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CTB v News Group Newspapers

CTB v News Group Newspapers

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CTB v News Group Newspapers is an English legal case
English law
English law is the legal system of England and Wales, and is the basis of common law legal systems used in most Commonwealth countries and the United States except Louisiana...

 between Manchester United player Ryan Giggs
Ryan Giggs
Ryan Joseph Giggs OBE is a Welsh professional footballer who plays for Manchester United. Giggs made his first appearance for the club during the 1990–91 season and has been a regular player since the 1991–92 season...

, given the pseudonym
Pseudonym
A pseudonym is a name that a person assumes for a particular purpose and that differs from his or her original orthonym...

 CTB, and defendants News Group Newspapers Limited
News International
News International Ltd is the United Kingdom newspaper publishing division of News Corporation. Until June 2002, it was called News International plc....

 and model Imogen Thomas
Imogen Thomas
Imogen Mary Thomas is a Welsh glamour model, beauty queen and television personality. She rose to fame in 2003, after winning Miss Wales, and achieved further note in 2006, when she lasted three months on the seventh series of reality TV series Big Brother.-Early life:Imogen was born to Charles...

.

On 14 April 2011, Mr Justice Eady
David Eady
Sir David Eady , styled The Hon. Mr Justice Eady, in legal writing Eady J, is a High Court judge in England and Wales. As a judge he is known for having presided over many high-profile libel and privacy cases....

 granted first a temporary injunction
Injunction
An injunction is an equitable remedy in the form of a court order that requires a party to do or refrain from doing certain acts. A party that fails to comply with an injunction faces criminal or civil penalties and may have to pay damages or accept sanctions...

 at the High Court
High Court of Justice
The High Court of Justice is, together with the Court of Appeal and the Crown Court, one of the Senior Courts of England and Wales...

 in London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

, preventing the naming of the footballer in the media, then extending it on 21 April 2011. The injunction was initially intended to prevent details of the case – an alleged extra-marital relationship between Giggs and Thomas – from being published in The Sun. The ruling of the court was based on Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which guarantees the "Right to respect for private and family life."

Following the publication of details of the gagging order
Gag order
A gag order is an order, sometimes a legal order by a court or government, other times a private order by an employer or other institution, restricting information or comment from being made public.Gag orders are often used against participants involved in a lawsuit or criminal trial...

 on Twitter
Twitter
Twitter is an online social networking and microblogging service that enables its users to send and read text-based posts of up to 140 characters, informally known as "tweets".Twitter was created in March 2006 by Jack Dorsey and launched that July...

, naming Giggs as the footballer involved, there was widespread discussion in the UK and international media on the issue of how court injunctions can be enforced in the age of social media
Social media
The term Social Media refers to the use of web-based and mobile technologies to turn communication into an interactive dialogue. Andreas Kaplan and Michael Haenlein define social media as "a group of Internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0,...

 websites.

On 23 May 2011, Eady rejected News Group Newspapers' application to lift the injunction, despite pressure from the public and government. Later the same day, Liberal Democrat
Liberal Democrats
The Liberal Democrats are a social liberal political party in the United Kingdom which supports constitutional and electoral reform, progressive taxation, wealth taxation, human rights laws, cultural liberalism, banking reform and civil liberties .The party was formed in 1988 by a merger of the...

 MP John Hemming
John Hemming (politician)
John Alexander Melvin Hemming is a British politician, the Member of Parliament for Birmingham Yardley and Group Chair of the Liberal Democrats on the city council of Birmingham, England....

 used parliamentary privilege
Parliamentary privilege
Parliamentary privilege is a legal immunity enjoyed by members of certain legislatures, in which legislators are granted protection against civil or criminal liability for actions done or statements made related to one's duties as a legislator. It is common in countries whose constitutions are...

 to name Ryan Giggs as CTB.

Background


On 14 April 2011, The Sun published a story entitled "Footie star’s affair with Big Brother
Big Brother (UK)
Big Brother UK is the British version of the Dutch Big Brother television format, which takes its name from the character in George Orwell's 1948 novel Nineteen Eighty-Four...

