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Andrew Little considering database for court suppression orders after Google's breach in Grace Millane case

Justice Minister Andrew Little is considering setting up a database for court suppression orders to help Google avoid disseminating suppressed information again following the breach in the Grace Millane case.

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The Justice Minister says the Government should try to assist Google to avoid breaching New Zealand suppression orders.

Google named the man accused of killing the British backpacker in its email of what's trending in New Zealand last December, despite the accused man having name suppression.

On Friday Google apologised and announced it would no longer use trending New Zealand searches in its emails. The internet giant's move is a victory for the Justice Minister, who last week complained Google was giving New Zealand the middle finger, TVNZ's Q+A reports.

Mr Little tonight told Q+A he has raised with Justice officials the idea of a central repository of information that has been suppressed in court. 

"I am keen to explore that a little further. I mean, bearing in mind however that when a suppression order is given it takes effect the minute the judge hands it down," he said. 

"But I think there is a case you know, even for New Zealand media as well, there ought to be a place you can easily go to find out whether in relation to a particular case, however you describe it, there are suppression orders that apply in relation to it. That would be helpful. 

"But it still requires for someone like Google, which is gathering up information and publishing it, a level of oversight or rewriting their algorithms so that they are not crossing that boundary," Mr Little said.

"The technology must be the to do that. But I come back to Google is the publisher. I think one of the issues is Google thinks it's not a publisher. I'm strongly of the view that it is. It is a publisher. It's got to take responsibility for what it publishes wherever it publishes it. 

"There are things that we might be able to do to assist them in that. And we should try to do that, But they've still got the take responsibility for publishing."

Asked how long it's likely take for a repository for this sort of information to be up and running, the minister said it would take "a wee while".

"I'm not going to give time frames on it. I've discovered while being a minister things that you think the Government can do quickly seldom ever are," he said.