UK superinjunction judges declare war on Twitter and Internet bloggers

[Tamsin Ledbetter, Privacy Law Contributor]

Guardian.co.uk:  Britain’s Lord Chief Justice, Lord Judge‘s opinion is that your Tweets, social media and Internet postings can get on the wrong side of the law if they are meant to defy privacy injunctions and to ‘peddle lies’.  He is angry that it seems that modern technology is totally out of control and is advocating a strict crackdown on the social media bandits who are using the Internet and social media sites, such as Twitter, to make people’s lives miserable and to defy the due process of law.

However, the learned judge agreed with a recent Judicial committee report on privacy orders which said that they should be used only in ‘very limited circumstances’ and for short periods of time only (hmmmnnn…do we smell a climb-down here??).  But he was most critical of the practice whereby many blogs, Twitter and similar sites are being used to bypass restrictions placed on traditional newspapers and TV stations for breaking the terms of the court orders.

In respect to recent attempts to circumvent the privacy orders by raising them in parliament under the protection of ‘parliamentary privilege’, Lord Judge said that if the matters were raised in parliament with the intention to contravene the injunctions, then they would be likely to be in contempt of court as they would lose the protection of ‘good faith and absence of malice’ which are required for the protections to kick in.
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Analysts are saying that if  British judges do ‘climb down’ on privacy orders and make them less accessible to those who want them, then they will have unwittingly given birth to the concept and practice of ‘privacy injunctions shopping’ whereby other countries, like Dominica, Grenada and some of the Baltic states may grant such orders to bring in much needed income into the coffers of their cash-starved economies.

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