Journalist Arrested Over Facebook Privacy Story

Tech reporter released, iPad retained

Australian tech journalist Ben Grubb was arrested after the Sydney Morning Herald published a piece he wrote about Facebook’s privacy controls. Grubb was subsequently released without charge and without his iPad, which the police retained.

The piece, entitled "Security Experts Go to War: Wife Targeted," covers a presentation at an IT security conference where the presenter exposed Facebook’s privacy vulnerabilities by hacking, live, into another security expert’s wife’s Facebook page, displaying photos she had locked behind a "Friends only" privacy setting.

Police authorities said they arrested Grubb in connection to a complaint by a Facebook user whose information had been accessed without permission. Executives from The Sydney Morning Herald’s publisher Fairfax said Grubb was simply reporting on a presentation from a conference and had nothing to do with any security breach personally.

Queensland police denied arresting Grubb, but being the tech reporter that he is, he recorded the conversation leading to his detention. It was reportedly apparent that the arrest was a means to acquire the journalist’s iPad, which he refused to hand over to police voluntarily.