Google is in trouble again and this time it is New Zealand that is taking action against the search giant for revealing the name of a murder accused awaiting trial. The justice minister of New Zealand has threatened Google that it would face prosecution for sending out a mass mail that included the name of a man that is suspected of murdering Grace Millane, a backpacker from Britain. The suspect had been granted suppression of his name by court while awaiting trial so it was illegal to make his name public. The suspects name was prominently disclosed to people that had signed up to receive nation’s top trends that are supplied by Google.
Google denied the charge stating that it was not aware that the suspect had requested for a name suppression order. NZ’s minister of justice Andrew Little told presspersons that if the email breach could be traced to any of Google’s local infrastructure team in NZ then it would be prosecuted locally. Google’s office in New Zealand has 20 staff members and it is planning to add more so Mr. Little said that the firm should not be allowed to say that it is a mechanical problem and was not done deliberately so they should not be held responsible.
The minister insisted that Google has acted in contempt of the local court so should be held accountable for the action. The firm has not responded to media requests for comments and initial investigations show that it did not have knowledge that there was a suppression order for the accused. A News Zealand media house said that whenever such orders are issued they receive valid court orders so that it can be reviewed and followed but in this case no such call to action was issued. Several media houses in Britain have publicly named the murder suspect in their news stories about the murder.