Posts tagged ‘Twitter’

May 29, 2011

Twitter forced by California court to hand over personal details and tweets of politician accused of libel by British group

[Jonas Surrey, Legal Affairs Contributor]

 

MailOnline: The social networking site, Twitter, which has more than 175 million users, has been forced by a California court to give up the personal information tweets of a British politician, Ahmed Khan, after a British local authority started an international court case complaining of libel perpetrated by the politician.  The judgment by the California court has started off a huge row in the USA concerning privacy and freedom of speech.

The local authority, South Tyneside Council, is reported to have spent more than £100,000 on the case which intends to bring to justice the author of a blog who goes by the name of Mr. Monkey, which is believed to be the blog of Mr. Khan.

Mr. Khan has refuted the allegations and is reported to be angry with Twitter for having disclosed his details. MailOnline reports him as saying: “This is Orwellian. It is like something out of 1984..if  a council can take this kind of action against one of its own councillors simply because they don’t like what I say, what hope is there for freedom of speech or privacy…I was never even told they were taking this case to court in California. The first I heard was when Twitter contacted me…I had just 14 days to defend the case and I was expected to fly 6,000 miles to hire my own lawyer – all at my expense”.

May 25, 2011

G8 Nations warned by powerful action groups – no Internet censorship, or else

[Kuzu Ahmed, Internet Freedom Contributor]

Mail.com: Large Internet information services companies, digital players and Internet activists are warning G8 countries meeting in Paris this week, that if politicians continue to attempt to limit internet access and censor information sharing on the Internet, those restrictions will become increasingly irrelevant as they will be deliberately circumvented.

Recent times have seen increasing resistance from the large Internet information services companies like Google and Twitter as well as Internet activists who together have poured cold water on politicians’ censorships on the Internet, which they claim are in contravention of the human right of freedom of expression.

The message was discussed among the leaders of the Group of Eight  – eight of the world’s most influential countries – which began a meeting in France on Thursday to discuss the impact of the Arab uprising which seem to have been enabled by the Internet.

According to Jean-Francois Julliard of Reporters Without Borders “G-8 governments should say very clearly for once that Internet access is a fundamental human right.”  He says that more than 60 countries have Internet restrictions in activity and many are following suit.

Additionally,  Tony Wang, the general manager of the social networking site Twitter, said that Internet censorship is self-defeating and commented that:  “the response to bad speech should be more speech.”

Read more…

May 25, 2011

Twitter cracks down on users breaking UK privacy injunctions

[Zana Blanke, Privacy Law Contributor]
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BBC News:  The social networking site, Twitter which has around 175 million registered users worldwide, has issued a stern warning to its users that if they break privacy injunctions with their Tweets, they will be on their own before the UK courts. According to Twitter’s new European boss, Tony Wang, Twitter users who breach UK privacy injunctions via their tweets would not be protected by Twitter.
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He confirmed that where authorities required information relating to the unlawful postings, Twitter would co-operate fully with them. Currently, Twitter is under pressure by privacy lawyers to reveal the identities of those users who deliberately breached the privacy orders by their tweets.
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Mr. Wang said: “Platforms have a responsibility, not to defend that user but to protect that user’s right to defend him or herself  …..[users can] exercise their own legal rights under their own jurisdiction, whether that is a motion to quash the order or to oppose it or do a number of other things to defend themselves.”
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Related articles
May 23, 2011

UK media and MP John Hemmings defy UK judges on privacy injunctions

[Gillian Bilks, Privacy Law Contributor]

Following the prolific tweeting and publication of the details of a privacy injunction granted to a UK celebrity, footballer Ryan Giggs, by a Scottish newspaper, British MP John Hemmings has added fuel to the fire of the intense controversy surrounding the granting of such injunctions by UK courts.

It appears that the MP, John Hemmings, abused his ‘parliamentary privilege’ to deliberately raise the matter in the UK’s parliament in contravention of the injunction in such a manner that the name of the celebrity, the footballer was able to be published in the proceedings of parliament which in turn can be published by the media.

The MPs argument for so doing is that privacy law in the UK is unsustainable and anything deemed to be ‘private’ by a UK court, if Tweeted, or prolifically published on social media sites, or on the Internet, lose their court protection and can be freely published by British newspapers in contravention of the court’s order.

Referring to the recent tweeting of the footballer’s privacy injunction he had commented (according to the Guardian): “You can’t imprison 75  thousand twitterers for breaking the law”.  Presumably, this menace of a parliamentarian is using the same logic that applies to speeding offences in the UK – that as thousands of UK motorists break speeding laws each day, the law making them offences should be discontinued.

