28 Oct 2014

Slater postings on man bizarre, court told

8:59 pm on 28 October 2014

A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says.

Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater.

Blogger Cameron Slater. Photo: Supplied

Mr Slater has appeared before the Human Rights Review Tribunal facing a prosecution for breaching the privacy of the businessman Matthew Blomfield.

Simon Judd, the lawyer for the Director of Human Rights, said Mr Slater had published 46 documents online - and that was not the actions of a news gatherer.

Mr Judd said the documents included private emails between the man and his business partners, as well as confidential and privileged information between the man and his lawyer.

He wanted the tribunal to order disclosure of how the documents came to be in Mr Slater's possession, damages and that Mr Slater be ordered to attend a privacy workshop.

The documents published included bank statements, letters between Mr Blomfield and his business associates, as well as legally privileged letters between Mr Blomfield and his lawyers.

"The number of people who can look at this stuff so quickly is phenomenal. We couldn't comprehend it a few years ago," Mr Judd said.

A blogger was not covered by a code of ethics as journalists were, and Mr Slater therefore breached Mr Blomfield's privacy by publishing the documents, he said.

The postings by Mr Slater amounted to a bizarre and personal six-month-long attack which was not journalism; the items included a video of Mr Blomfield at a gym and was put online for people to laugh at.

Mr Blomfield said the video was filmed by a business associate and showed him being beaten in a boxing match by a 19-year-old.

"It's quite embarrassing. I look like a muppet."

He said his boxing moves proved better when a man armed with a shotgun showed up at his house as he was having a cup of milo on his deck.

He confronted the man, who shot him under the arm before leaving with a bloody nose.

Mr Blomfield said it was the bloody nose that led police to make an arrest, and the man was before the courts.

Mr Blomfield told the tribunal his wife no longer took photos of their children because she was afraid they could one day be published online.

As well, he and his wife had feared for their safety after the documents were published, and he had had cameras and security gates installed.

He believed the attack was linked to the publishing of the documents containing his name and address, he said.

Under cross examination by Mr Slater, Mr Blomfield conceded that he had appeared in the media speaking on behalf of Hell Pizza. His address had also been available online before Mr Slater's posts.

Mr Slater told the hearing Mr Blomfield had made some "fairly outrageous statements".

The hearing continues.

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