Thursday, June 18, 2009

Anonymous bloggers beware!

ANONYMOUS bloggers - from public service whistleblowers to incendiary political commentators - will no longer be able to operate from the anonymity of cyberspace under a landmark ruling handed down by the British High Court.

[…] [A]ccording to the High Court judge, blogging is essentially "a public activity" and the police officer could not have a "reasonable expectation" of anonymity because it is not a private activity.

Mr Justice Eady said even if the officer could have claimed he had a right to anonymity, he would still have ruled against him on grounds of public interest.

… [The police officer’s] QC argued that thousands of everyday bloggers would be horrified to realise that the law would not protect their anonymity if someone managed to unmask them.

Horton argued that if it became public that he had written his blog, he would be disciplined as he had breached police regulations - an argument the judge deemed "unattractive".

However, legal counsel for The Times argued public interest, stating that there was public interest in an officer's decision to breach regulations governing police behaviour as well as breaking laws that require police not to reveal information about investigations. The judge concluded: "I do not accept that it is part of the court's function to protect police officers who are, or think they may be, acting in breach of police discipline regulations from coming to the attention of their superiors.

"It would seem to be quite legitimate for the public to be told who it was who was choosing to make in some instances serious criticisms of police activities and, if it be the case, that frequent infringements of police discipline regulations were taking place."

Consider yourselves warned, my fellow anonybloggers!

Reginaldvs Cantvar
Feast of St. Ephrem, Deacon, Confessor, Doctor of the Church, A.D. 2009

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