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back to article Twitter vs Beeb in superinjunction nark shindy

A Twitter exec has defended the company's stance on fighting for its users' rights, after a report on the BBC yesterday suggested that the micro-blogging site would turn over the details of people who break privacy injunctions to UK courts. "Our policy is notify users & we have fought to ensure user rights. Sadly, some more …

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Anonymous Coward

Who the hell is Ryan Giggs?

Obviously, a big fish in a tiny pond.

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title

Wasn't he a competitor on the new reality show "I'm a Celebrity. Don't Tell Anyone I'm Here"?

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Coat

Crikey!

He's likely to find himself staring at the wrong end of a sonic screwdriver......

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Anonymous Coward

@Steve Coburn

Reminds me of The Fast Show.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=66MarlzxfW8&t=2m13s

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Agreed

I agreed with you whatever you said and discuss with all of us.

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Joke

Seriously

An article referencing a "Tony Wang" and no "Wang Cares" jokes?!?!?!

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Whole thing smells bad

Am I the only one that's disturbed by the coverage on this? Listening to the press you'd think Giggs and his evil high-court judge henchman were attempting some Orwellian-style censorship, and the press were the champions of light and justice.

I'd expect it from the red-tops and the Daily Hate, but the Guardian, Channel 4 and BBC have all taken an unqualified "injunctions are bad" position. Yes, it was for Trafigura, but this is one family wanting privacy and (regardless of the truth) involves a fairly obvious attempt to extort money.

The press have a dog in this fight. And don't even start me on that smug fuck of an MP...

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Go

Normally i would agree with you...

... but the specifics of the case that ive seen is that one party in the affair decided she wanted to tell the world about what she had done. The other part decided he didnt want this to happen because it would harm his reputation, so he took out a super-injunction.

Now if this was a case of the media having snooped and found out about this affair without either party wanting the world to know, then i would side with the courts and say the super-injunction is ok, but in this case one party has decided she wants to talk, what right does the other have to stop her? So quite clearly, the super-injunction should never have been allowed, as it blocks the freedom of expression and the right to free speech - not of the media (although there claiming that angle naturally) but of the party member who wanted to talk about what they had done!

So whilst not all super-injunctions are bad, in this case and plenty of others (Trafigura!) they are being administered grossly and should be thrown out...

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John Hemming MP

While not disagreeing with your assessment of him, he did have a point, in that 'super' injunctions are pretty meaningless for anyone with access to an Internet connexion. Laws that can be trivially disobeyed at no cost are generally bad laws.

There's an argument to be made for privacy vs public interest, but the days when the Prince of Wales 'stepping out' with an American divorcée could be headline news on one side of the Atlantic while remaining a secret to all but a privileged few on the other side have long since gone (and good riddance).

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Anonymous Coward

@Anomalous Cowherd

But in general, injunctions are bad*, I am surprised that anyone really thinks otherwise. Sure, those who use injunctions or expect to need to use them may want injunctions to be available but even they know deep-down that injunctions are bad.

Look at the current known superinjunctions and you will see what I mean:

-Trafugura preventing stories about them dumping toxic waste

-Fred Goodwin preventing stories relating to potential mismanagement (and internal rule breaking) at the time he was being paid big money to totally screw over a bank (and also therefore preventing the legislators and watchdogs from investigating the matter properly)

-Andrew Marr preventing stories about his own shortcomings whilst getting a lot of money from the license fee payers to highlight and challenge that very behaviour in others

-Ryan Giggs preventing stories about his affair with a reality TV star** becoming public - whilst at the same time naming her widely in the media

Now, I believe that it is the media's fault that we are in this situation - look at the way they treated lady Di, and all the fake sheik and phone tapping shit just to name a few instances - but if a privacy law is needed then it needs to be defined correctly, and where it will obviously contradict the freedom of expression laws the boundaries need to be spelt out. Punishments need to be agreed that prevent all sides from taking the piss. Then you just leave it up to the courts to punish breaches.

Send a few editors and vexatious litigants to jail and you will quickly find the balance is restored between both the sides that are relying on each other for their livelihoods - it is not fucking rocket science.

*injunctions to protect children, victims of crimes etc. are obviously a good thing, but these are ordered by courts based on established law and procedural precedent.