’s Imogen Thomas". It claimed that "a Premier League star" had met Thomas at luxury hotels during a "six-month fling", but did not name the footballer involved.

According to The Sunday Times
The Sunday Times
The Sunday Times is a British Sunday newspaper.The Sunday Times may also refer to:*The Sunday Times *The Sunday Times *The Sunday Times *The Sunday Times...

, the first mention on Twitter
Twitter
Twitter is an online social networking and microblogging service that enables its users to send and read text-based posts of up to 140 characters, informally known as "tweets".Twitter was created in March 2006 by Jack Dorsey and launched that July...

 of the alleged relationship between Giggs and Thomas may have been posted at 10:02 PM BST
British Summer Time
Western European Summer Time is a summer daylight saving time scheme, 1 hour ahead of Coordinated Universal Time. It is used in the following places:* the Canary Islands* Portugal * Ireland...

 by James Webley on 14 April 2011, the day of the initial granting of the injunction. Webley is a UK citizen from Guildford
Guildford
Guildford is the county town of Surrey. England, as well as the seat for the borough of Guildford and the administrative headquarters of the South East England region...

 with the Twitter username "@unknownj". Webley denied being the source of the leak, and pointed to a web page written by a man named Michael Wheeler that he had read on the same day, which he said strongly hinted that Giggs was the person involved.

On 8 May 2011, an account on social networking site Twitter
Twitter
Twitter is an online social networking and microblogging service that enables its users to send and read text-based posts of up to 140 characters, informally known as "tweets".Twitter was created in March 2006 by Jack Dorsey and launched that July...

 was created under the name "Billy Jones", and posted the alleged details of several of the anonymised privacy injunctions
2011 British super-injunction controversy
The British privacy injunctions controversy began in early 2011, when London-based tabloid newspapers published stories about anonymous celebrities that were intended to flout what are commonly known in English law as super-injunctions, where the claimant could not be named, and carefully omitting...

 that had been mentioned in the media. This included the claim that the married footballer known as CTB had been involved in a seven month extra-marital relationship with model Imogen Thomas
Imogen Thomas
Imogen Mary Thomas is a Welsh glamour model, beauty queen and television personality. She rose to fame in 2003, after winning Miss Wales, and achieved further note in 2006, when she lasted three months on the seventh series of reality TV series Big Brother.-Early life:Imogen was born to Charles...

. While Thomas could be named in the UK media, the identity of CTB could not. On the same date, messages saying that the identity of claimant CTB was Manchester United player Ryan Giggs
Ryan Giggs
Ryan Joseph Giggs OBE is a Welsh professional footballer who plays for Manchester United. Giggs made his first appearance for the club during the 1990–91 season and has been a regular player since the 1991–92 season...

 were posted on Twitter and subsequently reported in a number of non-UK media sources. The allegations were repeatedly reposted online by other users, in a similar response to that of the Twitter Joke Trial
Trial of Paul Chambers
The Twitter Joke Trial is the name given to a legal case centred on an incident concerning Robin Hood Airport in England.During late December 2009 and early January 2010, cold weather had resulted in considerable disruption across northern England. Robin Hood airport was one of many airports which...

 the year before.

In delivering his ruling on the case on 16 May 2011, Eady argued: "It will rarely be the case that the privacy rights of an individual or of his family will have to yield in priority to what has been described in the House of Lords
House of Lords
The House of Lords is the upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Like the House of Commons, it meets in the Palace of Westminster....

 as 'tittle-tattle about the activities of footballers' wives and girlfriends.'" He also argued that a balance had to be struck between Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which guarantees the right to privacy
Privacy
Privacy is the ability of an individual or group to seclude themselves or information about themselves and thereby reveal themselves selectively...

, and Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which guarantees the right to freedom of expression
Freedom of speech
Freedom of speech is the freedom to speak freely without censorship. The term freedom of expression is sometimes used synonymously, but includes any act of seeking, receiving and imparting information or ideas, regardless of the medium used...

