This is a question of whether justice is being done.
The following extract is from the ABC News website, an article by Ashlynne McGhee and staff.
Police have confirmed they arrested a journalist and seized his computer on Queensland’s Gold Coast yesterday, after he published a story about a Facebook security flaw.
Detective Superintendent Brian Hay today likened the issue to receiving stolen goods, but refused to go into details of Fairfax journalist Ben Grubb’s case.
“Let me give you an analogy. Someone breaks into a house and they steal a TV and they give that TV to you, and you know that TV is stolen, and you apply it to your own use … that’s receiving stolen property,” he said.
“I’m not going to go into the details of the specifics of the case.”
Grubb was arrested at the AusCERT IT security conference after he wrote the Facebook story for Fairfax.
“I’ve been arrested by Queensland Police for a story I wrote today. They’ve also seized my iPad,” he said on Twitter yesterday.
His article told how a presenter at a pre-conference event gained access to privacy-protected photos in another person’s Facebook account. The article was accompanied by a photo lifted from the account.
I am assuming that, given there is no mention, the presenter has not been also arrested.
The presenter illegally gained access to another person’s account. In the words of the police, he “stole the TV”.
Yet the reporter who published the incident is being punished for making the theft known. Certainly using the “TV” as evidence, but without taking it, just making a facsimile of it.
It seems to me that the presenter is far more the guilty person. My next question is – “why was the arrest made over such a seemingly trivial incident?” If it isn’t seen as trivial by the police, why is the presenters ‘crime’ not the greater one?
Is this the sign of a police state scenario?
- Seeing a Facebook photo without permission is like ‘stealing a TV’: Police (smh.com.au)
- Journalist held over article on hacking (theage.com.au)
- Cyber law risks making the ‘ordinary’ criminal: expert (theage.com.au)
- ‘I felt sick in the stomach’ (theage.com.au)
- Journalist quizzed and iPad seized by police after reporting Facebook privacy bug (thenextweb.com)