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back to article The Times kills off blogger anonymity

The Times has overturned a court order which sought to protect the anonymity of a police blogger known as NightJack. The blog, which has now been deleted, detailed the life and views of a serving police detective. Earlier this year it won an Orwell prize for political writing. The blogger is Richard Horton a 45-year old …

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Anonymous Coward

heh

Court was never going to uphold his right to privacy, they and the police both gain from crushing anyone who might think to express their knowledge of our corrupt system. That's why people leave reports on buses, or leak to opposition MPs, less chance of getting shafted by the powers that be.

As to the paper, tshhh what more can you expect from the times it's only a bit above the daily mail.

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Well done lads

"The blogger is Richard Horton a 45-year old detective constable with Lancashire Constabulary."

Well done lads.

erm, I have done the same

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Bronze badge

I stumbled on this blog and read it occasionally

and it was good, insightful, honest, deserving of its prize and now it's gone.

Bravo, tossers. You will reduce the world to blankness in your efforts to scrape up a bit more profit.

I hope all responsible get a eaten from the inside by giant worms worthy of a Lewis Page story.

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Black Helicopters

The same Eady?

Assuming this is the same Eady from the Simon Singh case, it is clear that Eady is a contemptable ass, and a menace to free speech.

(unless, of course, that's libelous, in which case he's as lovely as a puddy cat)

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Nice work

I hope the tabloid hacks at The Times are proud of themselves.

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So what exactly was their point.

What benefit did The Times get by killing off his anonymity, the blog has now vanished, so we can't judge for ourselves.

Perhaps this is a cunning plan by Rupert to preserve newspapers as the only source of information.

BTW. Wasn't Heartbeat based on the experiences of a Police Officer, did he get a written warning. Which is a pretty mild slap on the wrists for something unacceptable, so Lancashire Police what was your message. Don't do it if there's anybody looking.

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Well done Times!

How does revealing the identity of a blogger advance the causes of journalism or free speech? I wonder if one reason for outing him is because the Times offered nothing remotely similar, and 'if you can't join them, beat them'. Maybe there was a public interest in disclosing that the blogger served in Lancashire, but none in releasing his name.

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Flame

Bunch of Wankers.

I'd been wondering why NightJack's had been down for the past few weeks.

What a bunch of utter twats the Times have become. Nasty tabloid that it is now...

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Hahahahaaaa....

A policeman wanting anonymity, who'd have thunk it?

The only newsworthy point is that a judge was sensible enough to deny him the luxury, for it is privilege not a right, that the police force so much wants to deny everyone else.

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Unhappy

Eady is a total tit

That's Eady, the paragon of the UK legal system that has led to so much libel tourism. He seems to consistently make decisions contrary to common sense and human decency.

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Alert

The aristocracy of identity & information

Busy trying to protect its monopoly on authoritative publishing going after the herds of anonymous cowards who sought to usurp it with the nuissance of unregulated non-aligned user generated content that isn't always symapathetic with the state / corporate interests.

I'd recomend reading up on Chomsky & Ed Herman's "propaganda model" (manufacturing consent) for an insightful discussion and analysis of the corporate media modus operandii.

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Hypocrites

Yet the press routinely refuses to identify its sources.... <rolleyes>.

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I am not surprised...

"Lancs Police said Horton's behaviour was unacceptable and he had been given a written warning"

.,.that honesty and integrity has been deemed unacceptable behaviour for a police officer.

All very scary, this just cannot be allowed for where will it all end? These renegade policemen will be wanting to protect and serve the public interest instead of the state next.

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Freedom of speech

It's been said before, but with freedom of speech comes responsibility. Discuss.

Use both sides of the paper if necessary.

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Duh

Why slag of the Times "Well done lads" for naming "The blogger is Richard Horton a 45-year old detective constable with Lancashire Constabulary."

Little bit of pot, kettle, and black perhaps?

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What's sauce for the goose ...

I assume that The Times will happily hand over the details of anybody who provides them with information ...

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Unhappy

Well "blogging" done, Times

I think I had better come back to make a longer comment when I have calmed down a bit.

