Monday, June 27, 2011

Twitter enjoys grey surfer boom

So we can only assume most of our readers are over 50. The Telegraph reports a boom in Twitter use by Sagaites during #Giggsgate. Twitter stockholders must be over the moon.

This does show a generational issue - young people don't understand what all the fuss is about "privacy" whereas the older generation enjoy peeking through net curtains and enjoying the whispers of tittle tattle. The key reason Twitter useage went up is the newspapers are read by older people and when they are denied access to information about Fred Goodwin destroying their pensions, or their BBC vote for Ryan Giggs' Sports Personality of the year being being a waste of a phone call, they want to know what is going on.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Footballers stay silent

The Irish are ready to out a football player. Not Rio Ferdinand and his hockey chum but another player who plays away and wastes the courts time.

"The man’s partner is said to be ignorant of a brief fling with another woman during their relationship..."

We also hear an injunction failed to be granted in the High Court today. We guess the News of the World must have some interesting story coming out on Sunday.

Jonathan Ross is innocent. It was an EastEnder that done it.

We all watched with fascination as a 19 year old computer enthusiast revealed the staggering incompetence of some large multinationals. Storing unencrypted passwords into a database is indefensible. Building sloppy websites and allowing some sql injections plus installing firewalls with the default settings still active, these companies were asking for it. They should hire him as a security expert.

The unreal world can have real consequences. Take Tweeters. Some like LEGAL_Aids are make allegations, with some sources and back ups, and then retract and restate.

Injunctions do this. They allow the innocent to be hurt and the guilty to hide.

Looks like Wossy is innocent and it was an East Ender. Until next week when someone else will be outed.

Judge admits guessing Goodwins mistress would be too easy

Her name is out there. Which is a shame because she doesn't want it to be out there. She paid some expensive lawyers to keep the courts from revealing her job title because it would be too easy to guess who she is.

Wake up people. Google has over 1 billion users. Type in Fred Goodwin into Google search, which is free, and her name comes up. The News of the World has less than 2.7 million readers who have to pay to read it and whose hacks are unable to report anything because although they know Goodwin was had a stringful of affairs they cannot report them. So what? Yes, so what except he made Nick Leeson look like an amateur.


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Jonathan Ross

Sue Mae, the notorious Tweeter who has speculated on a large number of salacious celebrity (mostly) legal gaggings has deleted the old tweets and replaced them with new ones. So what is this about ex BBC (taxpayer funded) Jonathan Ross?

Unlike the 140 character tweets, Sue Mae has provided wikileak style backups.

There is an agenda, it seems, for this mysterious person is keen we all sign up to ...

Friday, June 17, 2011

Human Rights Act 1998 blamed for society's ills

Celebrity super injunctions are a result of a poorly drafted and abused Human Rights Act 1998. Despite the UK coalition government saying they want a bill of rights and to halt Judge driven back door laws, the likes of Ken Clarke, QC, are unlikely to upset his mates in the judiciary.

The Daily Mail attacks the Act for allowing some nasty people to enter the UK and stay here ...

Whilst the Daily Telegraph reports on Lady Hale's concerns over the Act impinging all aspects of our lives ...

The Daily Star reports on more Ryan Giggs antics on Coronation Street ...

...which is then denied ...

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Twitters beware: 8 months stretch beckons

The first case of its kind and a juror is given 8 months for facebooking a defendant. A clear case of contempt of court.

The Attorney General wanted to show off his size 9's and has done so. The case cost millions of pounds (much of this yours and mine incidentally) and was brought to a halt because of this act of stupidity.

This is a new precedent. Whether the DG will try something similar with injunction busting Tweeters we shall have to wait and see.

Ryan Giggs does the right thing

Not so squeaky clean Ryan Giggs who tried to gag the press and protect his sponsorship deals has done the right thing.

The press have certain codes and ethics but hacking into email accounts and eavesdropping into phone calls is not on the list of appropriate behaviour for investigative journalism. So we applaud Giggs for getting his lawyers to use the law as it should be used in suing a newspaper for alledged hacking.

What intrigues though is why now? Is he implying some newspapers are still hacking into accounts? Rupert Murdoch will be livid. Again.

Ken Clarke: Gagging MPs is the way forward

Ken Clarke. QC.