**cf. media whore - what do you expect someone with her background will do after your affair has finished? Fuck's sake, man, the only thing Giggs did that was more stupid was trying to gag the internet afterwards. If she was trying to blackmail anyone then it may surprise you to know that (1) we already have laws to deal with that and (2) the courts routinely insist that blackmail victims are not named anyway.

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There are good reasons to censor the press...

...like information thats to do with national security (like not broadcasting to the Germans were our troops are during the war).

But censoring them because he didn't want his wife to know is wrong.

Would the average person be able to get a super injunction raised to stop friends telling their wife they had played away from home? Not a chance.

If he hadn't had the injunction, it would have played out like every other accusation. Someone would have mentioned it in the media, he would have denied it (but not sued for deformation as you can only do that if its a lie) and it would have all vanished long ago

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MJI
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I think they both wanted to be left alone

The girl was being approached and said nothing, warned the footballer to say nothing, idiot got an injunction instead naming her and the press worked it out from that.

This is what my wife say on TV

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MJI's view is what I understand

Giggs shot himself in the foot about that.

Papers were snooping, approached/confronted the woman.

Woman runs to Giggs and warns him the papers are trying to run a story.

Giggs runs to get a super-injunction to protect his name, but fails to get her name protected.

Papers run story "We're not allowed to tell you someone had an affair with *this woman*" and cue scantily clad pictures of said woman.

There's another injunction out on another footballer, but that one actually protects the woman as well. Papers running a "Footballer has affair: Can't name anyone" story just doesn't catch the public's attention.

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FAIL

@ MJI & Asiren

The woman in the case hired Max "Im the biggest piece of media whoring scumf&%k on the planet" Clifford to represent her and be her publicist! Do NOT try to tell me she didnt want this to get in to the public eye!

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Coat

sued for deformation

I think Mr Giggs *should* sue for deformation. That hairdresser is a criminal.

OK....

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The bit you missed out

The lady in question asked for £50k to keep her gob shut, and when he declined she asked for a meeting to discuss the matter further.

Said meeting was had, but she had contacted the Sun and they were camped outside the hotel where they had arranged to meet.

He gave her a signed shirt to auction off or somesuch thing, but further declined to pay her £50k.

Upon leaving the hotel the paper snapped away and it was this setup that is at the centre of the argument.

Obv trying to keep his name out the papers he didn't complain to the police about blackmail, but if this story has even a glimmer of truth in it he'd be well within his rights to get her charged.

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Anonymous Coward

You missed out a word in there...

Alledgedly...

As far as I've seem the only person claiming blackmail is the footballer, as part of his rationale for keeping the injunction. I think there are multiple sides to this story and you need to be a bit cautious.

The fact that it is all now pretty much public combined with the fact that she hasn't been nicked for blackmail I would suspect that the blackmail reports may be in error.

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Go

Hiring Max Clifford doesn't mean you are guilty

Max Clifford can help keep stories out of the media, or generally advise on how to deal with it. He isn't just a conduit for selling stories. She might have approached him when she realised the media were following her and that she had a problem. Or when the injunction got taken out, naming her with implications of blackmail, while denying her the right to respond. He's a general purpose media expert.

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WTF?

if Twitter's server is in the US and I'm in the UK...

Am I breaking the law publishing on Twitter? Gary McKinnon went into US servers from UK soil and the US and UK both said that his offence was committed in the US. By that logic, I have done what I have done in the US, where it isn't illegal, so the UK judiciary can stick it up their arse.

As far as Giggs goes, he is just trying to avoid the consequences of a situation entirely of his own making, by using a law which was never intended for the purpose for which it has been used.

I don't care that he's been dunking his biscuit in the wrong cuppa, but I do care that the law is so badly written that it can be abused in this way. Protection for national security and children, yes - protection for the irresponsible and criminal, no.

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I thoroughly agree..

>As far as Giggs goes, he is just trying to avoid the consequences of a situation entirely of his own making,

Yep - trying to buy his way out of trouble.

>by using a law which was never intended for the purpose for which it has been used.

Unfortunately that's the law for you, for whatever justifiable reasons it's written it's actual use can be for all sorts of other things, I'm thinking of the terrorism laws that stopped legitimate photographers.

