Staff at Finnish psychotherapy centre suspected of data protection offence

A HANDFUL OF EMPLOYEES at Psychotherapy Centre Vastaamo are suspected of data protection offence by the National Bureau of Investigation (KRP), reports Helsingin Sanomat.

Marko Leponen, the officer leading the pre-trial investigation at KRP, stated to the newspaper last week that fewer than 10 employees are suspected of wrongdoing but declined to comment on further details, such as the identities and current employment statuses of the suspects.

Information obtained by the newspaper indicates that one of the suspects is the former chief executive of the service provider, Ville Tapio.

Leponen said the aim of the investigation is to determine whether any of the employees had, deliberately or through gross negligence, facilitated the hacking of the client database of Psychotherapy Centre Vastaamo in November 2018. The issue, he added, is being investigated in co-operation with the data protection ombudsman of Finland.

Sensitive information on up to tens of thousands of psychotherapy clients is believed to have been compromised in the hacking. Some of the information has since been published online by an extortionist demanding a payment of hundreds of thousands of euros from Vastaamo.

Many data security experts have viewed that the service provider had not developed its data security systems to the standards expected today.

Tapio broke his media silence on the issue – which he had justified by saying he had been prohibited from talking to the media by the board of directors – by speaking to Wired on Wednesday, 9 December. He stated, for example, that inaccuracies in the claims made by the extortionist suggests the extortionist and hacker are not the same person.

“What the extortionist is saying is incorrect,” he stated to the news outlet. “The technical details do not match.”

Aleksi Teivainen – HT

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In court: Mid-range drink-driver escapes conviction for morning after offence | Goulburn Post

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A Goulburn woman has avoided conviction after testing mid-range for drink-driving the morning after a night out with friends. READ ALSO: Co-accused in relation to fraud and drug offences reappear in court Courtney Daisy Puckett, 21, of May Street, Goulburn, appeared before Goulburn Local Court on November 18 for mid-range drink-driving. It was presented to the court that on October 25, 2020 Puckett was pulled over by police at Wollogorang on the Hume Highway while travelling from Canberra. A Random Breath Test conducted by police returned a Blood Alcohol Concentration reading of 0.082. The court heard that Puckett had consumed alcohol until 1am the night before with friends. Solicitor Sam Rowland spoke in defense of his client. He said Puckett had a “significant degree of remorse and embarrassment” about the offence. CHECK OUT: Stopping contraband smuggling at Goulburn Correctional Centre Mr Rowland said his client was not speeding or driving erratically at the time. He said Puckett had waited “several hours [that] morning” before driving. The solicitor told the court that Puckett had “learnt her lesson” and had been impacted by the loss of her licence. He said Puckett had to walk 1.5 hours home from work each day. Magistrate Geraldine Beattie took Puckett’s early guilty plea into account. She said drink-driving was a really serious offence because “people die from it”. “Yet, despite it being so serious people still drink drive,” Magistrate Beattie said. “It’s not illegal to drink but if you do, you won’t be able to drive for a while.” The magistrate said Puckett was not likely to re-offend and had completed a Traffic Offender’s Course. “[The offence was] a mistake you’ve cured with education,” she said. A conviction was not recorded and Puckett received a two-year Conditional Release Order (CRO). A CRO can be issued for first time and less serious offences where the offender is unlikely to present a risk to the community. READ MORE: Here to help: Anglicare highlights support for people leaving domestic violence



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Biden goes on the offence in Georgia as Trump targets Midwest

Georgia, where Biden will make two stops on Tuesday, has increasingly become a draw for Democrats in recent years, as turnout increases among black voters and the Atlanta suburbs tilt away from the Republican Party.

“If this was the Georgia of 2008, 2012, I think there’s no way we would have seen a Biden come this late,” said Nsé Ufot, chief executive officer of the New Georgia Project, which aims to increase voter registration, especially among young people and minorities. “It’s a loud signal and acknowledgment of Georgia as a battleground state.”

Trump is staying focused on the so-called “blue wall” states that he flipped in 2016: Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, where he’ll return on Tuesday to hit West Salem just three days after holding a Janesville rally.

While Biden rarely travels to more than one state per day, the Republican President has maintained a whirlwind schedule, crisscrossing the country and making the argument that he built a booming economy before the coronavirus pandemic upended it.

His latest swing could be a victory lap after the Senate on Monday approved the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett and gave conservatives a commanding 6-3 advantage on the Supreme Court. Trump has sought to use the vacancy created by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg last month to animate conservative evangelical and Catholic voters to his candidacy, but the high court fight has been overshadowed by concerns over the coronavirus with cases surging.

Biden, meanwhile, is hoping to lift Democrats running for Senate in Georgia and Iowa with this travel plans. He planned to unveil his closing message during a Tuesday speech in Warm Springs, Georgia, where natural hot springs offered President Franklin Delano Roosevelt comfort as he battled polio and governed a nation weathering the Great Depression and World War II.

