Website conviction list an 'obsession'

Criticism from the Privacy Foundation and other IT industry groups followed the launch yesterday of CrimeNet (crimenet.com.au), a website that peddles access to its privately owned criminal convictions database.

For $6, "ordinary Australians" can obtain categorised lists of criminal offenders, including convicted pedophiles and frauds. According to officials, the site gathers its information from combing public records, as well as Melbourne and Western Australian newspapers.

Dixon said the site flouted a 1990 amendment to the Commonwealth Privacy Act, which does not allow information on "some old criminal convictions after 10 years (or five years in the case of juvenile offenders)" to be publicly available.

However, Roy Hampton, the site's corporate affairs manager, maintained that the company's criminal database records were automatically deleted after the relevant legal time had passed.

Dixon's primary concerns, however, were ethical. He believes that most young offenders never commit another crime after their first conviction. By publishing their crime on the internet, CrimeNet could effectively inhibit a one-time offender's future employability.

"It's pretty stupid for a society to brand someone at the age of (say) 22 if they've been involved in a single conviction (when they were 18) and to criminalise them," he said. "If you take that approach, then you're just creating a criminal -- if you're told you're a criminal, you'll always be that criminal."

The CrimeNet website has not been fully functional since its launch. Hampton attributes this to unexpectedly high site traffic, "in excess of 150,000 hits".

But, says Dixon: "It's unhealthy for a community to obsess about criminalising people. They're human beings."

Western Australian police spokespersons said the police did not endorse commercial crime prevention ventures such as CrimeNet.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Byron Kaye

PC World
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?