Posts by Graeme Edgeler

  • Speaker: Confidential information: the…,

    Accessing a computer without authorisation is a crime under section 252 of the Crimes Act 1961. It says:
    (1)...

    I've been going back and forth on this since the release. My current position (of many shifting ones) is that it's subsection (2) that is important in determining whether the offence was committed, but it is difficult to see how far that would go.

    Subsection 2 says:

    To avoid doubt, subsection (1) does not apply if a person who is authorised to access a computer system accesses that computer system for a purpose other than the one for which that person was given access.

    The question then is: does Cameron Slater have authority to access the server that hosts the Labour Party website? Well, it's a publicly available website, that they put up there so that people can go to their website and download stuff from that server into their cache to read on their browsers. If Cameron doesn't have authority (because, for example, it's not express authority), I don't see how any of us can lawfully look at it.

    If Cameron, and you and I have authorisation to access the server that hosts labour.org.nz for the purpose of viewing the Labour Party's website, then is there any basis on which section 252(2) doesn't come into play if once we access the server, we do things that it was not intended we should do?

    Obviously, if once there, those unauthorised things we are doing on that computer system (which we are authorised to access for other purposes), we do things for other reasons, eg to cause damage to the site, or to do something dishonest etc. other computer crimes may arise (such as section 249, or section 250). These offences can be committed on computer systems you have been authorised to access, because they don't include something equivalent to section 252(2), but there has been no suggestion to date that Cameron Slater or Jason Ede (or anyone else) accessed the Labour server in a way which might give rise to an offence under s 249 or s 250.

    There may still be privacy issues, but I'm tending to the view that what has been alleged is not a breach of section 252, because of subsection 2. I think we all have authorisation to access the computer system which operates as the server hosting the Labour Party website.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 2990 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Not doing justice,

    With hindsight, it's clear that if Labour couldn't find a better candidate than Gibson, it should not have stood a candidate.

    I don't think that that is a serious suggestion. That is really not an option.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 2990 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: A wretched editorial,

    had the Star Times ... secured an interview with Billingsley, the paper would have been all over it. It would have been yesterday’s lead story.

    But it actually gets worse ... Fairfax reporter Kim Knight eventually did get an interview. It’s there in the Sunday Star Times, where she explains her decision to go public.

    I'm not sure how that is worse. It shows 1. that they didn't front-page the interview, and 2. that their news team thought the story was on the speaking out, which was also the focus of the editorial.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 2990 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: A wretched editorial, in reply to Alex Coleman,

    That would be covered by the "self confessed" surely?

    You can confess to something that is reported as a paraphrase.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 2990 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Going solar?,

    Is it viable to wait instead for photovoltaic panels? How will things have changed by the time we’ve paid off the investment in five years?

    Surely, if things get way more awesome in five years, it won't matter that you've done this because, if the theory is correct, you'll still have been saving money. What investment are you worried about wasting if you are saving money?

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 2990 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: A wretched editorial,

    I’m not sure what that the quotation marks around “activist” are meant to signify

    I assumed they were meant to signify that the word was a quote.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 2990 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Hope and Wire,

    I only watched the first episode, and not the second.

    Would that make a difference to what I'm thinking about the series?

    Is it better as six episodes or three doubles?

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 2990 posts Report Reply

  • Legal Beagle: Suicide Reporting; or, The…, in reply to Idiot Savant,

    So if the law is widely flouted and never enforced, why is it even on the books?

    Well, a lot has changed since 2006.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 2990 posts Report Reply

  • Legal Beagle: Suicide Reporting; or, The…, in reply to BenWilson,

    After the inquiry into the death is completed, it seems that s71 doesn’t apply any more because s71(c) no longer holds.

    Section 71(1) applies before a coroner's finding is released.

    Section 71(2) applies after a coroner's finding is released.

    It would seem pretty odd if permission was needed in perpetuity. So odd that I’m not surprised at the observation that no one has asked permission of the Chief coroner in 30 years, and he’s never taken anyone to task for that.

    His comment was about no-one ever asking in the circumstances where I asked (ie after a high profile death presumed to be a suicide).

    And yes, permission is needed in perpetuity if you want to disclose information beyond that allowed in section 71(2).

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 2990 posts Report Reply

  • Legal Beagle: Suicide Reporting; or, The…, in reply to BenWilson,

    Check! That looks what what both the Act and the guide says.

    The problem with the guidance is that it doesn’t even look like you need permission.

    I meant to say, I think:

    The problem is that that guidance makes it look like you can’t even ask for permission until after the decision is made (ie it looks like the pre-decision ban is total).

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 2990 posts Report Reply

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