Privacy Law and Policy Reporter
compiled by Nigel Waters
NZ Privacy Commissioner Bruce Slane is to feature in a monthly nationwide radio broadcast on Radio New Zealand. The radio slot continues his efforts to communicate his privacy message directly to the public, which he has also done through a weekly opinion piece in the tabloid Sunday News, a web page and a monthly newsletter. All of this must help to counter what he sees as continuing attempts by sections of the NZ print media to misrepresent and trivialise privacy rights.
At the Office of the NZ Privacy Commissioner Deborah Marshall has been appointed Manager, Investigations, a new position which has national responsibility for complaint investigation, with investigation staff located in both Auckland and Wellington. Deborah was previously the manager for investigations in Auckland.
Blair Stewart, Manager, Codes & Legislation, is now also responsible for information matching, including monitoring of operating programmes and their periodic reassessment. One early priority will be the completion of the reassessment of the first group of matches authorised in 1991.
On the 6 February in the District Court in Sydney, Skeeve Stevens was sentenced to [Clare - will phone through result on Monday] for offences under the Commonwealth Crimes Act computer misuse provisions. Stevens had earlier pleaded guilty to charges of inserting data into a computer and unlawful access to computer data.
According to reports, Skeeve, operating under the pseudonym Optik Surfer, had hacked into AUSNet’s computer network in March 1995, two months after he was refused a job with the company. Using the user account and password details of AUSNet’s technical director, Stevens altered the company’s home page by displaying a message that subscriber credit card details had been captured and distributed on the Internet, and subsequently published some credit card details of identified individuals.
The incident is said to have cost the company more than $2 million in lost clients and contracts, and the widespread publicity about the case has undoubtedly contributed to a general lack of consumer and business confidence in the security of the Internet.
Nigel Waters, Associate Editor.
(Sources: Sydney Morning Herald and Link E-mail list postings).