. Eady denied in the ruling that he was "introducing a law of privacy by the back door", which had been a common criticism of his decisions in the UK media, and stated that the principles involved in the ruling were "readily apparent from the terms of the Human Rights Act
Human Rights Act 1998
The Human Rights Act 1998 is an Act of Parliament of the United Kingdom which received Royal Assent on 9 November 1998, and mostly came into force on 2 October 2000. Its aim is to "give further effect" in UK law to the rights contained in the European Convention on Human Rights...

, and indeed from the European Convention
European Convention on Human Rights
The Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms is an international treaty to protect human rights and fundamental freedoms in Europe. Drafted in 1950 by the then newly formed Council of Europe, the convention entered into force on 3 September 1953...

 itself." The Human Rights Act 1998 had been passed by the UK government, and incorporated the terms of the Convention into UK law.

The ruling also suggested that Imogen Thomas had attempted to blackmail
Blackmail
In common usage, blackmail is a crime involving threats to reveal substantially true or false information about a person to the public, a family member, or associates unless a demand is met. It may be defined as coercion involving threats of physical harm, threat of criminal prosecution, or threats...

 the footballer for £
Pound sterling
The pound sterling , commonly called the pound, is the official currency of the United Kingdom, its Crown Dependencies and the British Overseas Territories of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, British Antarctic Territory and Tristan da Cunha. It is subdivided into 100 pence...

50,000 and £100,000, a claim she strongly denied. Following a failed attempt by The Sun to lift the injunction on 16 May 2011, Thomas commented: "Yet again my name and reputation have been trashed while the man I had a relationship with is able to hide. What's more I can't even defend myself because I have been gagged. If this is the way privacy injunctions are supposed to work there is something seriously wrong with the law." Eady said that he could not "come to any final conclusion" on whether there had been an attempt at blackmail.

It was stated in the ruling that Imogen Thomas had "at some stage engaged the services of Mr Max Clifford
Max Clifford
Maxwell Frank Clifford is an English publicist, considered the highest-profile and best-known publicist in the United Kingdom...

", the well-known UK publicist
Publicist
A publicist is a person whose job is to generate and manage publicity for a public figure, especially a celebrity, a business, or for a work such as a book, film or album...

, and that the purpose of meetings Thomas had arranged with the footballer had been "that The Sun was ready to take advantage of these prearranged meetings in order to be able to put forward the claim that it was The Sun which had found him 'romping with a busty Big Brother
Big Brother (UK)
Big Brother UK is the British version of the Dutch Big Brother television format, which takes its name from the character in George Orwell's 1948 novel Nineteen Eighty-Four...

babe'".


Legal action after posts on Twitter



Using London-based law firm Schillings
Schillings
Schillings Media Boutique , is a British full-service law firm based in London. It employs over fifteen lawyers and is particularly known for obtaining anonymised gagging orders to protect clients' privacy....

 as an advisor, action has been undertaken by the footballer against Twitter in an attempt to obtain information on some of the users involved in naming Giggs. The action is known as CTB v Twitter Inc, Persons Unknown. A blog
Blog
A blog is a type of website or part of a website supposed to be updated with new content from time to time. Blogs are usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in...

ger for Forbes
Forbes
Forbes is an American publishing and media company. Its flagship publication, the Forbes magazine, is published biweekly. Its primary competitors in the national business magazine category are Fortune, which is also published biweekly, and Business Week...

magazine remarked: "Giggs has not heard of the Streisand effect
Streisand effect
The Streisand effect is a primarily online phenomenon in which an attempt to hide or remove a piece of information has the unintended consequence of publicizing the information more widely...

", observing that mentions of his name had significantly increased after the case against Twitter had been reported in the news. According to measurement company Experian Hitwise
Hitwise
Experian Hitwise is a global online competitive intelligence service which collects data directly from ISP networks to aid website managers in analysing trends in visitor behavior and to measure website market share. The Hitwise product is a commercial platform whereby customers pay Hitwise a...