The former vice-president’s campaign says his appearance will bookend his visit earlier this month to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, when Biden used the site of the bloody Civil War battle to issue a call for bipartisanship and putting country ahead of party. On Tuesday, he will try to evoke Roosevelt’s New Deal sensitivities while promising to restore the nation’s character.

“This is our opportunity to leave the dark, angry politics of the past four years behind us,” Biden declares in a 60-second closing ad airing on national cable channels and 16 states his campaign considers battlegrounds.

Both campaigns focused on Monday on Pennsylvania, with Trump drawing thousands of largely mask-less supporters to rallies while Biden popped just over the border from his home in Delaware to greet a small group of supporters outside a campaign field office in Chester.

Biden declared: “Bottom line is Donald Trump is the worst possible person to lead us through this pandemic.” Trump countered that his Democratic challenger would impose unnecessary shutdowns.

“It’s a choice between a Trump boom or a Biden lockdown,” the President said at a rally in Allentown.

With more than a third of the expected ballots in the election already cast, it could become increasingly challenging for Trump and Biden to reshape the race. Biden is leading in most national polls and has an advantage, though narrower, in many key battlegrounds.

The campaign’s final week is colliding with deepening concerns about the COVID crisis. Trump is anxious for voters to focus on other issues such as the economy. Biden, meanwhile, has repeatedly hit Trump on the virus while presenting himself as a safer, more stable alternative.


Several close aides to Vice-President Mike Pence tested positive for the virus last weekend, including his chief of staff, Marc Short. Pence, though, has maintained a packed travel schedule. On Tuesday he’ll be in South Carolina, a potential boost for Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, who is in a potentially tight re-election race.

Biden has accused Trump of “waving the white flag” in his response to the virus, while Trump fired back on Monday that the former vice-president “waved a white flag on life”.

Anticipating a razor-thin Electoral College margin, Trump has an aggressive schedule including a visit to Omaha, Nebraska, on Tuesday after a Sunday visit to Maine, aiming to lock up one electoral vote in each of the states that award them by congressional district. The President is scheduled hold a dizzying 11 rallies in the final 48 hours before polls close.

Democrats have been heartened by their lead in the record numbers of early votes that have been cast across a number of battleground states – although they caution that Republicans are more likely to turn out on Election Day.

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Man pleads guilty to child sex offence

A GRAFTON man has entered a plea to a child sexual exploitation charge in Grafton Local Court yesterday

Terrence Edward Laybutt was charged with using a carriage service to procure a person under the age of 16 years for sexual activity and confirmed a plea of guilty.

Court documents reveal that in January 2020, detectives from the Child Abuse and Sex Crime Squad’s Child Exploitation Internet Unit began engaging online with Laybutt, who believed he was speaking with a 14-year-old girl and engaged in conversations about sexually-explicit acts he wished to perform on the child.

Laybutt was arrested by strike force detectives in Park Beach Coffs Harbour on February 4 this year.

The 63-year-old’s lawyer Hugo Schleiger requested the matter be transferred to Coffs Harbour District Court for sentence, and magistrate Kathy Crittenden adjourned the case to December 7.

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NCA bombing accused Domenic Perre jailed for cannabis trafficking and firearm offence

The man charged with the 1994 bombing of the National Crime Authority in Adelaide has been sentenced to more than seven years’ jail for drug and firearm offences.

Perre, 63, previously pleaded guilty to three counts of trafficking a large commercial quantity of cannabis and one count of possessing a silencer.

He was sentenced today in South Australia’s District Court to up to seven years and six months in jail — but that was backdated to his arrest in June 2017.

A non-parole period of six years and 10 days means he will remain in prison until at least mid-2023.

Perre will face a separate Supreme Court trial in October, charged with the murder of Detective Sergeant Geoffrey Bowen and attempted murder of lawyer Peter Wallis in March 1994.

He has pleaded not guilty to causing a blast at the Waymouth Street headquarters of the National Crime Authority (NCA), which killed Sergeant Bowen.

Relatives already sentenced

Perre is the last to be sentenced for drug offences among his co-accused, including his brother, sister-in-law, and nephew.

All four family members were involved in the drug operation between 2016 and 2017, which included a cannabis crop at Chaffey near Renmark.

In sentencing Perre, Judge Rauf Soulio said Perre was the central figure in the trafficking enterprise.

“You socialised there and planned and conducted the offending.

“Your role in relation to the trafficking of cannabis included providing directions and advice to others involved in the trafficking, arranging meetings where cannabis and cash were exchanged and facilitating the transportation of cannabis to Western Australia.”

Judge Soulio said a police search of the Salisbury property led to the discovery of cash, plastic heat-sealed bags, a heat-sealing machine, digital scales, a cash note counter, and a homemade silencer, as well as books relating to gun parts.

In sentencing submissions, lawyers for Perre previously told the court that he had a number of medical conditions including hypertension and diabetes, and that he would be placed at greater risk of contracting coronavirus while in custody.

