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View Full Version : Twitter Wreaks Havoc with Britain’s Ornate Secrecy Laws



megimoo
06-01-2011, 12:08 PM
Britain’s draconian privacy laws let wandering celebrities hide their failings from curious eyes, with the help of “super injunctions” that silence even Britain’s carnivorous press hounds.

In the age of Twitter, the laws lead quickly to the ridiculous. Weeks after everyone in the country already knew, Manchester United’s Ryan Giggs was finally “officially” revealed as the married soccer player who had a six-month affair.

That's him, that's the dirty bugger: Ryan Giggs got outed despite efforts to hide his affair

The revelation underlines the hypocrisy of the privacy laws. They allow the rich and famous to gag reporting on allegedly private matters. Their claims are not tested in court and, as far as one can tell, unsupported by independent evidence. Soccer players are frequent users.

No one — including the media — is supposed to note the injunctions exist. In one notorious case, Fred Goodwin, head of Royal Bank of Scotland, bailed out by taxpayers for billions of pounds, obtained an order preventing anyone from reporting he was philandering with a colleague while negotiations were going on. Even saying he was a banker was forbidden.

Now, the city of South Tyneside has used the law to pursue a blogger known as Mr. Monkey, who has allegedly levelled a stream of criticisms against councillors and council officers.

On the weekend it persuaded San Francisco-based Twitter to hand over identifying information about the account. This has had the instant effect of producing more leaks, as Martin Evans reports for The Daily Telegraph,

http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2011/06/01/twitter-wreaks-havoc-with-britains-ornate-secrecy-laws/