, traffic on Twitter in the UK rose by 22% after the action was reported. Peter Preston
Peter Preston
Peter John Preston is a British journalist and author. He was educated at Loughborough Grammar School and St John's College, Oxford, where he edited the student paper Cherwell...

, former editor of The Guardian
The Guardian
The Guardian, formerly known as The Manchester Guardian , is a British national daily newspaper in the Berliner format...

, compared the CTB situation to the Spycatcher
Spycatcher
Spycatcher: The Candid Autobiography of a Senior Intelligence Officer , is a book written by Peter Wright, former MI5 officer and Assistant Director, and co-author Paul Greengrass. It was published first in Australia...

affair of the 1980s, in which Peter Wright's
Peter Wright
Peter Maurice Wright was an English scientist and former MI5 counterintelligence officer, noted for writing the controversial book Spycatcher, which became an international bestseller with sales of over two million copies...

 book had been openly on sale in Australia and other countries, despite being banned in the UK.

The headquarters of Twitter are in San Francisco, and legal experts pointed out the difficulties in suing in a United States court, where First Amendment
First Amendment to the United States Constitution
The First Amendment to the United States Constitution is part of the Bill of Rights. The amendment prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering...

 protection applies to freedom of speech
Freedom of speech
Freedom of speech is the freedom to speak freely without censorship. The term freedom of expression is sometimes used synonymously, but includes any act of seeking, receiving and imparting information or ideas, regardless of the medium used...

. London-based lawyer James Quartermaine commented: “Twitter will probably just ignore it and consider it to be offensive to their First Amendment rights. It’s probably an attempt to try and show that actions have consequences in cyberspace
Cyberspace
Cyberspace is the electronic medium of computer networks, in which online communication takes place.The term "cyberspace" was first used by the cyberpunk science fiction author William Gibson, though the concept was described somewhat earlier, for example in the Vernor Vinge short story "True...

.” On 21 May 2011, lawyers at Schillings denied that they were suing Twitter, and said that they had made an application "to obtain limited information concerning the unlawful use of Twitter by a small number of individuals who may have breached a court order
Court order
A court order is an official proclamation by a judge that defines the legal relationships between the parties to a hearing, a trial, an appeal or other court proceedings. Such ruling requires or authorizes the carrying out of certain steps by one or more parties to a case...

."

Sunday Herald article


On 22 May 2011, the Sunday Herald
Sunday Herald
The Sunday Herald is a Scottish Sunday newspaper launched on 7 February 1999. The ABC audited circulation in April 2011 showed sales of 31,123.From the start it has combined a centre-left stance with support for Scottish devolution...

, a Scottish
Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

 newspaper, published a thinly-disguised photograph of Ryan Giggs
Ryan Giggs
Ryan Joseph Giggs OBE is a Welsh professional footballer who plays for Manchester United. Giggs made his first appearance for the club during the 1990–91 season and has been a regular player since the 1991–92 season...

 on its front page, with the word "CENSORED" covering his eyes. The paper added in its editorial column, "Today we identify the footballer whose name has been linked to a court superinjunction by thousands of postings on Twitter
Twitter
Twitter is an online social networking and microblogging service that enables its users to send and read text-based posts of up to 140 characters, informally known as "tweets".Twitter was created in March 2006 by Jack Dorsey and launched that July...

. Why? Because we believe it is unsustainable that the law can be used to prevent newspapers from publishing information that readers can access on the internet at the click of a mouse." The Sunday Herald also stated: "We should point out immediately that we are not accusing the footballer concerned of any misdeed. Whether the allegations against him are true or not has no relevance to this debate. The issue is one of freedom of information
Freedom of information
Freedom of information refers to the protection of the right to freedom of expression with regards to the Internet and information technology . Freedom of information may also concern censorship in an information technology context, i.e...

 and of a growing argument in favour of more restrictive privacy
Privacy
Privacy is the ability of an individual or group to seclude themselves or information about themselves and thereby reveal themselves selectively...

 laws."

