Monthly International Round Up – Suneet Sharma

27 02 2020

This is the third instalment in a regular new series from Inforrm highlighting press and case reports of new media and information cases from around the world.  It is intended to complement our United States: Monthly Round Up posts.  Please let us know if there are other cases and jurisdictions which we should be covering.

In the Papers

Australia

Former West Australian newspaper editor Paul Armstrong has been successful in his defamation case before the courts. The win came after texts were sent following a family dispute, ABC news reports.

Microsoft and Facebook have warned that defamation laws in Australia risk censoring free speech the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

China

The Guardian has critiqued the media laws in China, saying they are too controlling. The United States has designated China’s Official Media as Operatives of the Communist State.

Germany

Social media outlets may have to report illegal content to the police, following bids to tighten up reporting laws, Cnet reports.

India 

The Washington Post has shined a spotlight on media suppression in India. The Post also considered the spread of disinformation on WhatsApp, fuelling protests and violence in the country.

Japan

Lexology has considered the matters of data protection, privacy and cybersecurity in Japan. Specifically they have tackled the matter of enforcement.

 New Mexico

New Mexico’s Attorney General is suing Google accusing the technology giant of violating children’s privacy. The New York Times, The Associated Press, BBC News and Wall Street Journal have coverage.

Russia

The spread of the coronavirus and its coverage by the media has highlighted disinformation campaigns. The BBC News reports.

Singapore

Social media companies are facing increasing pressures to cooperate with the government in the use of “repressive” fake news, Amnesty International reports.

Spain  

A man has been fined EUR 10,000 by the Spanish Data Protection Agency for sharing intimate photos of a women on WhatsApp.

Thailand

Following the sad events of a mass shooting in the country, the perpetrator posted images and videos on social media. This has prompted the Thai Government to moot restricting social media use in such crises.

In the Courts

Australia

Cheng v Lok [2020] SASC 14. the claimant, an Adelaide lawyer was awarded defamation damages in the total sum of $750,000 in a claim against a woman who gave his firm a bad review on Google..  Default judgment had been entered in favour of the plaintiff.ABC News had a piece

Armstrong v McIntosh (N0.4) [2020] WASC 31 Libel claim based on 4 defamatory text messages. Damages of A$6,500 were awarded.

Canada

Sapra v. Cato, 2020 NSSC 30, an application for summary judgment bhe defendant in a defamation case dismissed as there were questions of fact to be determined.

Pan  v Gao 2018 BCSC 2137 Defendant published ten related articles on the Internet via a social platform used by Chinese-speaking readers. Trial judge found most of the articles not to be defamatory and awarded $1 in damages. Court of Appeal allowed in part. Question of damages for all statements found to be defamatory remitted for determination.

Hong Kong

Wan Wai Lun v Securities and Futures Commission [2020] HKCFI 270; HCAL 2137/2018, the seizure of the applicants phone and computer did not constitute a breach of his privacy.

This Round up was complied by Suneet Sharma a junior legal professional with a particular interest and experience in media, information and privacy law.


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