FutureFive NZ - Internet a-Twitter with super-injunction scandal

Warning: This story was published more than a year ago.

Internet a-Twitter with super-injunction scandal

Unlike in the US, where free speech is protected at a constitutional level, the UK has fairly rigid libel laws, leading some to call for libel reform, especially in light of some famous cases of 'libel tourism' which have resulted in news organisations being hit with major fines.

Britain's far more draconian laws have again come under fire with the recent news that an unnamed footballer is suing Twitter.

The palava started earlier this month when Brit daily The Sun started to publish stories intended to flout the idea of a 'super-injunction' - one that apparently not only stops the press from reporting on a matter, but stops it from reporting that the injunction even exists. One such story revolved around an unnamed married footballer - known only as CTB - and his alleged affair with former Miss Wales, Imogen Thomas.

After the story appeared in The Sun, a widely re-tweeted tweet identified the unfaithful footballer as Ryan Giggs - creating a storm of attention in the UK.

In an attempt to obtain the identity of users who disclosed the confidential information, CTB has sought a disclosure order against Twitter. Lawyers for CTB state that he is not suing Twitter but, according to the BBC, had applied "to obtain limited information concerning the unlawful use of Twitter by a small number of individuals who may have breached a court order."

So far Twitter has declined to comment publicly.

Even so, the internet can't stop talking about it. Business Week, TechCrunch, NY Times, The Telegraph and more have all weighed in on the issue.

The full judgement - plus plenty of juicy details for the scandal-minded - can be found on the judiciary.gov.uk site (PDF link).

What do you think - should Twitter be forced to give up the names?

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