Sunday, May 29, 2011
Ryan Giggs loses a match but gets his Tweeters
Following the revelations that Twitter has handed over UK users accounts (not that they are of much use) the implications on all Twitter users are considerable.
A bunch of civil servants (paid for by the UK tax payer) used tax payers money (hundreds of thousands of pounds) to seek Twitter accounts which defamed them as individuals ...
... Mark Stephens, a leading media lawyer who has represented WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange after the US government sought to obtain his Twitter account details, said: “I think it is inappropriate for a local authority to spend money on this kind of exercise. Local authorities cannot sue for libel and, if individual councillors have been defamed, they should take proceedings at their own cost.” (as reported in the telegraph)
More important though is this precedent means anyone with the financial clout can ask the Superior Court in California to hand over details about Twitter accounts. Ryan Giggs, who lost a match yesterday, may get his wish after all and 70,000 Tweeters will soon be added to the prison population of the UK.
Free speech is no longer a right in the UK. And Twitter is no longer a place to gossip but a place to fear. Next it will be Facebook. Then comments on newspaper pages. And blogs. And anyone who has opinions ...