The American man behind the HIV data leak in Singapore has been ordered by a United States court in Kentucky to immediately hand over all copies of confidential data from the Singapore government.
Mikhy Farrera Brochez has until 29 March to permanently delete all private and sensitive data he has which was obtained from Singaporean authorities including data saved on any computed or uploaded onto any platform. Failing to do so, Mr Brochez will be held in contempt of court and be fined or jailed.
The Ministry of Health (MOH) filed a civil suit against Brochez in February in a US Federal Court in an effort to stop him spreading the leaked data or releasing more information. The court order was part of the preliminary injunction MOH sought under the suit.
Brochez was also ordered to remove all posts made on all social media platforms which refer to the confidential information as well as those related to the data leak. He was also banned from making any more posts such as those. The order extends also to the people Brochez sent the data to.
Straits Times reported that Brochez is already under a temporary restraining order which prohibits him from revealing confidential information. This preliminary injunction now takes that a step further.
US District Judge Danny Reeves who ordered the injunction reportedly said that Brochez is likely to continue in his efforts to spread the leaked information has the order not been granted on Monday, 4th March.
“The defendant has indicated in a Facebook post that he feels ‘wronged’ by the Government of Singapore and has repeatedly threatened to disseminate the information if his husband is not released from custody,” said the judge in the written grounds for his decision.
Judge Reeves also said that MOH would likely be successful in their case against Brochez, showing that he did in fact commit an invasion of privacy under Kentucky law. The judge also accepted MOH’s argument that Singaporeans whose identities were revealed on the registry would be irreparably harmed if the data was released publicly and that MOH’s reputation would also be harmed.
Brochez was set to appear in Court on Monday for a separate charge of criminal trespassing but the hearing was postponed to July as he is in detention awaiting the conclusion of the federal criminal case.