> I do care that the law is so badly written that it can be abused in this way.

As should we all

I would also add that the very thought of trying to stop people communicating must be a waste of time since that's what people do.

Also when you have legitimate news sources being gagged by the courts it is time to start worrying - holding back info in certain circumstances (to avoid panic or national security for instance) I can see some point to, but otherwise its a very dangerous path to be following.

Time to write to my MP again I think.

ttfn

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Heart

"dunking his biscuit in the wrong cuppa"

Beautiful expression!

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Anonymous Coward

@ AC and Paul Murphy

Regarding the surveillance we are exposed to on a daily basis, the volume of personal data held by "official" bodies and the sheer numbers of bodies entitled to access that data it seems the old adage of "if you have nothing to hide then you have nothing to fear" should be replaced by the new, 21st century equivalent:

"If you have nothing to hide or you have plenty to hide but are rather rich then you have nothing to fear"

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Grenade

Lucky it wasn't the other way around

I mean, if Twitter.com was a UK company, UK hosted and it broke US law then the Feds would simply seize its domain name and blow the site out the water.

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Joke

They said..

75,000 people named Ryan Giggs on Twitter?

Never realized it was that common a name.

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Common?

It's about as common as Spartacus.

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Meh

Who are you calling common?

see title.

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Happy

If the cap fits....

.

Well played.

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Ryan Giggs

meet Barbara Streisand and her highly effective effect.

you naive, meaningless twat.

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Pint

Well I never!

"Our policy is notify users & we have fought to ensure user rights. Sadly, some more interested in headlines than accuracy,"

Heaven forfend! What the government owned and supposedly impartial BBC? Never!

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Headmaster

Re: impartiality

In any sufficiently large organisation, "impartiality" can only ever mean that the inevitable cock-ups are as likely to favour one point of view as another.

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Privacy, anonymity, personal and public opinion

As usual the media is busy muddying the waters on this. As two cases in Germany make only too obvious: there is no such thing as anonymity on social networks. The head of the works council at the newspaper Frankfurter Rundschau has just been sacked for remarks on Facebook and workers at Daimler have been brought to task for clicking "Track me" on a page making defamatory remarks about Daimler's CEO. http://www.spiegel.de/netzwelt/web/0,1518,764788,00.html (in German)

There might be those who think that the privacy and anonymity of these people should be protected and this is the sort of thing that the human rights convention seeks to guarantee. But you can't have it both ways. If you want your privacy protected then the same protection applies to others.

Apart from the legal importance of alleging something there is also a distinction between a private and public opinion. Holding an opinion about someone and even discussing it with friends might land you in court under charges of slander or common abuse but this is highly unlikely. But publishing this opinion on a public forum which might range from a poster on a wall or post on a forum is a different matter and very likely to lead to legal action. This is why the press is accorded a certain privilege in such matters - it may report allegations and has the right not to disclose it sources but it has a duty of care to check its facts before doing so and may be held accountable for this. The anonymity of the source is the cornerstone here as it guarantees a safe harbour for whistleblowing and something for which we should all be grateful. Hearsay, of course, is not protected which is the reason for the injunctions.

The "I'm Spartacus" argument is frankly a bit of a red herring. If contempt of court is established in one instance then there is a precedent and incentive for expedited enforcement in all others, presumably fines sent through the post. Posting any of this shit on a social network, which unless otherwise stated, can be considered a public space is an invitation for exposure as identity is the currency of preference - anything you say will be written down and may be used as evidence.

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Anonymous Coward

RE: The Spartacus argument

No government would risk the backlash of trying to prosecute 75,000 (or more) people for what is effectively passing on petty gossip - 75,000 votes can easily be the difference between government and back-bench irrelevance.

But, I accept that contempt of court is a serious offense (and one I might argue that would be more so if the courts didn't prove themselves to be so contemptible quite so often) and there is an argument for punishing transgressors. It would not be possible to punish people by post without an act of parliament - and as I first noted, no government would support that and remain in government.

I do however love the beauty of this statement of yours:

"Posting any of this shit on a social network, which unless otherwise stated, can be considered a public space is an invitation for exposure as identity is the currency of preference - anything you say will be written down and may be used as evidence."