Giggs' lawyers had not applied for an interdict
Interdicts in Scots law
Interdicts in Scots law refer to judicial prohibitions issued by a Court of Session or a Sherriff Court. They are the equivilent of injunctions in English law....

 (injunction
Injunction
An injunction is an equitable remedy in the form of a court order that requires a party to do or refrain from doing certain acts. A party that fails to comply with an injunction faces criminal or civil penalties and may have to pay damages or accept sanctions...

) at the Court of Session
Court of Session
The Court of Session is the supreme civil court of Scotland, and constitutes part of the College of Justice. It sits in Parliament House in Edinburgh and is both a court of first instance and a court of appeal....

 in Edinburgh
Edinburgh
Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland, the second largest city in Scotland, and the eighth most populous in the United Kingdom. The City of Edinburgh Council governs one of Scotland's 32 local government council areas. The council area includes urban Edinburgh and a rural area...

. This meant that the London High Court
High Court of Justice
The High Court of Justice is, together with the Court of Appeal and the Crown Court, one of the Senior Courts of England and Wales...

 ruling had no force in Scotland, unless copies of the Sunday Herald were sold in England or Wales. Sunday Herald editor Richard Walker indicated to the BBC that the Herald was not sold in England or Wales, and added that the footballer's name and photo were exclusive to the print edition and had not been posted on the newspaper's website. Dominic Grieve
Dominic Grieve
Dominic Charles Roberts Grieve, QC MP is a British Conservative politician, barrister and Queen's Counsel.He is the Member of Parliament for Beaconsfield and the Attorney General for England and Wales and the Advocate General for Northern Ireland.-Early life:Grieve was born in Lambeth, the son of...

, the Attorney General for England and Wales
Attorney General for England and Wales
Her Majesty's Attorney General for England and Wales, usually known simply as the Attorney General, is one of the Law Officers of the Crown. Along with the subordinate Solicitor General for England and Wales, the Attorney General serves as the chief legal adviser of the Crown and its government in...

, said that no legal action was planned against the Sunday Herald.

Naming in Parliament and failed attempts to lift injunction


On 23 May 2011, Eady refused a fresh application from The Sun to lift the injunction and allow CTB to be named. He argued that "the court's duty remains to try and protect the claimant, and particularly his family, from intrusion and harassment so long as it can." The Sun had argued that the injunction was "futile" given the level of knowledge of the footballer's name.

The same afternoon, Liberal Democrat
Liberal Democrats
The Liberal Democrats are a social liberal political party in the United Kingdom which supports constitutional and electoral reform, progressive taxation, wealth taxation, human rights laws, cultural liberalism, banking reform and civil liberties .The party was formed in 1988 by a merger of the...

 Member of Parliament John Hemming
John Hemming (politician)
John Alexander Melvin Hemming is a British politician, the Member of Parliament for Birmingham Yardley and Group Chair of the Liberal Democrats on the city council of Birmingham, England....

 spoke in the House of Commons and used parliamentary privilege
Parliamentary privilege
Parliamentary privilege is a legal immunity enjoyed by members of certain legislatures, in which legislators are granted protection against civil or criminal liability for actions done or statements made related to one's duties as a legislator. It is common in countries whose constitutions are...

 to name Ryan Giggs as the footballer CTB. A second attempt by The Sun to overturn the injunction later in the day was rejected by Mr Justice Tugendhat
Michael Tugendhat
Sir Michael George Tugendhat , styled The Hon. Mr Justice Tugendhat, in legal writing Tugendhat J, is a High Court judge in England and Wales. He is the UK's senior media judge, taking over that role from Justice Eady on 1 October 2010...

, who argued "this is not about secrecy, this is about intrusion."

Reactions


In response to criticism of previous super-injunctions in the UK media, a report by a committee of judges headed by Master of the Rolls
Master of the Rolls
The Keeper or Master of the Rolls and Records of the Chancery of England, known as the Master of the Rolls, is the second most senior judge in England and Wales, after the Lord Chief Justice. The Master of the Rolls is the presiding officer of the Civil Division of the Court of Appeal...