The man who wants to release lots of prisoners onto the streets to save money and yet has the audacity to stop MPs from speaking out in parliament against Judge driven laws and super injunctions taken out by the rich and famous to protect their image rights.

In a democracy, politicians should have the right to discuss anything. If they are gagged by others, this is not only a form of censorship but the beginnings of a benign dictatorship.

Welcome to communist Britain.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Zac Goldsmith: What is he on about?

Zac Goldsmith, MP, has told the BBC why he took out a super injunction (and this year downgraded into an injunction). His emails were hacked and he paid lawyers to stop them being published. He could afford it. The rest of us could not.

The recent News International hacking scandal demonstrates the current weakness in the law. Surely all emails should be protected. The law is vague and hence an injunction had to be taken out. Why doesn't he help push through some decent privacy laws that include the hacking into emails being a criminal offence?

Because he can afford to take out an injunction and protect himself; he doesn't care about the little people. He is an MP after all.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Judge admits extremists could use injunctions

As reported in today's Sunday Times regarding an April interview with Justice Eady (the man responsible for protecting Ryan Giggs squeaky clean image) in next weeks Index on Censorship, he defends those who can afford to pay should be able to take out injunctions.

Obviously he would say that because the rich pay his wages.

He says there is a possibility he and his mates could protect those "with extreme political or religious views."

Goodwins mistress leaves job

The Sunday papers have decided Ryan Giggs needs a good kicking. Abortions, lovers galore, sex with his boots on, he must regret ever seeking legal advice.

The other knock on effect from an injunction detested by all is Fred Goodwin's.

An appeal is being made to out her "job title".

Well it appears she who cannot be named but is known by everyone who reads the Daily Mail and uses Google, has left RBS.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Giggs to get seven years

Interesting how the media has turned against Ryan Giggs. Celebrity injunctions are not worth the hassle when you have a gagged and wounded press.

It looks like Giggs will get seven years in prison. There is precedent: Jonathan Aitken, Jeffrey Archer, Tommy Sheridan ... all jailed for lying under oath.

Poor man is a sex addict, apparently, who needs help ...

Friday, June 10, 2011

Goodwin Judge peels open the tin of beans

As mentioned yesterday, the Goodwin injunction has gone from farce to super farce. The newspapers have gone to the Judges on multiple occasions and it is turning into a game of guess who?

Firstly we learned XXX was Fred Goodwin. We were later allowed to know he was a banker. We learned he had an affair. And the affair was with a fellow worker, VBN. Yesterday the Judges are looking at allowing her job title to be released.

What next? Clues as to where they had sex? Was it in the Boardroom? In his limo? In his office?

A complete waste of the Courts time.

It is in the public interest to know why a huge bank was bailed out by you and I at great expense and this ludicrous slow spilling of beans is making a mockery of us all.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Judges stay firm on Goodwins mistress

We have been here before. The Goodwin injunction which gags the media from mentioning who he may or may not have had an affair with during the time of the worst nationalisation since the Second World War, effectively still stays.

The rest of the world knows who she is ...just type Fred Goodwin into Google and they kindly suggest who she is ...but some stubborn Judges will not be bullied into lifting anything.

Here is the judgment in full:

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Ryan Giggs the sex pest

As they say, there is no smoke without fire.

Ryan Giggs can do what ever he wants. He is a free man. However, he must be truly regretting paying his lawyers huge sums to gag one of his many mistresses.

A relative tells the Daily Mail 'He can't keep his trousers up' ...

If only he had gone to Max Clifford we might not even be discussing this.

Is Ian Hislop going?

As reported in the Guardian ("MPs and peers expected to call newspaper editors, judges and technology companies to public hearings") those currently sucked into this injunction debacle are having the opportunity to help create proper privacy laws.

Unfortunately, the little people who have much more to contribute have not been invited. Tweeters and most of the commentators of this blog are way smarter than most of those attending and it is a shame they will not be able to contribute.

Our ideal person to be there would be Ian Hislop. He won't be invited and that is a shame too.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Newspapers: Please help Bailii

The newspapers have been doing a roaring trade on the back of the injunction debacle.

One of the reasons the Tweeters and bloggers have been having so much to do is having access to some of the original injunctions. These are posted at (British And Irish Legal Information Institute). However, this organisation is running out of money. It costs £160k a year to run.

