Super injunction problem

Super injunction problem

Are the super-rich happy with the Privacy laws - super injunction - two hundred thousand pounds ?

Super injunction problem

Article first published 21-05-2011
Currently, in the media, there is much talk about "Privacy" and "Super Injunctions".
Over the past couple of weeks I have read, and had chance to digest, a 'lot' of 'what' has been written, and if the actions of Max Mosley (ex Formula 1 boss) who recently tried and failed in his attempt to use the European Court of Human Rights to 'strengthen the laws on Privacy, are anything to go by, it seems to me that, the 'famous' and 'super' wealthy aren't 'completely' happy with the amount of protection that the current Privacy laws gives to them.
I say that they should be grateful for the small mercy of the "Super Injunction" which allows 'them' to 'gag' the 'regulated' media and that they should thank their lucky stars that they can afford to use this part of the Privacy law to stop immediate publication of, what they perceive to be, their 'little' indiscretions.
What should be immediately apparent to anyone who is following this topic in the media, is that, the 'famous' and 'super' wealthy aren't 'so' happy with the law or, should I say, 'lack' of law, regulating social media or, the Internet !
It seems that an injunction, costing hundred's of thousands of pounds, can stop the 'elite' of "Fleet Street" from publishing 'anything', but it cannot stop Mr. Joe or, Mrs. Josephine Anonymous from publishing 'everything' on "Twitter" or, indeed, do 'anything' about it and, once it has been 'anonymously' published on "Twitter" or, elsewhere on the Internet, the 'regulated' media can then 'freely' report the detail of what has been published so, what's the point ?
Well, unless the Privacy law is expanded to regulate Social media, there is no point. The 'famous' and 'super' rich may as well save
their money or, at least, put it to better use ! They could for example, use the money to set up groups to lobby their MP's to get the Privacy laws changed so that it does include social media, but is there any chance that this might happen ?
Well, it's common knowledge that it would be political suicide for any Government to try and tighten the Privacy laws to the point where the 'regulated' media cannot 'freely' report anything which is in the public interest or, to try to further restrict the freedom of the press in any way, but, whilst it may not be a simple task to undertake and the 'devil' will definitely be in the detail, regulating the Social media may not prove to be as difficult for a Government to do.
I'm sure that the owners of "Twitter", all the other social media, Internet forums and web sites feel that, because their 'publications' are used and read by by people in many different Countries (worldwide) it will be difficult for a single Government or, even, a collective group of Governments, to regulate their activities without it looking like Censorship of some sorts and 'this' may be true, it will be 'difficult', but that doesn't mean that it's 'impossible'
and where there is a 'will', there's a 'way' !
For me, the whole issue centres around one thing - 'anonymity' which ironically, is the thing that the 'Super Injunction' is designed to protect. Find a way to make the social media properly identify the users of their web sites and make them responsible if they don't and suddenly, people will think twice before they post something or, allow something to be posted that may cost them dearly !
Readers may be forgiven for believing that I think that this is a simple task, but please, rest assured, I know that it isn't, but then again, neither is it impossible.
Online banking, credit card and other financial web sites have systems in place that allow them to properly identify their users so, why shouldn't the online social media websites too ?
I am sure that the owners of social media web sites will come up with an assortment of reasons why they can't, but really, it all boils down to one thing - allowing their users to be anonymous and devoid of personal responsibility for what they publish, is one of the core reasons why their web sites are 'so' popular and this is the real reason why they will object, but should they be allowed to irresponsibly gather up their millions at the expense of whoever's reputation and livelihood is ruined along the way ?
Comment added 30th May - I notice that it is being reported in the press that a Californian' court has forced "Twitter" to reveal the personal details of some of their anonymous members in the UK - is this the beginning of the end for internet anonymity ?

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