 Lord Neuberger was published on 20 May 2011. It recommended that super-injunctions "can only be granted when they are strictly necessary". Kenneth Clarke
Kenneth Clarke
Kenneth Harry "Ken" Clarke, QC, MP is a British Conservative politician, currently Member of Parliament for Rushcliffe, Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice. He was first elected to Parliament in 1970; and appointed a minister in Edward Heath's government, in 1972, and is one of...

, the Lord Chancellor
Lord Chancellor
The Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain, or Lord Chancellor, is a senior and important functionary in the government of the United Kingdom. He is the second highest ranking of the Great Officers of State, ranking only after the Lord High Steward. The Lord Chancellor is appointed by the Sovereign...

 and Secretary of State for Justice, also indicated that the law on privacy in the UK will be reviewed in the light of controversies over privacy injunctions. Lord Judge, the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales
Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales
The Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales is the head of the judiciary and President of the Courts of England and Wales. Historically, he was the second-highest judge of the Courts of England and Wales, after the Lord Chancellor, but that changed as a result of the Constitutional Reform Act 2005,...

, commented that modern technology was "out of control", and called for measures to prevent court injunctions from being breached on the web.

David Cameron
David Cameron
David William Donald Cameron is the current Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service and Leader of the Conservative Party. Cameron represents Witney as its Member of Parliament ....

, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the Head of Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom. The Prime Minister and Cabinet are collectively accountable for their policies and actions to the Sovereign, to Parliament, to their political party and...

, said on ITV1's
ITV1
ITV1 is a generic brand that is used by twelve franchises of the British ITV Network in the English regions, Wales, southern Scotland , the Isle of Man and the Bailiwicks of Jersey and Guernsey. The ITV1 brand was introduced by Carlton and Granada in 2001, alongside the regional identities of their...

 Daybreak
Daybreak (ITV)
Daybreak is the weekday breakfast television programme on the British commercial ITV network that broadcasts on weekday mornings from 06:00 to 08:30 and is currently presented by Adrian Chiles and Christine Bleakley from Monday to Thursday with Dan Lobb and Kate Garraway on Fridays...

on 23 May 2011: "It is rather unsustainable, this situation, where newspapers can't print something that clearly everybody else is talking about, but there's a difficulty here because the law is the law and the judges must interpret what the law is. What I've said in the past is, the danger is that judgments are effectively writing a new law which is what parliament is meant to do." He added that the law should be reviewed to "catch up with how people consume media today".

Alex Salmond
Alex Salmond
Alexander Elliot Anderson "Alex" Salmond MSP is a Scottish politician and current First Minister of Scotland. He became Scotland's fourth First Minister in May 2007. He is the Leader of the Scottish National Party , having served as Member of the Scottish Parliament for Gordon...

, the First Minister of Scotland
First Minister of Scotland
The First Minister of Scotland is the political leader of Scotland and head of the Scottish Government. The First Minister chairs the Scottish Cabinet and is primarily responsible for the formulation, development and presentation of Scottish Government policy...

, commented: "The law essentially is a practical thing. It looks to me like the English law, English injunctions, look increasingly impractical in the modern world."

Member of Parliament John Hemming
John Hemming (politician)
John Alexander Melvin Hemming is a British politician, the Member of Parliament for Birmingham Yardley and Group Chair of the Liberal Democrats on the city council of Birmingham, England....

, who named Ryan Giggs in the House of Commons, described the affair as "a joke", and commented: "The judges’ application of privacy law, which is ill conceived to start with, is now close to breaking point, under pressure from the biggest act of civil disobedience
Civil disobedience
Civil disobedience is the active, professed refusal to obey certain laws, demands, and commands of a government, or of an occupying international power. Civil disobedience is commonly, though not always, defined as being nonviolent resistance. It is one form of civil resistance...

 seen for many years."