So we are appealing to the newspapers to put some money its way.

Cost of imprisoning Tweeters: £100 million

So Tweeters are going to be hounded down, water boarded and their bank accounts drained. Here are some numbers:

95,000 :: UK prison population

75,000 :: #ryangiggs Tweeters facing prospect of prison.

If each Tweeter is fined £2000, total fine would be £150 million.

If each Twitter spent 1 month in prison at £3,333 (£40,000 a year) the total cost to the taxpayer is £250 million.

So netting off the fines against the cost of imprisoning the Tweeters means the taxpayer has to cough up £100 million to bring to justice those nasty people in contempt of court.

Given Ryan Giggs is only worth a meagre £23 million, this seem rather excessive don't you think?

There are another 13 injunctions that have been outed on Twitter so the total cost goes into billions. Not good with all this cost cutting going on.

The Guardian do have some good writers. This is a very sensible article discussing the demise of injunctions as they stand now. Perhaps our numbers are a tad aggressive ...

In contempt of court

A man is helping police with their enquiries.

The Contempt of Court Act 1981 was designed to ensure before and during a trial, the press did not influence a jury or interfere with the proceedings.

Over the years the press have ignored this at their peril and faced hefty fines and some court cases have been re-run.

Judges who have issued injunctions use this Act to stop people spilling the beans. If Imogen Thomas told anyone CTB was Ryan Giggs she would be in contempt of court and would go to prison as well as be fined. And this is why she is gagged.

The Act was not intended to cover injunctions and hence we have this ludicrous situation where Judges and the Attorney General are holding thousands of Tweeters, bloggers, commentators and pub gossipers in contempt of court for even mentioning certain injunctions.

Contempt of Court 1981 Act: A summary

Contempt of court is where their is interference with the course of justice in particular legal proceedings regardless of intent to do so.

Interference can come from publication (speech, writing, cable programme service or other communication in whatever form), which is addressed to the public at large or any section of the public.

Here is how a Tweeter would defend themselves:

There is a defence of innocent publication or distribution as stated in the Act.

A person is not guilty of contempt of court under the strict liability rule as the publisher of any matter to which that rule applies if at the time of publication (having taken all reasonable care) he does not know and has no reason to suspect that relevant proceedings are active.

A person is not guilty of contempt of court under the strict liability rule as the distributor of a publication containing any such matter if at the time of distribution (having taken all reasonable care) he does not know that it contains such matter and has no reason to suspect that it is likely to do so.

Subject to this section a person is not guilty of contempt of court under the strict liability rule in respect of a fair and accurate report of legal proceedings held in public, published contemporaneously and in good faith.

Discussion of public affairs: A publication made as or as part of a discussion in good faith of public affairs or other matters of general public interest is not to be treated as a contempt of court under the strict liability rule if the risk of impediment or prejudice to particular legal proceedings is merely incidental to the discussion.

So there you go.

The chance of a Tweeter being in contempt of court is minimal.

Which is a good thing because there are more serious crimes and legal matters that need sorting out.

More threats of action against tweeters

The Attorney General is the top Judge in the UK (except Scotland). If the High Court has something it cannot deal with, it goes to him for advice and further action.

Dominic Grieve is the Attorney General and has decided to speak out at the flagrant breaching of injunctions on Twitter on BBC Radio 4.

If Ryan Giggs (the new Tiger Woods as the Daily Mail is calling him; does that mean there is more scandal around the corner?) wanted to he could take action against Tweeters. It is his injunction and if it can be proved someone knew of the injunction breached it intentionally then prison beckons. But in this latest development, we have the top Judge deciding himself whether Tweeters should be punished and not the injunctor.

" ... the attorney general made it clear that proceedings could be brought against individual Twitter-users in England and Wales as well as against newspapers that dropped heavy hints about the identity of a person protected by an injunction."

This makes you feel like the UK is a police state.

If the little people think the law is an ass, the law needs changing.

Prohibition, the poll tax, window taxes are just some of the laws that were implemented and failed because they were unworkable and unreasonable.

