Feeds

Attorney General threatens Twitter injunction-busters

'Not something I particularly want to do'

Security for virtualized datacentres

The government's chief legal adviser has warned that people who breach privacy injunctions by publishing details on micro-blogging site Twitter and other websites could be prosecuted for contempt of court.

Attorney General Dominic Grieve told the BBC's Radio 4 programme, Law in Action, that he would consider taking direct action against individuals who flouted the privacy orders online.

Normally such a breach of orders made in civil cases in England and Wales need to be addressed by the claimants concerned.

They can seek to have individuals punished for breaking the terms of a privacy injunction, as in the recent media storm surrounding Manchester United footballer Ryan Giggs.

The football star began legal proceedings against Twitter just days before Lib Dem MP John Hemming used parliamentary privilege to out the sportsman's injunction, which Giggs had used in an effort to suppress details of an alleged affair with an ex-Big Brother contestant.

Grieve said this morning that he would consider undertaking contempt proceedings against those who breach such orders, including Twitter users and newspapers.

"If you're a tweeter and you're susceptible to the jurisdiction of our national courts in England and Wales, it's not beyond the bounds of possibility that you may find yourself being brought into court for contempt. And the fact that you're doing it on Twitter doesn’t give you some blanket exemption," he said.

"I will take action if I think that my intervention is necessary in the public interest, to maintain the rule of law, proportionate and will achieve an end of upholding the rule of law.

"It is not something, however, I particularly want to do."

Those found guilty of contempt for breaching court orders usually face fines and sometimes a stint in prison. ®

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.