Wikipedia
Wikipedia
Wikipedia is a free, web-based, collaborative, multilingual encyclopedia project supported by the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation. Its 20 million articles have been written collaboratively by volunteers around the world. Almost all of its articles can be edited by anyone with access to the site,...

 co-founder Jimmy Wales
Jimmy Wales
Jimmy Donal "Jimbo" Wales is an American Internet entrepreneur best known as a co-founder and promoter of the online non-profit encyclopedia Wikipedia and the Wikia company....

 commented in an interview with The Independent
The Independent
The Independent is a British national morning newspaper published in London by Independent Print Limited, owned by Alexander Lebedev since 2010. It is nicknamed the Indy, while the Sunday edition, The Independent on Sunday, is the Sindy. Launched in 1986, it is one of the youngest UK national daily...

: "This only became a story because the footballer is pursuing legal action against Twitter. In the UK, I think the system is going to have to change. People are going to realise that it is an infringement of the right to free speech
Freedom of speech
Freedom of speech is the freedom to speak freely without censorship. The term freedom of expression is sometimes used synonymously, but includes any act of seeking, receiving and imparting information or ideas, regardless of the medium used...

. People are going to get sick of the rich and powerful being able to suppress things they do not want to get out."

Lord Wakeham, the chairman of the Press Complaints Commission
Press Complaints Commission
The Press Complaints Commission is a voluntary regulatory body for British printed newspapers and magazines, consisting of representatives of the major publishers. The PCC is funded by the annual levy it charges newspapers and magazines...

 between 1995 and 2001, described the situation surrounding privacy injunctions as "a shambles", and proposed that Parliament should amend the law so that judges would be able to grant injunctions only where issues “impact on public authorities and the State”.

Sir Tim Berners-Lee
Tim Berners-Lee
Sir Timothy John "Tim" Berners-Lee, , also known as "TimBL", is a British computer scientist, MIT professor and the inventor of the World Wide Web...

, regarded as the inventor of the World Wide Web
World Wide Web
The World Wide Web is a system of interlinked hypertext documents accessed via the Internet...

, expressed concern about the use of Twitter
Twitter
Twitter is an online social networking and microblogging service that enables its users to send and read text-based posts of up to 140 characters, informally known as "tweets".Twitter was created in March 2006 by Jack Dorsey and launched that July...

 to break court injunctions, arguing that the site was “not a place for reasoned discussion”.

Tony Wang, the head of Twitter
Twitter
Twitter is an online social networking and microblogging service that enables its users to send and read text-based posts of up to 140 characters, informally known as "tweets".Twitter was created in March 2006 by Jack Dorsey and launched that July...

 in Europe, said that people who do "bad things" on the site would need to defend themselves under the laws of their own jurisdiction in the event of controversy, and that the site would hand over information about users to the authorities when it was legally required to do so.

In The Sunday Times
The Sunday Times
The Sunday Times is a British Sunday newspaper.The Sunday Times may also refer to:*The Sunday Times *The Sunday Times *The Sunday Times *The Sunday Times...

on 29 May 2011, Ryan Giggs' barrister
Barrister
A barrister is a member of one of the two classes of lawyer found in many common law jurisdictions with split legal professions. Barristers specialise in courtroom advocacy, drafting legal pleadings and giving expert legal opinions...

 Hugh Tomlinson QC
Queen's Counsel
Queen's Counsel , known as King's Counsel during the reign of a male sovereign, are lawyers appointed by letters patent to be one of Her [or His] Majesty's Counsel learned in the law...

 commented: "I advise my clients that an injunction will not be effective. There have been too many examples of people breaking injunctions, getting round them by releasing material on to the Internet." He also suggested creating a statutory tort
Tort
A tort, in common law jurisdictions, is a wrong that involves a breach of a civil duty owed to someone else. It is differentiated from a crime, which involves a breach of a duty owed to society in general...

 of privacy.

