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back to article Speaker Bercow's loquacious wife finally silenced - On Twitter

Sally Bercow was silenced on Twitter overnight, following a series of silly tweets that have landed the outspoken speaker's wife in legal hot water. However, it wasn't the threat of libel action from Lord McAlpine's lawyers that apparently shut her micro-blogging gob - instead her account was reportedly hacked into, before it …

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Anonymous Coward

If I could I would log onto Twitter and delete the whole service. Sick of hearing about it.

Although it does serve one useful purpose, it sorts out the twits from the tweeters.

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Thankyou Twitter

for revealing what a malevolent, vacuous, publicity-whore this woman truly is. I would like to think that a long period of silent, internal reflection will now follow, but somehow I doubt it.

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Anonymous Coward

Agreed

I once heard some bloke in a audience ask 'is this on twitter or twatter or whatever its called' - i think he was correct when he called it 'twatter'; it seems to be a service best kept for arsehole teenager twats.

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At last..

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Not that I don't like to see the terminally annoying Ms Bercow getting into hot water or anything, but I'm struggling with the idea that you can't mention on Twitter the name of someone who's name and photo was the subject of headlines and news articles for about ten days solid.

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Who's that then? NT

O very well.

"T".

Happy now?

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"I'm struggling with the idea that you can't mention on Twitter the name of someone who's name and photo was the subject of headlines and news articles for about ten days solid."

You can but that doesnt mean you wont be sued for libel, along with all the other places who published the headlines too.

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Anonymous Coward

What's libel got to do with publishing the name of a schoolgirl who goes to France with one of her teachers?

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WTF?

Libel?

How would it be libel if it's the actual name? Libel is publishing -false- information.

Actually, how could a supposedly free country enforce any such restraints on speech at all?

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Thumb Up

Why I love El Reg

Where else would you read the word "loquacious" in a headline ?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Why I love El Reg

Mail.com?

http://www.mail.com/news/world/1372690-famously-loquacious-fidel-castro-discovers-brevity.html

Yahoo(!)?

http://rivals.yahoo.com/ncaa/football/recap?gid=201010160029

Manila Bulletin?

http://www.mb.com.ph/articles/376487/loquacious-imran-khan-from-pakistan-cricket-star-to-political-kingmaker

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Exactly - They (one presumes the Police and Parents) wanted her name published everywhere in order to find her, and now that she's been found it's all hush hush and we're not allowed to mention her name.

What about the likes of the papers whos web pages still carry her name. eg: Telegraph and Daily Fail.

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On a completely unrelated topic ...

I wonder where the burden of proof lies in the claim that the account was, actually, hacked?

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Re: On a completely unrelated topic ...

For a criminal case, the prosecutor has to prove that the account wasn't hacked against the "beyond all reasonable doubt" test. However, it would be very unwise for anybody to just assume saying an account was hacked would be sufficient in itself to cast enough doubt.

For civil cases (which this would not appear to apply to), it's the overall balance of probabilities that matters.

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Stop

£5000 fine

the £5000 fine would be for naming the girl abducted by Jeremy Forrest. despite being in the public domain it is subject to a section 39 order. the fine would be for violating that order.

Lord McAlpine's lawyers can't issue fines. they would sue her.

meanwhile the 100,000 individuals who tweeted can escape the courts if they apologise and donate £5 to charity.

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Re: £5000 fine

Oh you changed it. and left me with my plumbs out.

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Re: £5000 fine

I didn't even know there was a section 39 order on that case. Not that I am following it and not that I even use twitter, but would I get into trouble for breaching an order I had no knowledge of?

Not that I am excusing Bercow, she is a complete idiot, but if she didn't know then as the article says, anyone famous who uses twitter probably needs to do a course in media law and keep abreast of the current court orders!

People really need to learn that public posts do have consequences if you say silly things. Just shows how stupid people are that there are all these examples and they still don't learn.

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Re: £5000 fine

i didn't know there was either. apparently it was reported at the time it was issued but i guess i forgot.

i also hate her but find it difficult to see how it can be criminal to name someone who's name is already in the public domain and you had no reason to know there was an injunction against it. i don't see what harm it does. she was plastered all over the papers for ages.

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Re: £5000 fine

@nigel 15

Of course it's also a possible contempt of court to say "abducted by" rather than "charged with abduction of" before any verdict is passed on the charges. The case has yet to be heard...

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WTF?

Re: £5000 fine

This is one of the things I don't understand about superinjunctions. Nobody is allowed to know that they exist, so how is anybody supposed to know that they are not allowed to say that x did y (where y may be a person or an action, of course)?

Perhaps I should write to Eady J and ask him if he could send me a list of all the things I am not allowed to talk about.

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This post has been deleted by a moderator

Anonymous Coward

Putting the twit into twitter

Please, please let a few of these self-styled celebrities get sued for their use of twitter and let the fashion drop into history. Few in the public eye of politics sound as daft as Bercow. Perhaps we should be charitable about the lady and her vertically challenged speaker spouse - to be fair, having had to make my excuses and leave meetings with politician types to escape terminal boredom and annoyance, at least Sally Bercow might make for fun conversation over a few drinks down the pub. Can't believe I said that.

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A bit daft to delete the account

I mean, she should have let it be hacked a few more times ... then she can claim to the court that <I>someone else</I> put up those offensive tweets about Lord McAlpine with some sort of justification.

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Re: A bit daft to delete the account

Not when she has admitted to the tweet, and claimed it was mischievous not libellous.

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Devil

In the US during the election, several loony-lefty Obama supporting celebrities claimed to have been hacked after posting ill-advised comments about Republicans/men/white men/anyone-who-disagrees-with-them.

Easier than accepting responsibility for your actions and apologising...

Google Reader caches Tweets which are latter deleted. All of Silly Sally's musings are still there.

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Anonymous Coward

Tin Foil Hat time - Was the account Hacked or not?

If it was hacked because she had a weak password, then that would imply a dictionary attack. However, the number of login attempts required would, by any standards, still be enormous.

Presumably Twitter have stuff in place to pick up on 10,000,000 attempts to login to the same account in quick succession.

This would imply that if the password was determined, then it be more likely to be an Interception of Communications or an Inside Job.

So the conclusion is that either Dark Forces are at work or the alleged hack never took place or appeared to have never taken place and so blacken the character of the user.

Make your mind up or else keep an Open Mind.

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Re: Tin Foil Hat time - Was the account Hacked or not?

It's quite common for people to use the same password on multiple accounts using an email address as the login ID. Whilst a dictionary attack is unlikely to succeed on any of these (for the reasons you state), they are highly vulnerable to phishing attacks (at least to the unwary). Once the combination of an email address and a password is available, it can open many accounts. Of course a Twitter account is also vulnerable to a phishing attack. (At the very least people should use a unique password on their main email account as that's where notification of account changes on other systems will normally be sent - lose control of that, and anything might happen).

It would be extremely unwise for anybody to fraudulently claim their account had been hacked in the event of a case coming to court, as if this could be shown to be untrue, it would expose the individual to charges of perjury - which are generally treated very seriously indeed.

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