Just savour it a little, niiiiiiice. Now, back to reality: me breaking an injunction in public is an invitation to exposure whereas someone fucking around with someone who is almost duty bound to sell their story (in public) is a private matter which should be legally protected?

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@Lee

Pretty much, yes.

Nice as it is you are confounding two separate issues - posting on the internet is akin to making a public announcement and given how keen social networks are to collect (and sell) your identity you should always bear this in mind. This is more a less what has happened in Germany with the two cases I referred to. A casual remark at the pub is not likely to land you in court in post-Cold War Europe unless the pub is a virtual one... This is one of the points that Evgeny Morosov makes in "The Net Delusion" as the secret police of governments around the world start to trawl the networks to root out their detractors.

The alleged affair is still a private matter. The attempt to sell the story is, therefore, a breach of this privacy and a public interest justification is required. In this particular case I fail to see the "public interest" and would rather the media covered some of the more egregious abuses of power.

As for serial prosecutions I don't see anything stopping the courts issuing fines like parking tickets* once a precedent has been established, this is after all pretty much how DCMA works, and, fortunately, the courts are legally independent of the politicians and not the least bit interested in re-election.

* My familiarity with the law in this matter is admittedly limited so I more than happy to be corrected on this.

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Anonymous Coward

@ Charlie Clark

Actually I am not confounding the issues, I am ignoring the issue regarding the reach of the internet and the validity or otherwise of private matters. Not because I don't think they are important, but because I don't think they are important to this argument. I have discussed these at other times and I have no desire to go back over well worn ground.

So, onto the things I do want to discuss - namely whether the press should be allowed to publish what they want and whether the courts can/should be able to fine you remotely for contempt in situations like these.

In this case there are three possible situations, about which there is some confusion. However we can all agree it has to be one of (1) Imogen Thomas wanted to sell her story or (2) she didn't and herself wanted privacy or (3) she was trying to blackmail Ryan Giggs

(3) is clearly a criminal matter and the courts would have [rightly] placed an injunction on naming Giggs as they do in pretty much all blackmail cases or no-one would ever go to court f they were being blackmailed. The lack of any criminal action suggests that any claim of blackmail is baseless.

(1) removes all rights of privacy - unless she signed some kind of NDA in which case it also becomes a civil case for breach of contract. If waiver of privacy is dependent on all parties agreeing then you would pretty much not be able to publish anything about anyone, ever.

(2) would mean that it was Ryan Giggs himself who is breaching any privacy rights here - after all he caused Imogen Thomas to be named in public whilst obtaining the junction.

Which ever way you cut it Giggs has no expectation to privacy in this case and should man the fuck up and accept the consequences of extra-marital sex with a rather attractive young lady.

The courts would be unable to issue fines in the same way as driving* tickets - there has been special legislation enacted to permit issuing speeding fines [where the defendant is usually unidentified] - which assume guilt on behalf of the registered keeper unless they provide contrary evidence. Now, imagine how that would happen in the case of something like Twitter - all you have to do is claim other people knew your password and you cross the reasonable doubt threshold which would make a guilty verdict unlikely**. This doesn't even scratch the public knowledge arguments (the injunction is still in place last I heard, it is just unenforceable now).

Courts, in the UK at least, are not legally independant of the politicians - I have no idea where you get that idea. Parliament enacts legislation which the courts have to enforce whether they like it or not. Sure they get to interpret the legislation, but the final arbiter of law (particularly in relation to this where we would be talking about the courts wanting to prosecute) is still the Home Secretary.

Look at the Gary McKinnon case to see an example of this - parliament passed into law the farcical extradition treaty with the US - the courts have time and again been forced (against their wishes in some instances) to agree extradition on the basis that the request is legal and the final say in whether he goes to the wolves or not is the responsibility of Theresa May.

*parking offenses are pretty much always civil and something entirely different entirely

**Courts have already ruled that IP addresses are not enough to identify a perp, and a twitter logon is not much safer as proof

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Coat

And I thought you lot were more clued up than most.....

In the particular case in question, the UK Courts made a decision under UK laws, based on European wide legislation. That was designed in large part by the UK to try to prevent the sort of terrible behaviours evidenced by politicians and the ordinary people that they could influence and mislead through press and and other propaganda without restraint. It also provided a framework for a decent civilised society.

