I thought it would be wise to wait until the story finished before writing about this, but now that it has been mentioned in Parliament and on Newsnight…
Super-injunctions are becoming a highly contentious issue. They have highlighted problems concerning their position under privacy law and their use by the rich has created much negative press of late. Small wonder they are such a taboo subject.
There were allegedly over 75,000 mentions on Twitter and then the story broke in the Sunday Herald, which is hugely significant. Twitter now has an “unfair” advantage over the printed press in England – not in the difference between online and offline, rather their constraints under law. But what is most interesting is that Twitter, Inc is subject to US law, not English law, so whether this means only the company and not the users are safe from prosecution is an ongoing debate amongst lawyers now. This article, published in the Independent earlier this month, gives a good insight into this situation.
This raises some serious questions regarding the direction our media industry is now heading in. News is never normally subject to legal restrictions – although there are some exceptions – but this is a development that will require careful monitoring. Whether super-injunctions survive in their current form may depend upon the recommendations of the new parliamentary committee and any legislation that may follow. On a lighter note, I think the comment cartoon in today’s Daily Telegraph sums it up best: