A little legal problem for Keith and Ira

Contrary to what David Farrar thinks I think Ira Bailey and Keith Ng have a little problem.

The Register certainly thinks so:

Ng himself, however, has come under criticism for his voracious appetite for grabbing files to prove his point. As his blog post shows, Ng took a look at files for contractor invoices, hours worked, medical information, debt collection, fraud investigation. He notes that “I sorted through 3,500 invoices … about half of what I obtained”.

While demonstrating that the network was unsecured represents a considerable service to the public, not knowing when to stop has probably put the blogger well on the wrong side of the law. Over atNational Business Review there’s some lawyerly punch and counterpunch about whether, in fact, Ng went so far he’s at risk of jail under New Zealand’s Crimes Act, even though “prosecution guidelines meant action was unlikely to be taken”.

And the relevant legislation:

Crimes Act 1961

249 Accessing computer system for dishonest purpose

(1)Every one is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 7 years who, directly or indirectly, accesses any computer system and thereby, dishonestly or by deception, and without claim of right,—

(a) obtains any property, privilege, service, pecuniary advantage, benefit, or valuable consideration; or
(b) causes loss to any other person.

(2) Every one is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 5 years who, directly or indirectly, accesses any computer system with intent, dishonestly or by deception, and without claim of right,—

(a) to obtain any property, privilege, service, pecuniary advantage, benefit, or valuable consideration; or
(b) to cause loss to any other person.

(3) In this section, deception has the same meaning as in section 240(2).


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

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