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.