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Action required

Over tha last couple of days, the UK news media have been full of  a story about Twitter, the social networking site, being used to get round so-called super-injunctions issued by English courts to protect the privacy of the rich and famous, for example, Andrew Marr, the journalist and broadcaster, who has admitted using one to prevent his colleagues from reporting the fact (note; fact, not allegation) of an extra-marital affair. When these things are in place, British media outlets are forbidden from even reporting the fact that they exist, on pain of imprisonment. But Twitter isn’t a UK based organisation, and it’s been used to drive a coach and horses through that prohibition.
Good or bad, national law provides the infrastructure for real people to live their lives. Bottom line, it’s what protects us. Now it seems that the internet has abolished frontiers and that it allows people to disregard the law of their own country, simply by setting up an offshore social networking user account. Hey, come on!
But is the internet beyond our control, and shouldn’t our government be doing more to defend us? Twitter is based, as I understand it, in San Francisco, and it’s just facilitated a contempt of court that would have landed a British newspaper editor in jail. If the geography was reversed, and a Federal offence had been committed by a British based organisation, you can bet that arrest warrants would have been issued in Washington by now. For example, the US government is tackling internet gambling in exactly that way. Those businesses are legal and respectable in most other countries, but outlawed in most US states. Victor Chandler and Fred Done have become TV personalities in the UK. If they included America in their sphere of operations they’d be arrested if they set foot there, as other people have been.
I wouldn’t defend super-injunctions, not in the way that some seem to have been used. But I would defend the rule of law, and I believe that it’s time our Attorney General showed some willingness to do so by tackling the Twitter breach head-on.I’m not suggesting a Special Forces raid on the Twitter HQ, but surely there is a duty to defend our legal system. I don’t care if **** ***** has been shagging a ‘former Big Brother housemate’, indeed I can’t think of anything that interests me less, but I do care when my national institutions come under cyber-attack, and that’s what’s happened here.
Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Jean
    May 14, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    My Dad enjoyed golf and was never happier than when he watched Seve play. He passed away 2 yeas ago and I fondly hope he gets a game with Seve in the afterlife!

    Thank you for your eloquence in this tribute to Severaino Ballasteros…. nothing I have read or heard elsewhere has summed up so accurately what a true sporting person is and should always be.

  2. Bruce Mackay
    October 12, 2011 at 9:41 pm

    back to some old Oz Blackstone,; just read again the last “For The Death Of Me” but Oz was hale and hearty at the end … skip 3 years to first Primavera and Oz is dead … is there an explanation of this snywhere in the blog archive that I should be looking for as to what-where-when-why-how or did QJ just decide to kill off Oz withot any explanation?

    • October 12, 2011 at 11:54 pm

      That’s better. Truth is, Oz had evolved into a raging sociopath , and I decided he needed a post-death experience to put him right. Since then I’ve been focusing on his soulmate Primavera … ‘don’t call me ‘Prim’ any more, okay! … and her one-parent family unit. That’s where we’re at now, but nothing’s set in stone.

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