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"Modern technology out of control"

by Sven Triloqvist Fri May 20th, 2011 at 10:12:07 AM EST

Grauniad: Superinjunctions: Modern technology out of control, says lord chief justice

M'Luddite has some further shocks awaiting him down the line. (The wigs will go, for one). It's like having a judge who only rides horses and knows nothing about cars - deciding traffic cases.


It's worth pointing out that a great deal of social destruction is done completely within the law. Yes, we can change those laws, but it is my sense that UK government is as much in the pocket of the justices and their lobbyists, as it is with corporate largesse. So the fact that the Law is an Ass, is not going to change at the ballot box.

There is no mention in the report of the impact of Twitter or the internet on the enforcement of court orders, but the lord chief justice said readers placed greater trust in the contents of traditional media than in those "who peddle lies" on websites. The internet had "by no means the same degree of intrusion into privacy as the story being emblazoned on the front pages of newspapers", which "people trust more", he said.

Where there is transparency, there is trust. This is the great ungraspable for a lot of people. Nothing should be secret except one's own thoughts - which can be displayed or withheld at will by the mind in question.

"People who peddle lies"? And he's not talking about the traditional media? It seems clear to me that the below-the-belt half of all traditional media (which would include politicians, ministers, redtops, Fox et al) should not be trusted by anyone. And if the elite stopped exclusively reading the top half of traditional media, and came to ET, they might learn something about the trust in which they are meant to be held. The actual word in which they are held is 'contempt'.

The names of those people who had taken out anonymity orders have been circulating, sometimes inaccurately, on Twitter. "Anybody can put anything on [such sites]," he said.

Yes? And?

Lord Judge said he believed that ways would be found to curtail the "misuse of modern technology" in the same way that those involved with online child pornography were pursued by the police. "Are you really going to say that someone who has a true claim for protection perfectly well made has to be at the mercy of modern technology?" he asked.

If the Lord Judge tries to find ways to curtail the misuse of technology (it's called innovation, M'Lud), I for one, will renounce my renunciation of violence - though it will only be in words, not weapons.

If the Law is an Ass - and I mean no disrespect to the hardworking beast of burden - then the Law must be ridiculed. The release of names from Superinjuncts on Twitter is part of that ridicule, as is Wikipedia in its own way. The mission statement of Wikipedia is a document that should be read once each year, at least.

There are, of course, complex arguments concerning the regulation of any territory - and online is a territory. And we are one tribe encamped on that territory.

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It's like having a judge who only rides horses and knows nothing about cars - deciding traffic cases.

Best summary ever of the British political tradition.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri May 20th, 2011 at 10:14:46 AM EST
ought to become literal, and universal.

Why stop with modern technology? It's not just these web-site thingys which enable the plebs to peddle their pap. Telephones do the same job, and obviously need to be tightly controlled. The human voice, for that matter, is a notorious purveyor of false or forbidden information.

The moral of the story : electronic snooping is not enough to ensure the secrecy of the rich and powerful. An army of informers is required. Perhaps they can be recruted cheaply from central and eastern Europe, where they had a healthy tradition of such practices.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Fri May 20th, 2011 at 10:58:52 AM EST
Twitter sued by footballer over privacy | Media | guardian.co.uk
A footballer has sued Twitter after a number of the microblogging site's users purported to reveal the name of the player who allegedly had an affair with model Xxxxxx Xxxxx.

Damn straight. And they should also sue the phone companies that those people used to send the messages.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Fri May 20th, 2011 at 12:42:24 PM EST
You've just hit upon the key point. Society is a carrier.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Fri May 20th, 2011 at 02:02:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
from reading about this, it appears that much of the media is misreporting this as a general attack on Twitter, from things im seeing its not a general attack, Lawyers are instead after confirmation that a specific journalist, employed by a major UK newspaper was  the person who publicised the contents of at least one injunction (I'll say no more that can identify on the grounds that people with expensive lawyers in house appear to be similarly reticent in identifying the individual involved)

The idea is that once this story became common knowledge through the internet, then  the papers would be free to get the injunction dropped and hence publish. However as one of the initial tweeters is thought to be a well known reporter, and as a reporter they would have reason to not only know of the things covered by the injunction, and also the fact that an injunction exists, then if it is tracked back to them, then they are in serious contempt of court.

Old media is using this as an opportunity to say how evil and irresponsible new media is

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat May 21st, 2011 at 08:43:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
fleet street fox: The very definition of a farce.
NEWSPAPERS in several countries not bound by an English injunction have identified on their pages a footballer who had an unreportable fling, but our media cannot show it.

The subject of an injunction has issued court proceedings in the UK against the US owners of Twitter, but they are not bound to comply and it has served only to disseminate his story to millions more than if it had just been published in the first place.

A journalist who named the subject of an injunction is facing contempt of court proceedings but cannot even be named himself under the rules of the original order even though he's accused of a crime, and a woman has been accused of blackmailing the subject of an injunction but barred from defending herself against the charge.

What is or is not in the public interest cannot even be properly discussed in a public forum, and a series of silly shagging stories are ramping up into a constitutional crisis with Parliament going head-to-head with the judiciary.

It's bizarre, it's ridiculous, and it's untenable.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun May 22nd, 2011 at 11:29:27 AM EST
BBC News - Privacy injunctions unsustainable, says Cameron

Privacy rulings affecting newspapers are "unsustainable" and unfair on the press, the prime minister has said.

David Cameron told ITV1's Daybreak the law should be reviewed to "catch up with how people consume media today".