The decision was based on all the evidence presented to the Court. From much of the daft comment arising subsequently, such evidence doesn't seem to be considered of any interest or relevance by most of the public. This is despite it being able to be found easily, and the reasons for the interim decision made being easy to understand by anyone with two neurons to rub together if read through properly.

Allied to this, the gullable public were also fed a complete load of tosh by our populist tabloids and some self serving politicians. These people do have form, you know. Or haven’t you noticed? They are definitely not your friends

As to the implications of the Twitterfest, are you saying that you are therefore happy that any complete oik with a Twitter account should be able to give our Courts of Justice two fingers if they don’t like their decisions and hide under some sort of offshore umbrella? I doubt if American courts would put up with that.

FFS, it's like opening the gates to the barbarians. What next? Enraged of Tunbridge Wells outs Protected Witness. Vindictive husband or wife engorges the public palate with all the juicy dirt from her Family custody hearing because they didn't like the outcome? Dopey-Dokus from the desk next to you shits on you just because he or she can. And the tabloids get free copy and a license to titillate the millions of idiots who buy them and who, from all appearances, can neither read properly, write well, or think in a straight line

So, on privacy, do you draw a line anywhere? Of course you do. Where is it, relative to all this?

Or, if you are an absolutist, in your preserving the intellectual purity and sanctity of ‘free speech’, is there anybody you care enough about not to let them get hurt? Or don't you just give a toss?

As for what how this all came out, even the Guardian seems to have doubts about what the future implications might be

'Yet what would happen if a newspaper persuaded an MP to act as a mouthpiece to make otherwise defamatory claims about individuals in the public eye, then broadcast them through social media, in order that those claims – whether true or not – could then be reported in the newspapers and by broadcasters?'

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/may/25/parliamentary-privilege-responsible-behaviour

Sheesh, all this is like watching an army of keyboard warriors seemingly blindly following some alluring Pied Piper, with their brains in their thumbs and numbed them into insensibility by repetetively typing 'I am Spartacus'.

I guess my coat is the one with the knives shortly arriving in the back

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Anonymous Coward

really?

"In the particular case in question, the UK Courts made a decision under UK laws, based on European wide legislation. That was designed in large part by the UK to try to prevent the sort of terrible behaviours evidenced by politicians and the ordinary people that they could influence and mislead through press and and other propaganda without restraint. It also provided a framework for a decent civilised society"

Did you just make that up? What a lot of nonsense. The particular "UK laws" you are referring to are not exactly based on "European wide legislation" and similar legislation would be really hard to find anywhere else in Europe for that matter. Furthermore your elegant and beautifully naive justification about why it was designed is just as fictional. Do you know anything of the background to the said legislation? Check your facts before you write such rubbish next time.

Speaking of "evidence" what a daft comment that is - really. You obvously were not paying attention to the description of these kind of matters made by the high court judges themselves. Evidence? There is no possibility for courts to get any validated "evidence" - to speak of evidence in this case is just utter nonsense.

About "opening the gates to the barbarians" - yes perhaps this would be a good idea and maybe the only wayt to get rid of the current legislative corruption. And your comments "enraged of Tunbridge Wells outs Protected Witnesses" - who are you to say that this would not be a good idea? For all we know it is possible that the decision to give protection to a former terrorist might not be very popular in the first place and perhaps should not have been done? Or that was not what you had in mind? Who are you to decide? "Vindictive husband or wife engorges the public palate with all the juicy dirt from her Family custody hearing .. etc". If we do live in a somewhat "civilised" society why would this be a problem? Are you not convinced that unsolicited accusations would not backlash? How do you know that this person is "vindictive" - perhaps this person is just an innocent victim to circumstances in court? You do realise that in the UK the family court does not check for evidence of accusations and does not punish people who are dishonest in their accusations? Perhaps the "vindictive" one is the one who did not lie in court and so did not get a fair outcome in the first place? This is more probable then not when it comes to family court and practice.

Your "Dopey-Dokus" comment - have you moved on from speach to physical violence here? It seems to be rather far of the mark in this discussion?

