Monthly International Round Up – Suneet Sharma

24 06 2020

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

Australia

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.

Canada

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.

Saltwire News considers why technology stakeholders believe that privacy regulations need serious reform.

Quebec has introduced new amendments to its privacy regimes, Mondaq reports.

Cyprus

To mark the two year anniversary of the GDPR data privacy law in the country Mondy considers the developments in the framework since then.

Hong Kong

The Diplomat considers Hong Kong’s latest developments in its national security law.

India

Time has a piece on the press watchdog’s calls for the police to drop a criminal investigation into a journalist for her coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mozilla CEO Mitchell Baker has stated that the countries lack of data protection laws have “increased the harm faced by ordinary Indians”.

Lexology has an insightful piece dissecting India’s approach to data protection.

New Zealand

Government Minister Steven Joyce was awarded costs of nearly $269,000 after winning his defamation case against NBR publisher Fourth Estate Holdings Ltd.

Pakistan

The Ministy of Information Technology and Telecomunication released its fourth draft of the Personal Data Protection Bill. Which contains localization and registration provisions.

Singapore

The Data Protection Excellence Center has concluded that Singapore has created the most secure contact tracing app, Computer Weekly reports.

In the Courts

Australia   

Fairfax Media Publications v Voller [2020] 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 [2020] 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 [2020] 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) [2020] 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.

Canada

Mazhar v Farooqi 2020 ONSC 3490 – Successful anti SLAPP motion under section 137.1 of the Courts of Justice Act, R.S.O. 1990.

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.


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