If you only read one of Nightjack's posts, read this (copied elsewhere, as his blog has been restricted or removed, for reasons that are now obvious):

http://yokel.110mb.com/ASurvivalGuideForDecentFolk.pdf

Why was that post necessary? Read this:

http://ukpolicesergeant.blogspot.com/2008/12/cant-you-just-have-word-with-him.html

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Public Interest

Isn't this in the public interest and maybe whistleblowing?

Shouldn't people know why police are so useless these days. All the paperwork, red tape etc.etc. that means they spend almost no time doing any useful detective work. His police force giving him a written warning just implies they want to hide things and therefore, by inference, have something to hide...........

So much for an open and accountable police force.

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Unhappy

The Times have proved themselves to be two faced hypocrites...

The next time a paper publishes something, and then claims its sources are private, they are doing exactly the opposite of what they have done here. They want anonymity when its in their interest, yet they seek to undermine someone speaking out like this.

Who's side are The Times on? ... was this simply a hidden political move behind this to undermine the blogger? ... Because that's exactly what has ended up happening. Its a typical move that political types use to find any way they can so silence people's opinions. So much for freedom of speech in this country.

But then I guess once they install Phorm like Big Brother technology in every ISP, we will never again hear of cases like this, as they will then be able to silence all opposition opinions before it ever gets spoken about in papers, without the need of the courts to reveal the identities of bloggers.

Also ironically it sounds like this case can now be used to undermine news paper sources once they publish them. Talk about shooting themselves in the foot.

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The traces remain

There are some entries in Google's cache, e.g.:

http://209.85.229.132/search?q=cache:z0e2kGWBmkMJ:nightjack.wordpress.com/2008/06/08/secrets-and-lies/+http://nightjack.wordpress.com/&cd=2&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=uk

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As usual..

The Dirty Digger's minions are the first to scream if they are asked to identify any of their sources - but it seems no-one else is to be afforded the same courtesy/consideration.

So a DC who tells it how it is is now admonished and his career will be blighted (c'mon, you KNOW it will) all for vainglorious hypocritical hacks.

Twats.

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Goodbye Whistleblowers...

So we've seen a nurse struck off for revealing shortcomings in the NHS and now this copper has been given a warning for revealing shortcomings in the police.

:-(

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Anonymous Coward

@ Chris W

Please remember that although the police "service" in this country might not be nice, that does not necessarily apply to all the officers within it.

This officer in particular was doing his bit to cause it to reform itself. But <a href=http://www.acpo.police.uk>ACPO Ltd</a> is incapable of reform, and will vindictively punish all who cross it.

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@Well "blogging" done, Times

The guide really appealled to my bitter and cynical side. Too bad the blog was taken down, I'd have liked to have read more of it.

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no surprise..

I really used to enjoy and be informed by NightJack's bloggings, he gave good straightforward advice for us plebs and was clearly a decent honest copper, that most endangered of species. Hardly a surpise, but still a f*cking disgrace, that he's been silenced and outed, even less of a surprise that it's yet another offering from Murdoch's Dark Empire of Lies that supports the current Peoples Democratic State formerly known as Britain.

The Times, currently occupying a niche somewhere between the Sun and The Hate Mail (yes I know Murdoch doesn't publish the Mail but they're all the bl**dy same, the papers in this country)

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Eady and Murdoch sitting in a tree...

Justice Eady and Rupert Murdoch are two of the biggest blights on Britain in 2009. The Times must be happy that it first forced NightJack to shut down his blog, and then reveal his identity to his employers and the world and large. Well done; one of the the few intelligent, cynical and human voices on policing, politics and society has been silenced and may well now lose his job.

For those who don't know of Eady... look up 'libel tourism', and see if you think he's a friend of free speech or not.

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title

So why exactly would anyone risk leaking public interest information to The Times if they act like this? If they didn't find the information interesting enough, they might publish a story about who leaked it ...

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Anonymous Coward

@Chris W

Thanks for pointing that out, Chris. Nice change of tone for this place.

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Anonymous Coward

Public Servant

if you are going to say something about your work, then you should put your name to it; it is not the private sector.

If he was blogging about crocheting or the state of policing in some other country with no reference to UK policing then he could expect some privacy, but if he is going to blog about people, cases and claim to and work for the police, then he has no right to privacy on those matters.