His comments came after Scotland's Sunday Herald became the UK's first mainstream paper to name a footballer who had taken out a privacy injunction.

The player, who began proceedings against ex-Big Brother star Imogen Thomas, has been named on Twitter.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon May 23rd, 2011 at 06:12:19 AM EST
BBC News - Ryan Giggs named by MP as injunction footballer

A married footballer named on Twitter as having an injunction over an alleged affair with a reality TV star has been identified in Parliament as Ryan Giggs.

Lib Dem MP John Hemming named the player during an urgent Commons question on privacy orders.

Using parliamentary privilege to break the court order, he said it would not be practical to imprison the 75,000 Twitter users who had named the player.

Earlier the High Court again ruled that the injunction should not be lifted.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon May 23rd, 2011 at 01:37:40 PM EST
Clap your hands if you believe in privacy laws - gimpyblog's posterous

The lawyers, parliamentarians and political geeks are missing the point with this nonsense over the footballer who had an affair.  It's not about the conflict between Parliament and the Judiciary, nor rights to privacy vs free speech.  They have forgotten two very important facts leading to an inescapable conclusion:

1) The law is a socially constructed agreed set of rules  2) Rules only work when the punishment for disobeying them is perceived as being greater than the benefit

Like faeries, if you don't believe in them they cease to exist.  If society rejects a previously agreed set of rules by ignoring them, and the punishment inflicted for doing so is not enforceable, then the law may as well not exist.

The current situation is that, en masse, people decided that they don't believe in legal restrictions preventing the sharing of gossip.  It's not about tabloid manipulation of the gullible masses, the reach of English law to foreign shores, nor even an outbreak of absolutist principles on free speech, it's the democratisation of tittle-tattle and the deliberate rejection of rules to restrict this.  Previously gossip was restricted to one's social circle, or, in the case of a public figure, the interests of the tabloids, the decisions of judges and the wealth of the accused.  The internet has been a great leveller, one's position in society does not restrict access to knowledge, if there is gossip interesting enough to be shared it can and will be and the finest legal minds and bluntest legal instruments can do nothing to stop it.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon May 23rd, 2011 at 02:40:48 PM EST
For the last few months, through the "Arab Spring", Twitter - and its ability to disseminate messages which heavy-handed Governments cannot censor or control, has been held up as a beacon of democracy.

But as soon as it dares to do the same thing to a wig-wearing judge in this country, then it needs to be censured or censored or otherwise controlled.

From a contrary comment to this Torygraf article.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Mon May 23rd, 2011 at 02:51:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
personally, I think the media is misrepresenting this as a fight between parliament and judges wheras its a concienceless landgrab by media. Of course theyre going to stand round and say "What me? its those two over there fighting, and we're on the side of  the 600 pound gorilla against the weedy guy in the wig"

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon May 23rd, 2011 at 03:02:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I agree: it's in the tradmed's interest to have a free run on gossip. It sells papers. OTOH it is powered by a law made specifically for rich men, involving absolutely secret courts. Which can't be good, whatever the justice being argued.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Mon May 23rd, 2011 at 03:30:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Media's lack of focus on phone hacking exposes their agenda - sex and celebs | Media | guardian.co.uk

Apart from the occasional passing reference, there was next to no mention yesterday of the issue of illegal phone hacking by newspapers.

This should not surprise anyone. With the exception of the Guardian, newspapers have tended to leave the story of systematic illegal activity by the News of the World well alone, for reasons likely to do with their own use or condoning of such practices. The news channels too have tended to cover the issue only when arrests or resignations have resulted.

The contrast with the zeal with which most of the media have pursued the superinjunctions issue, culminating in yesterday's full-on frenzy, could not be clearer.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue May 24th, 2011 at 01:47:21 PM EST
Twitter cannot be allowed to operate outside the law | Richard Hillgrove | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk
Social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter have rapidly become a mainstream medium. The spanner in the works of their incredible rise is now the landmark case of Ryan Giggs suing Twitter for breach of a superinjunction. This issue has nothing to do with whether or not public figures should be able to gag the media through superinjunctions - whether 75,000 Twitter users, as the Lib Dem MP John Hemming used parliamentary privilege to point out, should be allowed to gossip about a footballer or not is irrelevant.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue May 24th, 2011 at 06:44:40 PM EST
There is more to privacy law than injunctions on secrets | Joshua Rozenberg | Law | guardian.co.uk

Is that it then? Hated judges defeated by popular uprising on Twitter? Government's failure to protect privacy risks condemnation by European court? Constitutional crisis as courts on collision course with parliament?

No, none of the above. Most newspapers seem to have given up trying to overturn the married footballer injunction, which remains in force. So does the order taken out by Sir Fred Goodwin, which continues to protect the identity of the woman with whom he had a relationship. John Hemming MP and his Lib Dem colleague Lord Stoneham have suffered widespread opprobrium for both undermining the authority of the courts and wasting the precious gift of parliamentary privilege.

As for Lord Wakeham's suggestion in the Telegraph on Wednesday that newspapers should be above the law and amenable only to the Press Complaints Commission on privacy issues, one does not have to look beyond the Telegraph's own recent breach of the editors' code to see how ineffective the PCC is at preventing and punishing invasions of privacy.

And while we're on the Telegraph, it's worth noting that Mr Justice Tugendhat chose to quote from several "inaccurate and misleading statements" made by the newspaper last week in a judgment he published on Monday. That ruling explained the judge's reasons for refusing to allow any further details of Goodwin's relationship to be published after Stoneham had named him in parliament.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed May 25th, 2011 at 12:44:45 PM EST


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