It seems that Mr. Hemmings has an agenda – which is one for the UK media who thrive on controversy and invasion of people’s privacy to support sales in these troubled times for print media. In that regard, the more of a celebrity you are, the more of a prime target you are to get special treatment by the media for your every indiscretions, or presumed ones.

Of course, the response to all this from ‘ironcast’ David Cameron, the UK prime minister who had reneged on his party’s election manifesto that once in power there would be a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty,  is that it seems that that the law seems ‘unsustainable’ and needs review. What about burglaries, speeding offences? Will he ‘legalise’ them too as there are certainly many of them taking place each day in the UK which makes them kind of ‘unsustainable’ too?

My feeling is that the media and MPs in its pocket should not be allowed to run roughshod over the integrity of the British legal system.  Laws are made to be obeyed and it is deeply embedded into the structure of the British legal system that it is nothing less than a criminal offence punishable by imprisonment, to flout a court order, such as an injunction. If the media get away with it, then where will it all stop – likely when there is a total breakdown of law and order in the UK.

Furthermore, when MPs try to break court orders by abusing parliamentary privilege, if their intention is to flout the injunction, then, by law, they are in contempt of court and lose the protection of their parliamentary privilege. Mr. Hemmings was warned of this by the British Speaker and it is likely that the judges will go for his head on this one.

In the wider scheme of things, it would be an idea for the judges to make privacy injunctions more amenable to all. At the moment, at a cost of some 100,000 pounds, only the rich can afford them. If they became considerably less expensive and were more, or less available to all, then the British public who see them currently as the ruling class’ way of silencing the masses, would be more tolerant of them and embrace their value.

The UK Attorney General Dominic Grieve, has been instructed by the UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, to have a joint committee review the recent controversy surrounding the use of the superinjunctions. He told MPs that his committee would would look to see how the current system was working.

May 22, 2011

Breaking news: UK judge moves to jail Twitter writer for tweeting details of a UK superinjunction

[Dana Banona, Privacy Law Contributor]

MailOnline: Last week, in what will turn out to be a test case for the enforceability of  UK superinjunctions when they have been deliberately breached on social networking sites such as Twitter, an England footballer who had obtained a superinjuction, has asked the court granting it to prosecute the writer who deliberately flounted it on Twitter.  Mr. Justice Tugendhat, a UK privacy judge, has referred the case to the UK Attorney General for consideration of prosecution.

A UK privacy order, or superinjunction, is an order of a UK court and those who breach it commit a ‘contempt of court‘ which is punishable by imprisonment.  As the privacy injunction appears to be been deliberately breached on Twitter, it is more than likely that the violator, a well-known writer, will face criminal prosecution quite shortly.

May 20, 2011

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.

Related articles

May 18, 2011

More women come out with sex charges against horny IMF chief Straus-Kahn who is now on suicide watch in a New York prison

[Samantha Templeton-Brewster, Celebrities Contributor]

MailOnline: It seems that sheer hell has decended upon the apparently sex-crazed ‘rutting chimpanzee’, AKA the unfortunate IMF chief, Dominique Straus Kahn,  following his imprisonment on charges of forced anal and oral sex upon a black Sofitel Hotel chambermaid in New York.

That is because the bandwagon of his abusees is getting bigger at a fast past as an increasing number of women are coming forward with allegations that he had forced himself upon them in a number of sexually inappropriate ways in the past.  However, no matter how different the individual cases are, the underlying thing message is clear- the IMF chief ‘has a problem’ with curbing his incandescent sexual desire.

His Twitter-like following of abusees now include the French Socialist party deputy Aurelie Filipetti, who reportedly had been salaciously ‘groped’ by Straus-Kahn; a journalist who did not want to mention her full name but who  reportedly had been offered sex in exchange for an exclusive  interview with the rampant IMF chief;  a Mexican chambermaid at the Sofitel who is claiming to have been sexually assaulted too along with her New York colleague whose allegations resulted in the IMF’s chief ending up in a prison cell and who’s DNA samples have matched up with those found on Strauss Kahn.

Moreover, rumours  are resurfacing that the sexually insatiable  IMF chief used to frequently visit a high-profile Paris swinger’s club Les Chandelles, which offers its clients to freely swap partners and  realize  any sexual fantasies imaginable with unknown males and females in darkened rooms.  It seems that his rough handling of many that he met there will be likely to erupt into another barrage of claims against the embattled Frenchman.