Things like this should be explained to the Police when they sign up, they are dealing with sensitive information that their public job allows them to be privy to, don't blog about that and expect not to get caught, it is an abuse of position and trust.

Whereas a journalist would be ok dishing the dirt on their newspaper anonymously, but not to revealing a source, there are a different set of ethics involved.

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IT Angle

behaviour was unacceptable

he's lucky he's still alive and hasn't been tasered, clubbed or similarly drubbed out of the force.

As the judge said, "I find your lack of faith disturbing..."

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Paris Hilton

If blogging is a public activity

Why is there a 'post anonymously' option?

This is another blow to free speech.

AC because.....well, I might as well come out - I am the real Paris Hilton

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The Times are shits

No doubt the Times will be disclosing all the names of their previously unattributed lobby briefers. Or not.

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Heart

Author: Joe "No Comment" Blogs

Murdochs lads & lassies were prob a bit pissed that the telegraph got the scoop on the expenses scandal.

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Never trust one of Ruperts minions

Always a sound policy.

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Public activity

"The judge said Horton could not expect to remain anonymous because 'blogging is essentially a public rather than a private activity'."

And his point is... what, exactly? Publishing a novel is essentially a public rather than a private activity as well, and yet we allow novel authors to use aliases in order to protect their true identity. Why is this any different?

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Go bust

The sooner the newspapers go bust the better, bunch of lying useless shits that they are. I havent bought a paper in years and neither will I.

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Great

The process of elimination is sure made a lot easier when everyone knows who wrote the stuff.

I presume the Reg would blow stuff up and kill people to preserve the anonymity of it's anonymous cowards. Am I right or is it open season all over?

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Stop

@AC at 15:38 GMT

If you work for a company or in an orginisation that you disaprove of you expose it and leave it or you just leave it. Saying that the officers arent bad but the police service is a bad excuse. You have a choice do the dirty work the UK police does these days and stand by it or quiet. Its that simple. If you work for bad people you are a bad person end of stoy.

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Judge Eady?

Beyond that I will not comment for fear of libel action. I would urge others to be very careful as well. The UK has the worst libel laws of any Western civilisation. Free speech is no protected nor, even, is scientific rigour.

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Quid pro quo

What we need now is a judge's blog, although I realise the problem might be finding one who knows how to plug it in...

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@AC 15:38

>This officer in particular was doing his bit to cause it to reform itself.

You reform things by standing up and being counted and if in doing so you martyr yourself so be it, you don't hide behind unverifiable anonymity.

So he said a few thing on his blog that appealed to public opinion, apparently the Daily Mail does the same. This does not mean he genuinely believed all he wrote nor that it was fact, after all blogging is nothing but sort of a narcissistic vacuous popularity contest.

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Easy to get round

Just get someone else to write up the blog for you.

Although I suppose a good tasering might get the name of the author out of the blog owner.

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This post has been deleted by its author

Joke

Re: Go bust

"I havent bought a paper in years and neither will I"

People with multiple personalities really should register a separate account for each one, much less confusing.

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eh?

So commenting on what's wrong with the system and you're not entitled to privacy, but when filmed beating the living shit out of innocent people, the opposite applies?

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I've not read that blog but...

If he was giving away case details or sensitive police information then he has to take the bullet IMO. In anyother job depending on what you were writing about you could quite rightly expect to be dismissed let alone a written.

Anyway if he had some proof of genuine corruption, couldn't he have used wikileaks?

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Anonymous Coward

Embarrassed? They should be.

Times Online have stopped posting reader comments on the story. I wonder if their ears are burning?

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Happy

@El Richard Thomas

People with multiple personalities really should register a separate account for each one, much less confusing.

Our thoughts, exactly.

Anyway, eady is a wanker.

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@Chris W

> You reform things by standing up and being counted and if in doing so you martyr yourself so be it, you don't hide behind unverifiable anonymity.

Why should he martyr himself Chris? For your amusement?

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Stop

So... I guess...

Anonymous, PUBLIC, FREE-SPEECH... about important PUBLIC-ISSUES... is only "protected"... if you dont say anything "publicly"..?

Yeah... THAT, sure, makes sense... and clearly, "...serves the public interest".

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