The comment about free speech and "is there anybody you care enough about not to let them get hurt? Or don't you give a toss?" is quite telling I think. What a patronizing piece of argument you present. Are you saying that if you care for some one you should lie to them? I really do not see any favours in your proposition. I am absolutely sure that one the true value of friends is that they tell you things that they believe are true and still care for you. People that are not telling you the truth I would not normally associate with being "friends".

Also remember that there is a huge difference between dishonest reporting (defamation) and efforts to get to the truth. If we wish to live in a democracy and somewhat developed civilization we should not support defamation. To actively suppress true stories is not in the interest of a modern civil and free society. Only with open discussion can any truth come out and liers can be ostracised.

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Re: do you draw a line anywhere?

"It also provided a framework for a decent civilised society."

Without wishing to challenge the general thrust of your argument, I think it is worth flagging up the fact that even in this day and age "decent civilised society" decided it was uneasy with the idea of one of the most powerful legal instruments available being used to conceal adultery. Isn't that a bit unfair on the wife? Was she informed by the court, or was she kept in the dark?

A week or so into the story, the judge intervened to note that the evidence submitted to him suggested blackmail. Perhaps he hoped to defuse the row. Sadly for him, society was also uneasy with the idea that someone could be named and accused of blackmail by a judge and yet have no legal comeback because they aren't allowed to talk about it.

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Anonymous Coward

undemocratic

To me, this concept of super-injunction seems very undemocratic.

Is it some sort of leftover that is designed to protect the rich nobles ?

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You're right

Super-injunctions are undemocratic and obsolete.

Turbo-injunctions are the coming thing.

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Anonymous Coward

Shhh

Turbo-injunctions? Are they the ones so powerful it's illegal to get one?

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Hi Really

Response noted. Not too sure about the bit that goes

'The particular "UK laws" you are referring to are not exactly based on "European wide legislation" and similar legislation would be really hard to find anywhere else in Europe for that matter.'

Relevant legislation includes the HRA 1998, which made it possible to go to the UK courts for remedy for breach of a Convention right provided for within European Convention on Human Rights, without the need to go to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. The HRA also requires UK judges to take account of decisions of the Strasbourg court, and to interpret legislation, as far as possible, in a way which is compatible with the Convention.

So in Justice Eady's judgement, which I said was not too hard to find

http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/QB/2011/1232.html

it's a shame that he didn't know what he was talking about when he states that ..........

'The Claimant is a married man with a family. It is well established, in such circumstances, that the court needs to take into account and have regard to the interests of the claimant's family members, and their rights under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.'

and

'On the evidence before me, as at 14 and 20 April, I formed the view that the Claimant would be "likely" to obtain a permanent injunction at trial, if the matter goes that far. As I have said, it remains uncontradicted. The information is such that he is still entitled to a "reasonable expectation of privacy" and no countervailing argument has been advanced to suggest that the Article 10 rights of the Defendants, or indeed of anyone else, should prevail. There is certainly no suggestion of any legitimate public interest in publishing such material. '

,,,,,,so maybe he should look you up and ask for your advice next time

As for the rest of your comments, if you think that we need have no civilised standards of behaviour or some bases to restrain the activities of the sort of people who would sell their grandmothers for thirty pieces of silver, then the world will suddenly magically transform into an angelic paradise overnight, filled with truth, light and goodwill to all men and women, best of luck with that

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Anonymous Coward

re: Hi Really

Obviously if you wish to take f flight of fancy you could refer to HRA 1998. Or you could have talked about the background to the lobbying for the idea of "superinjunction" in UK legislation. But obviously this would have made your argument rather weak.

Yes I am arguing that the obfuscation and manipulation that is so prevalent in these cases has nothing to do with "civilized standards of behaviour" but everything to do with intentional effiorts to cover up lack of civilized standards of behaviour. And yes in your wonderful reference they either do not know what they are talking about or they purposefully are misleading in their descriptions. This is most likely not due to conspiracy but rather due to socio-cultural prejudice which makes people blind. As is so clearly visible in your own citation:

*** 'The Claimant is a married man with a family. It is well established, in such circumstances, that the court needs to take into account and have regard to the interests of the claimant's family members, and their rights under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.' ***

YES indeed "a married man with a family" this whole sets the golden standard for your personal crusade for

***civilised standards of behaviour or some bases to restraing the activities of the sort of people who would sell their grandmothers for thirty pieces of silver***

It is obvious to me that the superinjunction is used to COVER UP THE LACK OF civilized standards of behaviour. The very people who are asking for superinjunction are asking for it BECAUSE it would be EMBARRASING for them if other people knew about their own personal DISREGARD for civilized standards of behaviour. As such it is supporting exactly the opposite of what you are arguing for.

