Judge Bans Using Murder Suspects' Names Online -- Offline Is Fine, Though

from the huh? dept

A judge in New Zealand has apparently banned the internet publication of the names of two men accused of murdering a 14-year-old boy, though print, radio and TV are all still allowed to use the names. It's hard to make much sense of this ruling. Many are assuming that it's to somehow protect the murder suspects from having their name "Google-able," but that seems a bit silly. They are a part of the news, and it's hard to see what benefit it does to ban using their names online, while allowing it everywhere else. How do you enforce that from everyone else who hears their name on the radio or TV or in a newspaper and mentioning it online?

And, of course, just in announcing this ban, Judge David Harvey is pretty much guaranteeing that more folks will seek out the names and publish them online. In some ways, he's accidentally making it even more likely that their names will be found via Google. The news report claims that Judge Harvey is no internet novice, either, having authored an entire textbook on cyberlaw. So, perhaps he realizes that he's actually just made sure that these two guys have their names plastered in even more locations than they would have otherwise.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 25th, 2008 @ 10:12am

    So...

    What are their names?
    (f1rst!!!1)

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 25th, 2008 @ 10:15am

    Wow . . .

    He really doesnt understand technology does he . . . (sigh)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
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    Mack Ray Edwards, Aug 25th, 2008 @ 10:28am

    So umm

    Wow so I can verbally say the names of murders but can't have them in print online. Hmm nice to know.

     

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  4.  
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    BCKrogoth, Aug 25th, 2008 @ 10:41am

    if you can say it, but can't have it online, can you say the name in a podcast?

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 25th, 2008 @ 10:43am

    Re: So...

    ooh... u s0 1334! (ha ha)
    *(be real hardcore, learn binary)

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    B, Aug 25th, 2008 @ 10:50am

    Think has to do with getting a fair trial. 80% your guilty by the media before you even get to trial.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 25th, 2008 @ 10:57am

    So posting the names (DMCA Deletion) and (DMCA Deletion) will get you in trouble ?

     

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  8.  
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    Sierra Night Tide, Aug 25th, 2008 @ 11:34am

    Binary

    If you spell their names in binary... is it still cyber printing their names?

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 25th, 2008 @ 11:40am

    Re:

    That would make sense, except that traditional media (TV, radio, newspapers) can use the names all they like.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
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    Ian Kenney, Aug 25th, 2008 @ 11:45am

    What if you just happened to sign your comments with their names? Would that get you in trouble?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 25th, 2008 @ 12:37pm

    What about TV shows that are later put on the internet? Or newspapers that reprint online? Or oh my God how many other ways can we prove that this ruling was completely st00pid??!!‽‽!!!one!!three!!

     

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  12.  
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    Dave, Aug 25th, 2008 @ 12:38pm

    Re: Re:

    What about live streaming of the news? Will that be allowed if it contains a story about the murders?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
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    Overcast, Aug 25th, 2008 @ 1:12pm

    The news report claims that Judge Harvey is no internet novice, either, having authored an entire textbook on cyberlaw.

    I could write a book on Warp Drive engines too, doesn't mean what's in there is worth anything of value; intellectually or otherwise.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 25th, 2008 @ 1:19pm

    Editing History

    “And, of course, just in announcing this ban, Judge David Harvey is pretty much guaranteeing that more folks will seek out the names and publish them online. In some ways, he's accidentally making it even more likely that their names will be found via Google.”

    I don’t think he is. Judge David Harvey is behaving no differently to, say, the Chinese government. He wants to make the web appear different to those within his own country. Google isn’t able to tell someone with a Chinese IP address the whole history of Tiananmen Square. A couple of years down the line, when most people have forgotten this case, someone with a New Zealand IP address will not come across it, if they happen to search using the names of the accused.

     

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  15.  
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    Andy, Aug 25th, 2008 @ 2:49pm

    Americans Can Still Post the Names...

    It's funny how New Zealand's laws don't transverse the sovereignty of the United States. So here we go:

    The names are Nathan Williams and Daniel Tumata, as reported in online 'print replica' version of the New Zealand Herald, complete with picture!

    http://www.pressdisplay.com/pressdisplay/showlink.aspx?bookmarkid=V785FENTBGB1&linki d=a5583263-f810-4f7e-a4a3-980f156b83d1&pdaffid=cImi%2fqnnWpmZvQcOu0u5SA%3d%3d

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 25th, 2008 @ 4:32pm

    The news report claims that Judge Harvey is no internet novice, either, having authored an entire textbook on cyberlaw.

    Yeah, I bet that's a real good textbook (snort).

    No wonder we see so many problematic court rulings involving the internet when judges who obviously don't understand the internet very well at all actually think they're expert enough to write books about it.

     

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  17.  
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    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Aug 25th, 2008 @ 4:57pm

    No Internet Novice

    This same Judge Harvey has previously come up against the power of the Internet to render his orders moot. He tried to suppress the name of a USian billionaire prosecuted for importing illegal drugs into NZ, only to see the name get widely reported across the Internet.

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    Ken Allan, Aug 25th, 2008 @ 5:10pm

    @ Anonymous Coward

    Hang about. The accused are on trial. The judge is the agent of justice who sees, as you should too, that a fair trial is needed for anyone accused but not yet tried.

    The way you argue, it is as if the accused had been found guilty - that hasn't happened. Time enough for thier names to appear on the Internet when they are found guilty.

    Or would you rather the judge just threw them into jail and lock them up without a trial?

    Ka kite

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 25th, 2008 @ 8:12pm

    Re:

    Then the Legal system should NEVER release the names of Any Accused.

    The problem with this ban is it is only for one medium.

     

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  20.  
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    crispybacon, Aug 25th, 2008 @ 8:25pm

    The reason...

    The judge was worried that it might taint the jury's decision in the accuseds' trial. He didn't want jurors going home (not often that juries get sequestered in NZ) and searching for the accused on the internet, and finding (possibly prejudicial and/or wrong) information about them.

     

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  21.  
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    Another anonymous (kiwi) coward, Aug 25th, 2008 @ 10:26pm

    Thanks for the links Andy!

    What is hilarious is that the NZ Herald in complying with the suppression order gave enough info to find this thread with names and links (some of the sites miss spell one of the names - I am in NZ and will respect the local law, but the maori name was obviously wrong in some of the blogs)

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 26th, 2008 @ 2:46am

    Re: The reason...

    So that won't happen when they turn on their TV or radio, maybe buy a news paper?

    What's so hard to understand that the information will be available through numerous other sources and will find it's way onto the internet anyway. If you don't want the jury to be prejudiced you restrict ALL mediums, not just one.

    I hope you never get jury duty, you're too dense to understand basic concepts, let alone pass judgement on someone else.

     

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  23.  
    identicon
    Hellion, Aug 28th, 2008 @ 6:02pm

    They deserve to be named

    It's weird how sites still try to stop naming the guys when one site has come right out and named them.

    http://www.nutterz.com/nutterz/index.php?showtopic=77698

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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