By Alicia Bolton

Police were wrong in arresting a Fairfax journalist for receiving unlawfully obtained property, a Brisbane criminal defence lawyer said today.

“There doesn’t seem to be any serious effort by police to detain the person who allegedly hacked into the Facebook page and obtained the photos, they just hammer the poor journalist who wrote about it,” defence lawyer Bill Potts said.

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Police were urged to overlook their strategies for dealing with online security issues after claims the arrest of a Fairfax journalist, Ben Grubb, was an overreaction.

Mr Grubb was arrested at a Gold Coast internet security conference for publishing hacked Facebook pictures he had received and published.

Queensland Council of Civil Liberties spokesperson Terry O’Gorman also agreed the police overstepped the mark.

“To arrest Mr Grubb because he was at a conference in relation to a story that he had written that day … is heavy-handed overkill,” Mr O’Gorman said.

Police fraud squad detective superintendent Brian Hay defended the actions by saying taking images from a Facebook account was like stealing items from a person’s home.

“Someone breaks into a house and they steal a TV and they give that TV to you and you know that TV is stolen and you apply it to your own use,” Mr Hay said.

Mr Potts said the images were effectively posted in the public domain and warns people to upload to Facebook at their own risk.

“My advice is don’t upload anything you wouldn’t want the world at large to see,” Mr Potts said.