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Bronze badge

Simpler than it looks.

The newspaper was going to publish the person's name, but they were approached by his solicitor and agreed not to.

Imogen Thomas was alleged to have attempted blackmail. And the court ruling also refers to her having hired Max Clifford.

The conflict between Article 8 (privacy) and Article 10 (freedom of expression) has to be judged on the evidence before the court.

And this is for a temporary injunction pending a full hearing.

So Mr. Justice Eady tells the newspapers that they can't back out of what they agreed. It doesn't meet the PCC standard to justify publication (and the newspaper didn't even try to claim that). The injunction maintains the status quo, pending the full hearing, and "CTB" is more likely than not to succeed.

Whether the "super-injunction" is the correct response, I suppose we can argue about, but publishing the guy's name, at this stage in the process, would take away any point in continuing in court.

Yes, I've read the ruling. It's quite clear about the reasons. And the newspapers involved seem intent on using Dr. Gatling's Patent Toe-Nail Clipper.

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I don't see the problem...

...as whether or not Twitter release my details to law enforcement, if I break the law. I know I'm legally responsilble for anything I post to teh web. The trouble is, the law is a joke in this case. If you want to keep something quiet, best just not do it eh?

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Pint

Is it some sort of leftover that is designed to protect the rich nobles ?

No. It's one mechanism available to the Courts to protect you, me and everybody personally, as well as their families, against the state, the rich and powerful and an avaricious media.

Think of an injunction as a bit like a packet within which there is some personal data that has been encrypted. You know the packet exists, it can be inspected to see the Court's publicly provided reasons for granting it, but those involved have their anonymity protected by encryption

A super injunction has a few bells and whistles added to ensure that it is invisiible in transit, even to DPI.

In reality, of course, because someone has had to apply to the Court for relief, the persons involved know it's there. The super injunction just means that they can't tell anyone it is there. And in this particular case, if you bother to read the facts, it was clearly only a temporary holding position

Why have them? The explanation below comes from a comment on the Guardian, for which I hasten to say I can take no credit at all, but which succinctly sums up in plain language pretty well why injunctions are needed in the first place.

As for their apparently being available to the rich only is concerned, it's not necessarily the judges fault that legal costs are high. The Courts would apply the law to you and me and anyone else in the same measure. Meantime, until something can be done to address the cost problem, if anyone rich enough wants to spend their money sorting out the principles in a way that may benefit you and me too, that's all right in my book

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/may/26/pcc-privacy-law-injunctions-editorial

'DrGreat

26 May 2011 2:25PM

There's a strong argument that the only reason we have superinjunctions is because newspapers and the PCC don't know where to draw the line.

The fact that they have been dancing around like stroppy five-year-olds who've had their ice-lolly taken away because they're been restricted from reporting such 'vital' news only proves the point.

There will, of course, be cases where superinjunctions are given for the wrong reasons, and it truly would have been in the public interest for it to be known. In the cases where that happens, the finger of blame needs to be pointed at the media for creating the situation in the first place.'

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Anonymous Coward

human rights and privacy

Privacy and human rights have always been banded about with rather frivolous interpretations. In UK we often se references to human rights but the way legislation is interpreted and applied in this country does raise many questions. To suggest that the idea of superinjunction follows naturally from any European Wide legislation is nonsensical - as is evident in the fact that this particular type of legislative vehicle would be very difficult to find in other European countries. The right to privacy of one individual is not supposed to encroach on freedom of expression. What does commonly set the norm is "the civilized society" which in practice means that right of privacy of any individual is commonly void if the issue relates to outside norm behaviour (e.g. as assumed to be within the presumed civilized society). We could question the norms, we could challenge the norms, we could promote new norms etc. - but at the end of the day we individual leaders are not controlling the norms. The fact is that in our modern society if a behaviour is not accepted within prejudiced normative behaviour it will by definition fall foul of acceptance. Tolerance levels are incorporated in "normative behaviour". For the very same reason why UK judges could not accept or tolerate the "three men in a bed" problem and so the case was lost in the UK and needed to be taken to the European court of Human Rights. The suggestion that the legislative tool known as "superinjunction" is in some benevolent way drawing on Human Rights Act is very manipulative and possibly intentionally misguided.

