A juror who researched a defendant's history on the internet and forwarded details of what she found to fellow members of the jury was recently sentenced to a six month prison term. Dr. Dallas, a university lecturer, was told that she 'deliberately ignored instructions' not to research the case on-line and that such contempt of the jury and jury system left judges no choice other than to impose a custodial prison sentence. This story reminds colleges and universities of the importance of having in place adequate safeguarding measures to encourage appropriate use of their computing systems, whilst educating staff and students of the risks associated with inappropriate use of the internet. Such policies may well be relied upon in a disciplinary situation. Finally, this particular case emphasises the significant consequences internet users face should they criminally abuse the system.
More details on this story are available from the BBC website. Details on e-Safety and Computer Misuse are available from our own website - http://www.jisclegal.ac.uk/