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Communications Privacy The Courts Twitter United Kingdom

Twitter Sued By British Soccer Player 264

Posted by timothy
from the ooh-right-footballer dept.
norriefc writes "Here in the UK super injunctions are all the rage. These are injunctions that bar the press from even mentioning that the injunctions exist. Recently a Twitter account exposed several of these super injunctions and named several people involved and what their alleged indiscretions were. Now one 'famous' soccer player is trying to sue Twitter and the yet to be named tweeters for invasion of privacy, apparently in ignorance of the Streisand effect. I'm doubtful of an American company paying much attention to UK anti-free-speech laws"
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Twitter Sued By British Soccer Player

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  • Quandary (Score:3, Insightful)

    by WizardMarnok (2032762) on Saturday May 21, 2011 @04:26AM (#36200554)
    How an I supposed to know what I am not allowed to say, when the very injunction which forbids me to say it prevents me from knowing what I'm not allowed to say?
  • Re:Quandary (Score:3, Insightful)

    by grahammm (9083) * <graham@gmurray.org.uk> on Saturday May 21, 2011 @06:40AM (#36201014)

    Thus if you know of the superinjunction, you are forbidden from saying what the superinjunction says you can't say.

    If you don't know of the superinjunction, you can say what you like.

    In this case one of the things the court is ordering is that the identity of the person posting the tweet be revealed. So how does the court know that the tweeter was either aware of the existence of the superinjunction or, if they were aware of the existence of a superinjunction, that the person about whom they were tweeting was the subject of the injunction?

  • by Anne Thwacks (531696) on Saturday May 21, 2011 @06:52AM (#36201048)
    Even he doesn't have the money to fund such a long, drawn out campaign.

    But the lawyers will have eaten all his money before he finds that out.

  • by GauteL (29207) on Saturday May 21, 2011 @07:49AM (#36201206)

    Just like with Digital Rights Management / Defective by Design, you see a lot of silly bullish attitude from geeks on this site: "Ever heard of the Streisand Effect? All DRM will eventually be beaten!"

    This is a serious attack on people's rights. What people are forgetting is that while this Welsh footballers privacy is being protected, the big brother's star Imogen Thomas' right to publish accounts about her own private life is impeded. In this particular case, this may seem irrelevant, after all, she's just a gold digger looking to make some money selling her story, right? But what if some famous actor / sports star slept with your wife and when you wanted to expose the wanker, he slaps down a super-injunction on you. How humiliated would you feel? And what if this was actually about something that had serious public interest?

    Just like with DRM, bullishly stating that "we'll always beat them" is besides the point. Just because YOU [tm] may have the means and no qualms about breaking this stupidity imposed on you by law, that doesn't mean everyone are willing to break the law and open themselves up to the legal consequences.

    AND: the fact that Twitter is American is more or less meaningless. Since they operate in Britain, they have to abide by British law and may well have to give up the names of the people involved. And you know what? Chances are they live in Britain.

    This is serious stuff, people's rights are under threat, and arrogance doesn't help anyone.

  • by Bogtha (906264) on Saturday May 21, 2011 @09:12AM (#36201550)

    The UK doesn't have any anti free speech laws. It has laws against Libel and Slander

    The UK does have anti-free speech laws, and libel/slander are examples of them - restriction of speech. Every country has laws like these, because every country has decided that completely unrestricted speech is unwise.

    However some countries cling to the concept of free speech as a propaganda tool. Their people are so indoctrinated to believe that their country has free speech and that makes their country special that they convince themselves that any law contradicting this belief must therefore not be actually restricting speech. So you get convoluted explanations as to why laws that quite clearly restrict people from saying things aren't actually curtailing free speech.

    If I am restricted from knowingly saying untrue, disparaging things about another person, then that is a restriction of my speech. There's no getting away from that. You can either think the law is bad because it curtails free speech, or you can accept the idea that restrictions on free speech is sometimes acceptable. The more common third option, "excusing" the law (most likely by redefining "speech" to exclude the unwanted speech), is not intellectually honest.

    To put it another way - if it's an anti-free speech law that you have grown up with, then you are likely to be unable to recognise it as an anti-free speech law. It's just the way things are for you. If it's a new law that is being introduced, then you are more likely to recognise it as such.

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