Queensland Police have admitted they did arrest SMH journalist Ben Grubb after he wrote a news story about a Facebook vulnerabilities while covering a conference on IT security.
Grubb – deputy technology editor on smh.com.au – revealed on Twitter that he had been arrested and later released although the police force had kept his iPad.
Queensland Police in turn took to Twitter to deny he had been arrested before later sending another tweet conceding: “Our bad @bengrubb was arrested for questioning briefly Our tweet last night was based on information provided at the time Apologies.”
The story posted by Grubb focused on a controversial demonstration by a security expert of Facebook privacy vulnerabilities. The expert accessed photographs of another security consultant’s wife to demonstrate the hole at the AusCERT security conference on the Gold Coast.
At the time of posting, it was unclear why Queensland Police decided to arrest Grubb who was reporting on a public session.
In an article on smh.com.au this morning, Darren Burden, GM for news at Fairfax Digital, said: ”Ben was a guest of AusCERT at the conference at the Gold Coast. He was at a conference, reporting on something actually said and presented at that conference. It’s fundamental for journalists to be able to report these events.”
A spokesman for Queensland Police told Mumbrella that it would be putting up a response on its Facebook page shortly.