back to article Daily Mail group in screeching U-turn on parody tweet persecution

The Daily Mail group has dropped its legal action against a Twitter user who sent up one of its executives - just three days after news barons attempted to slap four criminal charges on the twit. The retraction of the writ was revealed by the spoof tweeter, UnSteveDorkland, who parodied Steve Auckland, the CEO of the Daily Mail …

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So its official

steve auckland is in fact a dork.

whou'd have thunk it, him being from the daily fail and all.

unless, of course, the Fail's <ahem> private dicks have already tracked him down and it turns out that hes not a dole-scrounging-eastern european-housing queue jumping benefit scrounger, with links to al quaeda, in which case the fail thinks he has the right to say what he likes.

since euro directives stopped newsprint being used for wrapping chips there really is no reason for these revolting dinosaurs to continue to exist.

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Meh

Re: So its official

They backed out of it before they were made to look stupid.

Oops

Too late

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Hmm

I personally believe Steve Auckland is a 'dick'

I have never heard of him before this entire story broke, I still have no real idea who he is, and all I can conclude by the dropping of this action is:

1) He may be less of a dick that I originally thought.

2) Somebody (likely to be whoever's paying the lawyers) told him - "Stop being a dick".

Actually, reflecting upon the issue, I suspect option 2 is the most likely. The whole screaming that the imposter must have hacked the DM to get info, seemed to be missing the blindly obvious. My money on USD is one of the many people forced to share a working life with him, who just needed somewhere to vent. The hacking accusation therefore smacks of an ego so large it couldn't possibly accept that somebody close by thought he was a knob. Then again, maybe the penny did just drop and he realized that unmasking an associate who is 'niggled' by him, might reflect badly upon him.

Once again, I just feel sorry for the lawyers.

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@goldcd Re: ".........the many people forced to share a working life with him.........."

That is a bloody good point and I will admit had not occurred to me before I read your post. That the "imposter" is possibly/likely a colleague would certainly be frakking embarrassing if they had succeeded in revealing his identity. Indeed it may have been their own lawyers review of the case when they were assessing the likelihood of being able to make the "hacking" charges stick when it suddenly dawned on someone that they couldn't if the "guilty party" could gain this info by legal means. Not surprising that they performed a "screeching u-turn"!

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Coat

Re: So its official

"since euro directives stopped newsprint being used for wrapping chips there really is no reason for these revolting dinosaurs to continue to exist."

How about In an emergency?

Now how does that Blackadder line go? something like "Soft, strong and ultra absorbent."

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Re: Once again, I just feel sorry for the lawyers.

Why?

They don't lose out, it's not one of the standard 'ambulance chaser' jobs.

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AJB

Re: So its official

i think it is "thoroughly absorbent"

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Re: So its official

Too late damm right it is too late.They have been looking stupid since 1910ish after they had actors in Imperial German Army uniform swagger around London pushing and being generaly obnoxious.

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@LarsG

That would incorrectly imply that the Mail is capable of not looking stupid.

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Ru
Facepalm

@goldcd, Re: Hmm

"by the dropping of this action...[he] may be less of a dick that I originally thought"

Seriously? He dropped it because Twitter told his lawyers where to go, and those lawyers told Mr Auckland exactly how difficult it would be to persuade them to do otherwise.

He lost, and dropped the case out of necessity, not because he realised what an arse it was making him look.

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Re: So its official

It was pretty obvious he wasn't anyway as he had intimate knowledge of the going on's within the company offices.

Maybe they found out it WAS someone high up who now they suddenly don't want to press charges against?

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Paris Hilton

Good news

While freedom of speech sometimes needs to have a limit, this is really good news. What this whole affair tells us is that because the Mail group lawyered up, UnSteveDorkland must have hit a nerve and may have therefore got closer to the truth than they care to admit!

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Black Helicopters

Re: Good news

Freedom of speech should have no limits. Setting limits to freedom of speech is dangerous, no matter how distasteful the speech.

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Re: Good news

Yelling "Fire!" in a crowded theatre is, I think, the most commonly referred-to exception.

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Re: Good news

I believe the problem with the example is because people seem to think that "freedom of speech" (namely the freedom to criticise the leaders, government, royals, etc) without being tortured, killed, or under the hazy fear of some sort of les majeste retribution...

...is actually the right to say stupid stuff like "I have a bomb in my backpack"*, or "at ten o'clock tomoorow I'm gonna blow the crap out of Liverpool International"*, or "I have a sniper rifle and Obama in my sights"*. Freedom of speech isn't the freedom to be able to say anything and everything.

* - These are fictional examples of idiotic things to say. It's sad I feel the need to point this out, but in this day and age, lawyers come before common sense.......

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Boffin

Re: Good news

That's true. But it is not.

Nobody said that freedom of speech is always harmless. Saying quite a number of things may cause quite a lot of harm. But, at the limit, more harm is caused by banning speech.