An example of this issue:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/05/24/making_english_injunctions_apply_in_scotland_will_be_easy_says_expert/

***The Human Rights Act implements the European Convention on Human Rights into UK law and guarantees a person's right to a private life as well as the right to freedom of expression. Judges weigh up whether it is in the public interest to know details of someone's private life when considering whether to impose a privacy injunction that would ban the details emerging.

The European Court of Human Rights recently rejected a case brought by Max Mosley, the former motor racing boss, which would have forced media editors to tell people before publishing details about their private lives.

***

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Mushroom

Anti-injunction Bomb...

John Hemming also named Giles Coren (this is on record in Hansard see http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201011/cmhansrd/cm110524/debtext/110524-0003.htm) as the reporter who had broken an injunction on Twitter, However Corens tweets were a long way from stating any facts, in any direction. It is not illegal to say someone's name under these injunctions. It is only illegal to reveal an identity. Coren only got close to this, if you already knew, to whom and what Coren was referring. (which everyone did hence the issue arising).

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Anonymous Coward

Proxy tunneling ahoy!

Time to download your backtrack 5 and start proxy tunneling to Twitter...

OR

Just go into an internet cafe.... super injunction problem solved.

-A

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Trollface

Blackmail is such a harsh word...

I believe the story went something along the lines of, "The hacks are onto us and want my story. they say its worth £50K. I will shut up if you like, but I want the £50K that the press were offering."

And to be blunt, If he had paid up the £50k it probably would not have seen the light of day again... I bet his legal bill for this is well over £50k and will rise to a lot more if any litigation with twitter is going to advance any further than a letter from his lawyers to twitters lawyers.

There are so many facets to this story and I don't think there is anyone wholly on the right or wrong side. Mr Giggs should have realised what he had to loose if his extra marital relations were to become public and considered this. He Should have also considered how much harder it is for a person in the public eye to actually get away with this sort of behaviour. I would imagine that there is something deeply wrong within the relationship if he felt the need to risk everything over a bit of slap and tickle. I doubt Mr Giggs was thinking of his wife's right to privacy when he was making the beast with two backs with the former Miss Wales. And least not forget the so called super injunction was granted to protect Mrs Giggs as she is the only innocent party in this.

Then there are Imogen Thomas's motives. The only reason she would have taken up with a (rich) married footballer and from the beginning keep it quiet, (particularly as she is a media whore), is for financial gain. Like every other premiership football player stalker, she would be in it for the gifts, lifestyle and the kiss and tell story at the end.

think about the media involvement. If They were to offer Miss Thomas 50k for her story, then that's the vale of the story. If Mr Gigs wants her to shut up and not sell HER story, should he not pay her the value of that story? Its all in the media interest to get the story out. they have newspapers to sell. Most people wouldn't give a flying fuck at a rolling doughnut about who is sleeping with who. But for some inexplicable reason, It sells newspapers.

the thing now is that by mass law breaking, and I don't think I am being too much of a pessimist to think that the media was not behind it, when en-mass people started tweeting ryan giggs name, it puts these super injunctions into the realms of un-enforceable.

so at the end of it all, Does Mrs Giggs deserve to have her private life remain private? yes (I think). Mr Giggs and Miss Thomas both live their lives in the public eye and it is impossible to draw a line where the public and private life merge so difficult to separate so their indiscretions will always have ended up in the public domain.

one thing that has struck me is that while the media circus has been running amok, brandishing words like Blackmail and super injunctions. Mrs Giggs has to a point been left alone. For example, I really couldn't tell you her name or have a clue about what she looks like...and in a few more weeks, the press wont care about Giggs or Tommas and will have found a snooker player to harass

an

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