The current celebrity injunction debacle needs addressing by Parliament, not one man who can see lots of new work for his mates.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Collateral damage

"It may now be safe to say that the superinjunction media frenzy has largely passed..." 6 June 2011,

Not quite sure if that is the case. The ETK debacle has given us over 100,000 hits today. The collateral damage these injunctions are causing others is way more important though:

I just want to curl up and die tweets @imogen_thomas

"Giggs bro Rhodri dumps wife over her affair with Ryan", says the Sun.

An Actor, Actress, 2 teenage children, Actress and writer and a Comedian are all wondering what is going on in Ireland where their anonymity is being challenged.

"Stacey Cooke to have words again with her husband", in anticipation of a headline based on this profile.

ETK and his children

The outing of ETK has once more shown up the farce of trying to hide celebrity tittle tattle from the UK press.

It feeds on the stuff and if you hide it away in a cupboard, they will drill holes in the walls and take the hinges off the doors until they get what they want.

The judgment of the ETK injunction was to protect his two children. Anything that protects children has to be a good thing. Protection from unwarranted press attention, photographs, harassment, that sort of thing. ETK shagged and then gagged a co star to protect his children from being bullied at school. His wife found out, ETK allegedly removed his mistress from the TV programme they starred in and an injunction was taken out to halt the News of the World from reporting it.

He could afford to do this. Most of us couldn't. Does it seem right that a married man who has an affair (yawn) can cover it up because he can afford to do so and uses his children as the main reason?

If every affair where children were involved became party to an injunction, the Courts would collapse under the work load. The child excuse is very poor indeed.

Ryan Giggs, CTB, has children and interestingly did not use them as an excuse to stop his infidelities being reported. He was a man with a reputation and blue chip sponsors. They came first.

But the odd thing is apparently Kiss 'n' Tell stories don't sell well because most of us are bored by them. What does sell well are injunctions - when there is something to hide, we all want to know what is going on in the cupboard.

For an interesting analysis of the ETK injunction ...

Irish newspaper outs actors ETK et al

Just like SpyCatcher or Andrew Morton's biography of Tom Cruise, both banned outside the UK but available over the water in Ireland, an Irish Newspaper has outed who the ETK injunction parties are.

So the poor helpless and shameless UK news outlets are having to give clues because they are gagged:§ioncode=1&storycode=47235

Looks like the"Irish newspaper" hasn't anything online; paper version only.

As noted by a commentator, and until someone posts some images of the newspaper, have helpfully summarised the article ...


Pauline’s shameless affair – star axed after real-life sex romps with Frank. Comedy actor Pauline McLynn had a torrid affair with her co-star who plays layabout Frank Gallagher on on the Channel 4 comedy series “Shameless”. The affair is the subject of a super-injuction in the UK."

Sligo Today also reports in more detail ...

The ETF and X Injunction ...

Northern Irish have more super injunctions than the English and Welsh

The Justice minister, David Ford, in Northern Ireland has told TUV leader Jim Allister, 4 super injunctions have been issued in its High Court since 2007.

A great quote from Allister:

"The mystery and secrecy surrounding injunctive relief is generally not healthy, nor does it sit comfortably with the transparency expectations of a modern society,"

England and Wales, on the other hand, have only issued 2 since Jan 2010:

There are super injunctions and there are super injunctions. We assume they were put in place to protect vulnerable people, national security or for the benefit of the little people.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Ryan Giggs injuncted the wrong person

The "Ryan Giggs had an 8 year affair with his sister in law" is tittle tattle that need never have come out.

Because Giggs riled the media with his Imogen Thomas injunction, which still hasn't been lifted, the man who has been out of the media gaze for most of his career is now the man they are all after.

MP seeks publicity

Inforrm take a close look at the "missing" injunction named by MP Matthew Offord.

As we tried to help out at the time, we gave a list of potential culprits using tax payers money to hide misdeeds.

Strangely it has gone very quiet. Maybe he has the injunction and was throwing MPs and the media off the scent.

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Saturday, June 4, 2011

Piers Morgan in contempt of court

The farce that is the CTB vs Imogen Thomas injunction is it still exists and yet the likes of Piers Morgan are pushing it to its limits. He is in contempt of court.

CTB is not yet officially outed as Ryan Giggs even though we believe it is him. Has he said he is CTB? Nope. Have the Courts lifted the injunction? Nope.