See also

  • 2011 British privacy injunctions controversy
    2011 British privacy injunctions controversy
    The British privacy injunctions controversy began in early 2011, when London-based tabloid newspapers published stories about anonymous celebrities that were intended to flout what are commonly known in English law as super-injunctions, where the claimant could not be named, and carefully omitting...

  • Ferdinand v Mirror Group Newspapers
    Ferdinand v Mirror Group Newspapers
    Ferdinand v Mirror Group Newspapers is a 2011 High Court case in which the English footballer Rio Ferdinand was unsuccessful in preventing the publication of a tabloid newspaper story revealing details of an alleged sexual relationship.-Background:...

  • Mosley v News Group Newspapers Limited
  • Privacy in English law
    Privacy in English law
    Privacy in English law is a rapidly developing area of English law that considers in what situations an individual has a legal right to informational privacy, that is to say the protection of personal information from misuse or unauthorised disclosure. Privacy law is distinct from those laws such...

  • Scots law
    Scots law
    Scots law is the legal system of Scotland. It is considered a hybrid or mixed legal system as it traces its roots to a number of different historical sources. With English law and Northern Irish law it forms the legal system of the United Kingdom; it shares with the two other systems some...


External links

  • Could Twitter become a threat to the justice system? Chris Summers, BBC News
    BBC News
    BBC News is the department of the British Broadcasting Corporation responsible for the gathering and broadcasting of news and current affairs. The department is the world's largest broadcast news organisation and generates about 120 hours of radio and television output each day, as well as online...

    . 25 May 2011.
  • Gossip frenzy! And the law is left looking an ass David Randall
    David Randall
    David Randall is a British journalist and author of The Universal Journalist, a textbook on journalism.Randall was born in Norwich and studied Economics at Clare College, Cambridge. He was recruited to write for the student newspaper Varsity by then editor Jeremy Paxman...

     and Andrew McCorkell, The Independent
    The Independent
    The Independent is a British national morning newspaper published in London by Independent Print Limited, owned by Alexander Lebedev since 2010. It is nicknamed the Indy, while the Sunday edition, The Independent on Sunday, is the Sindy. Launched in 1986, it is one of the youngest UK national daily...

    . 15 May 2011.
  • Sex, lies and super-injunctions Duncan Lamont, Channel 4 News
    Channel 4 News
    Channel 4 News is the news division of British television broadcaster Channel 4. It is produced by ITN, and has been in operation since the broadcaster's launch in 1982.-Channel 4 News:...

    . 28 April 2011.
  • Sky News – Giggs Named In Commons As Footballer Identified On Twitter In Context Of Injunctions YouTube
    YouTube
    YouTube is a video-sharing website, created by three former PayPal employees in February 2005, on which users can upload, view and share videos....

    . 23 May 2011.
  • South Tyneside Council 'gets Twitter data' in blog case, BBC News
    BBC News
    BBC News is the department of the British Broadcasting Corporation responsible for the gathering and broadcasting of news and current affairs. The department is the world's largest broadcast news organisation and generates about 120 hours of radio and television output each day, as well as online...

    . 30 May 2011.
  • Super-injunctions: Modern technology is beyond control, not out of control Shane Richmond, Daily Telegraph. 20 May 2011.
  • Twitter's super-injunction surge Rory Cellan-Jones
    Rory Cellan-Jones
    Nicholas Rory Cellan-Jones is a British journalist for BBC News, specializing in economics and technology. His brother is television director Simon Cellan-Jones.-Education:...

    , BBC News
    BBC News
    BBC News is the department of the British Broadcasting Corporation responsible for the gathering and broadcasting of news and current affairs. The department is the world's largest broadcast news organisation and generates about 120 hours of radio and television output each day, as well as online...

    . 23 May 2011.
  • Why super-injunctions don't happen in US Tom Geoghegan, BBC News
    BBC News
    BBC News is the department of the British Broadcasting Corporation responsible for the gathering and broadcasting of news and current affairs. The department is the world's largest broadcast news organisation and generates about 120 hours of radio and television output each day, as well as online...

    . 10 May 2011.