This is the sixth 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 Media
Prime Minister Scott Morrison made an announcement on 19 June 2020 that the country is under cyber attack. Speculation is that the attack is state sponsored with China being the main culprit.
Wentworth MP Dave Sharma is preparation for the trial in a defamation case brought against him by former Labor MP Melissa Parke after he tweeted allegedly implying she was an anti-semite.
Ben Roberts-Smith defamation case against Fairfax has stalled in court after Fairfax lawyers amended their offence to introduce new evidence to the court.
The government has settled a defamation claim against Seamus O’Regan out of court, the claim dates from when O’Regan was veteran affairs minister.
Mozilla CEO Mitchell Baker has stated that the countries lack of data protection laws have “increased the harm faced by ordinary Indians”.
Government Minister Steven Joyce was awarded costs of nearly $269,000 after winning his defamation case against NBR publisher Fourth Estate Holdings Ltd.
The Data Protection Excellence Center has concluded that Singapore has created the most secure contact tracing app, Computer Weekly reports.
In the Courts
Fairfax Media Publications v Voller  NSWCA 102, the court dismissed an appeal from several Australian media companies over a finding they were liable for defamatory comments posted by users on their Facebook page in response to news articles.
Roberts v The Manning Community News Pty Ltd & Anor  NSWDC 301– an application for summary dismissal by the defendants was dismissed with costs in this defamation case.
Asbog Veterinary Services Pty Ltd & Anor v Barlow  QDC 112– in the District Court of Queensland plaintiffs sued in respect of seven comments made on Twitter, Facebook and True Local. Damages and relief via an injunction restraining further comments were made.
Armstrong v McIntosh (No.4)  WASC 31– a defamation case heard in the Supreme Court of Western Australia. The complaint arose from four text messages sent by the defendant to a friend, which the plaintiff stated defamed them. It was found that the defendant had defamed the plaintiff and an award of AUS$6,500.00 was justified, including aggravated compensatory damages of Aus$1,500.00.
Candelora v. Feser, 2020 NSSC 177 – Damages awarded under Intimate Images and Cyber-protection Act, S.N.S. 2017 – general damages of $50,000, aggravated damages $20,000, punitive damages $15,000.
The College of Pharmacists of Manitoba v Jorgenson 2020 MBQB 88 Grammond J ordered a Winnipeg pharmacists to pay $150,000 in damages to his regulatory body which he accused of covering up the deaths of 24 indigenous people. There was a report of the decision in the Winnipeg Free Press.
Duncan v. Buckles, 2020 ONSC 3219, default judgment in a libel case arising out of blog posts concerning a neighbour dispute. Damages of $70,000 were awarded and the defendant was ordered to remove all blogposts, YouTube videos and all other internet content he has posted that refer to Ms. Duncan, her fence and the property at 43 Wells Street, Aurora, Ontario, including comments made by others on these online posts;
This Round up was complied by Suneet Sharma a junior legal professional with a particular interest and experience in media, information and privacy law.