This is, philosophically, a subset of the whole idea of forcing people to do what a central authority says, versus giving the people the freedom to do things, and relying on their good sense/upbringing to do 'good' things. The second is always better than the first, in spite of the fact that some people may do 'bad' things...

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Re: Good news

Durgledoggy is a convicted paedophile by the way.

[Actually, I have no idea whether he is nor not, that is just an example of something you shouldn't be allowed to say unless it is true]

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Re: Good news

There is, of course, an exception to the exception; namely when said theatre is actually on fire.

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Re: Good news

The limit is harassment!

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Stop

Re: Good news

@jonathanb

No, you are incorrect. You absolutely SHOULD be able to say that "Durgledoggy is a convicted paedophile..."

Having said it of course, you should then expect the force of the law to be applied for libel or slander, if it isn't true.

There is either freedom of speech or there isn't. You can't have partial freedom of speech.

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Pirate

Re: Good news

"Yelling "Fire!" in a crowded theatre is, I think, the most commonly referred-to exception."

In the US it may be. In the UK there are probably several million exceptions to "free speech" that the goverment can come up with.

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Re: Good news

Er.... When you say "should be able to say" - everyone CAN do absolutely anything - its the legal consequences that make it free or not. So saying "Having said it of course, you should then expect the force of the law to be applied for libel or slander, if it isn't true." is irrelevant if the government or the rich & powerful have corrupted the courts, which is how they do it in the "non-free" world.

If said Durgledoggy lacks the huge amount of cash needed to mount a libel action, you can say it as often as you like, anyway. That said, its far too easy in the UK to claim you've been libelled (even if the alleged libel is in, say, a Croatian magazine that has a 2 digit circulation in the UK or a Mongolian website) if you are rich & a bit evil & just want a cover-up.

There are no longer "criminal libel" laws in the UK.

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Happy

@dailyfailgroup

As Nelson Muntz once said,

HA HA!

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Coffee/keyboard

Daily Mail fists itself?

Pics please - or it didn't happen!

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This is not the twitter account you're looking for...

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FAIL

Daily Mail Fail

See title

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1 completed, one to go

So the Daily Wail has done a U turn. if we can get them to do a second U turn, they'll have gone round: full circle. With any luck they'll then disappear up their own fundamental orifice and never be heard from again.

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Anonymous Coward

Unfortunately

The Daily Thing could not disappear up its own rear end because it would be pushed out by the endless torrent of its daily emissions.

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Re: 1 completed, one to go

This isn't a U-turn. That would imply they had some moral direction, which clearly they don't.

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Stop

A gentle reminder

Reason number 7375356835648 why you should NEVER buy the Daily Mail

http://botherer.org/2012/07/28/the-daily-mail-and-how-an-nhs-death-means-racism-is-fine/

Absolute scum

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Anonymous Coward

Not that simple surely

"Twitter's data on the user may not have identified him anyway - simply taking the relatively simple steps of using a throwaway email account and using a service like Tor to attempt to conceal the user's IP address would have been enough to muddy the trail."

Are GCHQ powerless and unable to track communications to an individual if a throw away email account is set up and TOR is used ? I'm sure it's possible if monitoring was set up in advance, but if an event happened and it was necessary to forensically trace the communications to an individual, is it true it's virtually impossible by using TOR and a throw away email account ?

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Re: Not that simple surely

Do you really think that GCHQ get involved in this kind of garbage? Really? They are not there for civil or even criminal cases, which are the internet equivalent of cats stuck up trees, they are responsible for providing signals intelligence to the UK government and armed forces. Get a grip.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Not that simple surely

The section in quotes was being challenged - the article was about a tweet but the statement was generic.

Calm down dear.

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This post has been deleted by its author

Re: Not that simple surely

Well if you are going to be picky, the quote from the article said that using Tor and a disposable email would be "would have been enough to muddy the trail". This is completely true.

But let's pretend that the article had claimed 'complete untraceability'. Would GCHQ possibly be able to untangle your trail through tor? Realistically, probably not since it is HIGHLY unlikely that ISPs keep records of sufficient depth (they would need to basically record ALL your packets). Maybe they could see that you had used tor, that would be about it, since tor is a decentralised peer-to-peer system and as such doesn't provide them with any handy server room doors to kick down.

Unless you know something which nobody else knows, using TOR and a correctly anonymised email account does result in more or less complete untraceability, unless they were already logging everything you were doing at the packet level. And if you were to combine this with mobile access through fresh-from-the-shops disposable PAYG phone, I strongly suspect that even if GCHQ were to get involved they would still be out of luck. I'm don't doubt that they have a lot of clever people, but they are certainly not omnipotent or in possession of magical powers.

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The limit is you can say things that will incite violence or cause harm. Yelling fire is often cited, but here is another one. Getting on the radio and saying I'll give $60,000 to any one that brings me Bob Yale's chain. If Bob Yale gets hurt or killed you are on the hook.

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