Updated: Journalist arrested by Queensland Police at AusCERT

iPad seized, Queensland Police says 'our bad' over denial of arrest

Detective Superintendent Brian Hay.

Detective Superintendent Brian Hay.

An Australian journalist was arrested at the AusCERT security conference on the Gold Coast after publishing a story about an alleged Facebook security flaw.

Fairfax journalist Ben Grubb tweeted that he had been taken into custody last night by the Queensland Police. He was released a short time after, but his iPad remained in police custody.

“I have been officially released from being under arrest,” Grubb tweeted. “My iPad is still seized.”

The arrest was denied by Queensland Police, until the Queensland media unit this morning conceded it had made an error.

“Our bad @bengrubb was arrested for questioning briefly,” the tweet read. “Our tweet last night was based on information provided at the time. Apologies.”

In a press conference this morning, Detective Superintendent Brian Hay said the incident had caused the police to review its policies on how it interacts with Twitter, but that he couldn't go into specifics of the case.

“We’ll review our response to how we deal with issues on Twitter and how it is being used,” he said. “It’s not appropriate that I go into details of what happened as it is going into an investigation that is happening now... There was a breakdown in communication in the timeliness of the Twitter feed."

Hay said the reason for Grubb's arrest was related to a hacking incident at AusCERT.

“The complaint was in regards to an alleged hacking incident that saw information obtained illegally," he said.

“It's probably quite sad that we may have people out there that think the game isn’t serious.”

Hay said that the arrest was made for the purposes of asking questions, but that no charges had been laid.

In regards to the seizure of Grubb's iPad, Hay said police believed the device would be relevant to the investigation.

IDG Communications is an official media partner for AusCERT 2011

Follow Lisa Banks on Twitter: @CapricaStar

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAu

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