To cap it all, according to the words of the French  television  producer and host  Thierry Ardisson, who reportedly has known Mr. Kahn for quite a while, ‘Everyone knew about it. I have 14 women pals who have told me: “He tried to jump me.” I think that guy has an illness: you can enjoy s*******, but not to that point. He needs therapy.’

Well, Strauss Kahn is certainly likely to get therapy for his illness in a New York prison where inmates offer a special kind of therapy for sex offenders.

May 10, 2011

“I’ll be back” – not likely it seems for Mrs. Schwarzenegger

[Diana Jones, Celebrity News Contributor]

Huffpost Politics:  Arnold Schwarzenegger, on Monday of this week announced his separation from his wife of 25 years standing, Maria Shriver.  The announcement did not feature his signature remark: ‘I’ll be back’, so the word is out that the move is permanent.

An ex-Governor of the State of California, which did not quite badly thank you very much under the leadership of the actor turned politician, no one knows what this 63 year old is likely to do with his life now. Only time will tell, perhaps it’s time to retire Arnie?

May 9, 2011

Twitter and other social media sites legally bound to obey UK superinjunctions

[Jenny Lang, Law & Courts Contributor]

Regarding the widespread confusion about the enforceability of UK ‘superinjunctions’, iTOD contributor, Jenny Lang, seeks to bring light on the subject.

For those of you who don’t know this, ‘superinjunctions’ refer to privacy orders given by a UK court whereby it becomes a contempt of court (punishable by imprisonment and fine) for the specified private details, about a person to be published, or for it to be revealed that they had sought the injunctions.

Contrary to confusing information abounding about the worldwide enforceability of the injunctions, the reality is that in fact, they can bind the whole world. They are not cheap – in the UK, they cost around £120,000 to achieve.  However, in other jurisdictions, eg., Pacific Islands, New Zealand, Australia, the cost may be considerably less expensive, but just as effective as it is possible to get the injunctions in any jurisdiction where this is not prohibited by the awarding country’s constitution, or similar laws. In particular,  courts of record (eg., High Court) in common law countries have an inherent right to grant these injunctions.  The USA, however, is an exception as the First Amendment of its constitution specifically prohibits the right to privacy of individuals.

What this means that worldwide publishers, be they Internet based, or not, will not be able to ignore the injunctions as most countries, like the USA, reciprocate judgment recognitions and enforcements under reciprocity protocols. As such for an Internet hosting site, or search engine to ignore a court order would be perilous. That is why Twitter was bound to ‘redact’ the list of published names of the ‘superinjuncted’ recently and Wikipedia in a similar situation recently, had done the same.

May 9, 2011

Privacy superinjunctions on Twitter

[Paul Jensen, LLB Courts and Law Contributor]

MailOnline reports that British newspapers are up in arms over the increasing prevalence of UK ‘superinjuctions’ and are delighted that it seems that Twitter has apparently flouted these privacy court orders by allowing one of its users to set up an account called ‘superinjunctions’ whereby the names of the British celebrities taking out the measures were named.

However, the media’s delight may well be short-lived, as today I searched Twitter and came up with the account and the list of names, but found that Twitter had moderated the list, so that the names were no longer available to be seen.

For those of you who don’t know this, ‘superinjunctions’ refer to privacy orders given by a UK court whereby it becomes a contempt of court (punishable by imprisonment and fine) for the specified private details about a person to be published. The injunctions can bind the whole world and generally cost around £120,000 to achieve in the UK.  However, in other jurisdictions, eg., Pacific Islands, New Zealand, Australia, the cost may be considerably less expensive, but just as effective.

Effectively, it is possible to get the injunctions in any jurisdiction where this is not prohibited by the country’s constitution, or similar laws. In particular,  courts of record (eg., High Court) in common law countries have an inherent right to grant these injunctions.  The USA, however, is an exception as the First Amendment of its constitution specifically prohibits the right to privacy of individuals. This glaring omission has created a raging monsters of ‘blogplainting’ whereby dissing can be done via multitude of complaint boards quickly and effectively upon anyone, by anyone no matter whether the complaints, or published materials are true or false.

The sad news for the British media is that it will be difficult for USA-based publishers, be they Internet based, or not, to circumvent the UK courts’ privacy orders as a result of the USA courts’ reciprocity of judgments recognition protocols which provide for USA courts to respect and enforce orders from any jurisdiction that has reciprocity of judgment recognition with the USA.  Hence Twitter’s quick action to ‘redact’ the list of published names.  Similarly, a few weeks ago, Wikipedia faced with a similar problem, removed the offending postings.