So when Piers Morgan invites Giggs onto his Life Stories TV programme, you wonder what is going through the mind of the man. Does he really believe the Courts are ineffectual?

Not that ITV are much better; this is clearly contempt of court ...

Imogen Thomas wears signed Man Utd shirt

Imogen Thomas is in the Sun newspaper wearing that famed autographed Man Utd shirt.

It appears the Sun newspaper obtained this photo without her consent.

However, just as important is the newspapers are not allowed to discuss the injunction between CTB and Imogen Thomas as it has not been lifted.

So are the Sun in contempt of court? As well as in trouble for hacking?

[UPDATE 5 JUNE 2011]
So she is thinking about legal...

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Daily Mirror treats its readers like morons

Sir Fred Goodwin's alleged lover faces new battle to keep identity secret screams the Daily Mirror.

Given those who have access to the internet tend to use Google as a search engine, the person he had the "alleged" affair with is spelled out in black and white.

Just typing in Fred Goodwin tells you who it is. No need to hunt around Twitter Search, download a bit torrent, or sneak around on unpleasant forums.

We have been here before. Don't forget the Daily Mail has already outed her, although the Courts took a dim view when they said they had thrown in some lies to put people off the scent.

This ludicrous situation makes the newspapers look really dumb.

The battle is already lost.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Judge to decide fate of Goodwin

RBS. Big bank. Collapsed. Frederick Goodwin was the Captain. Playing away with the Head of Resources. So What. Could it have affected his judgment. Judge to decide.

Sunlight [and the News of the World too] ought to be shed on what are, at the moment, the dark corners of this case,” he told the court, adding that it was “unhealthy” for the public not to know and for the media not to be able to report says the Financial Times.

Mr Spearman told the court: “RBS was one of the largest corporate collapses of the last decade. Sir Fred was at the helm of the ship when it hit the rocks. It was rescued by the government, the taxpayer at huge expense.” This rescue had cost, at a conservative estimate, £50bn, he said. (subscription)

Anon Tweeters: Why does the media love them so much?

After the childish debacle of the Telegraph having to pull down a web page that implied 13 injunctions posted by a Tweeter were true, Brendan O'Neill has blogged an interesting grown up article about anonymous tweets.

[BTW, Google never cached the Telegraph page but the link is still there (see the screen shot)]

"Some have argued that the right to remain anonymous on Twitter and elsewhere on the web (such as in the comment section of these blogs) is akin to the right of journalists to keep their sources secret. But there’s no comparison. An article that quotes from anonymous sources will still have a journalist’s byline and will have been nodded through by an editor. We trust that these named individuals know who the anonymous source is and can attest to his or her reliability. But purely anonymous Twitterers and bloggers could be anybody. There’s no reason we should take them seriously, and every reason to wonder about their honesty and trustworthiness.

Those fighting for “the right to tweet anonymously” are really demanding the right to behave like a schoolchild, to be free to do the modern-day equivalent of scrawling “Mr Higgins is a paedo” on the toilet wall without ever having to account for themselves. But freedom, true freedom, is about more than acting instinctively – it is also about having the cojones to take responsibility for your actions and to face down those who challenge or threaten you. In the balance of things, yes people should be free to tweet and blog and write anonymously if they want to – but there’s no reason the rest of us should believe what they say or indulge their warped fantasies about being brave whistleblowers."

Apologies for quoting so much, but these points are relevant.

So if the media hate anon Twitters, why do they source them in news articles?

By quoting Tweets, the media are legitimizing them. The reason they do is because they know many of these injunction busters are telling the truth and the media is so gagged and censored they get frustrated.

But guess what? Newspapers are selling more. Twitters value has gone up. The Human Rights Act 1998 has been discredited. People are actively debating the erosion of civil liberties in the UK. The introduction of a Bill of Rights looks ever closer. Lawyers like Mark Stephens of Finers Stephens Innocent LLP are gaining lots of TV exposure. The UK is looking less stupid.

More questions ...

Telegraph outs 13 injunctions

So the Telegraph has told us the pop star outed on the @Legal_AIDS list of 14 is wrong. This implicitly means the other 13 are correct as there is only one popstar on the list.

So what will the Courts being doing about that then?

Link is now dead. We shall make a complaint to the PCC.