But Judge Soulio today said Perre’s health issues can be properly managed within the prison system.

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Former Yass teacher Lee Brown avoids extra jail time for sexual offence against student

A former Yass teacher who admitted to sexual offences against one of her former students has hugged her partner as she learned she would not spend more time in jail for the crimes.

Lee Brown, 61, was given a suspended 12-month sentence in the ACT Supreme Court today.

She has already spent three months in jail in New South Wales for offences against the same victim.

But today Brown faced court in Canberra, charged with the initial offence of sexual intercourse without consent, which occurred in the ACT.

Justice John Burns told the court Brown had been a drama and English teacher who had known the victim for several years before the crimes.

At the time of the offences, Brown was 47 and the victim was 16.

Justice Burns said the abuse had continued until after the victim left school, noting it was clear from the victim’s evidence she had suffered a continuing detrimental effect.

The victim told the court it was three years before she could even talk about the issue with a psychiatrist.

“I felt violated and intimidated,” the woman said.

She said her first experience of sex had been of abuse.

“I carried the idea I was disgusting,” she said.

“Thirteen years ago Ms Brown decided to use my body for her pleasure.

“For 13 years I am the one who had to pay the price for that.”

But she told the court from now it would be Brown who paid.

Abuse occurred in garden shed after victim stayed the night

The court heard the initial offence happened after Brown met the victim and a friend at a shopping centre in Canberra and the three had gone back to her house.

The two students decided to stay the night in the shed in the garden, which is where the crime occurred.

Justice Burns noted this was the first offence against the victim.

“I am not convinced your behaviour was predatory,” he said.

Brown has already served time in jail in New South Wales for offences against the same victim.

In May 2018 she was sentenced to 13 months with three months non-parole.

This year, Brown pleaded guilty in the ACT Supreme Court to sexual intercourse without consent, about the crime that happened in Canberra.

During a disputed facts hearing about other charges, Brown told the court the girl had initiated the situation.

She said they discussed how it was wrong, but the girl had reassured her, saying she would protect her.

In the end, Brown was forced to resign when the girl told her mother.

She then went to work in Canberra’s jail.

‘She felt nauseous with guilt’

Brown’s partner told the court Brown was a kind and generous person.

She said Brown had admitted to her she had done bad things in her life, and had shown deep remorse over the incident.

“She said she felt nauseous with guilt,” Brown’s partner said.

Brown’s lawyer, Charlene Harris, told the court her client had made significant admissions to police when confronted.

Ms Harris urged the court to accept Brown’s remorse, saying she was a good person who had exercised terrible judgement.

Ms Harris suggested a suspended sentence, but prosecutor Sofia Janackovic asked for jail time.

“This is a case that involves and egregious breach of trust,” Ms Janackovic said.

In sentencing, Justice Burns took into account Brown’s difficult childhood and her ongoing post-traumatic stress disorder, which reduced her moral culpability.

Justice Burns said Brown had good prospects for rehabilitation, and a low risk of reoffending.

But he said the sentence did need to reflect general deterrence.

He placed Brown on a good behaviour order for 12 months and sentenced her to 200 hours of community service.

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Gatwick Airport: Man arrested over terror offence

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PA Media

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The 25-year-old man was arrested at Gatwick Airport at about 04:00 BST

A man has been arrested at Gatwick Airport on suspicion of committing terrorism offences.

The Met Police’s Counter Terrorism Command arrested a 25-year-old man at about 04:00 BST after he arrived on a flight from Turkey.

He was arrested on suspicion of possessing material likely to be useful to a terrorist.

The Met said the man remained in custody and a search was also under way at an address in north London.

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Tom Lynch “dud act” not a reportable offence: Whateley

Gerard Whateley believes Richmond star Tom Lynch will not be suspended for a shove to the back of the head of Brisbane’s Alex Witherden during his side’s 41-point win on Tuesday night.

Lynch tackled Witherden to the ground before shoving him with an open hand to the back of the head after the ball had left the area.

Fox Footy’s Tom Moris suggested Lynch would get a week with the incident graded intentional, low impact and high contact.

Discussing the incident with Sam Edmund on SEN, Whateley however doesn’t believe the action fits into the MRO’s table of reportable offences.

Whateley: “It’s a dud act, but it’s not actually a reportable offence. What would it be?”

Edmund: “Some people are saying it could be high contact, low impact and intentional.”

Whateley: “No, no, but it has to be something. I get the chart, but it has to be something to get into the chart. It’s not a strike.”

Edmund: “Could it be misconduct?”

Whateley: “Misconduct doesn’t go into the chart. That’s just a fine.”

Edmund: “So it’s going to be a fine at worst you think?”

Whateley: “It’s not a reportable offence. It’s a dud act, but that’s not reportable.”

Edmund: “It can’t be constituted as a strike, can it, it’s simply a push to the back of the head.”

Whateley: “It’s a miserable push to the back of the head, but it’s not a strike.”

Watch the incident below.

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