

Perhaps it's time for countries to establish a "suppression treaty" or something so that situations like this can be avoided in future.

Given how many other treaties we have so as to ensure consistency and cross-border enforcement of laws, surely such an arrangement is long-overdue in this age of the Net?

Instead of focusing on how better our political overlords can spy on us within a complex legal framework, how about they address the issue of court-ordered suppression in a way that ensures that when one country within the treaty-group orders information to be kept from the public's eye, *all* countries are willing and able to enforce that diktat?

If this is not done then the issuance of such suppression orders is just a joke of the highest order.

How is it fair and just that a Kiwi who might pass on suppressed information for no reason other than "it came up in a conversation" can be heavily fined or thrown in jail for that act -- yet a UK tabloid can openly publish the same info and make money out of it with complete immunity?

Our politicians and lawmakers spent huge amounts of time and sums of money to overhaul our copyright laws so as to account for the arrival of the internet -- how about they do the same for other aspects of our law? Or is it that protecting the profits of rich and influential music and movie publishers and is more important than protecting the concepts of justice?

Either we give up entirely on the concept of suppression orders -- or we get our fingers out and address the glaring hole that is the ability of foreign publishers to ignore those orders and publish with impunity.

What's it to be?

What do readers think and/or suggest?

Please visit the sponsor!
Please visit the sponsor!

Have your say in the Aardvark Forums.

PERMALINK to this column


Rank This Aardvark Page

 

Change Font

Sci-Tech headlines

 


Features:

The EZ Battery Reconditioning scam

Beware The Alternative Energy Scammers

The Great "Run Your Car On Water" Scam

 

Recent Columns

Social media kills
Before I get on to the main topic of today's column, a word about silly press releases...

RP4 and security
Everyone loves the Raspberry Pi, especially hackers...

Cyberspace, the new battle-front
There is a war being fought between the USA and its enemies; a silent war...

Is this the new YouTube?
As I've mentioned in the past, many YouTube content creators are getting pretty hacked off with the company's attitudes, restrictions and seemingly inconsistent application of its policies regarding monetization and even the total deletion of some channels...

Government IT, it's a joke, right?
Regular readers will recall th at I wrote a column a month or two ago in which I commented on the seemingly outrageous cost for the proposed UK drone registration database...

Is this big or what?
There was a time when only the government of a country could mint money that was legal tender...

Is the internet now shill-city?
There was a time when the Net was just about the best place to go if you were looking to see whether a product or service was worth spending money on...

It is not about safety
In a tragic accident, two people have died on the weekend after a mid-air collision between two aircraft near Hood aerodrome in New Zealand...

One dollar, one vote
Being somewhat of a masochist at heart (or at least so it appears), I subjected myself to almost two and a half hours of political discussion and debate yesterday...

Robomaster has arrived
I'm a great fan of STEM, STEAM and other programs to get kids interested and involved in technology and so I was thrilled to see the latest product from DJI (the drone people)...

Assange, another vendetta?
The US government has filed an extradition request for Julian Assange...