Tuesday, 16 June 2009

bloggers anonymous - not

So the excellent Nightjack is no longer to be anonymous. And the ruling will allow any other blogger's identity to be revealed if it is in the public interest. That hits soldiers, doctors, nurses, quite frankly anyone who is shining a light into the murky world of politics, public sector or business.

Leave aside that Nightjack is now closed, indeed his blog has completely been taken down and isn't archived.

Leave aside that he won the Orwell Prize

Leave aside that what seems to be a decent police officer will be in severe trouble for this.

Concentrate on what this means to bloggers...

Now you know who I am. I don't post anonymously, my website and contact details are on the right. This blog is for my opinions, not whistle-blowing. I do not indulge in such energetic postings like Leg Iron, Old Holborn or The Devil's Kitchen.

But there are valid reasons for anonymity. Public servants know what to expect if they whistleblow so decide to tell the world via blogging. Someone in the know, such as Paul Staines, want to publish the best gossip in Westminster and his original anonymity allowed this to happen (interestingly since his outing it has continued but I suspect this is because he had managed to build up his support under the guise of Guido Fawkes).

What this ruling will do is drive bloggers away. I suggest those that want to continue, should get themselves hosted in a foreign territory, preferably the US, since it is objecting to libel tourism in the UK battering free speech and is setting up counter-legislation.

Ironic isn't it that Mr Justice Eady made the Nightjack ruling. He is the judge that made a ruling in favour of Khalid bin Mahfouz, a Saudi banker, who had sued Rachel Ehrenfeld, an American academic. That ruling "almost single- handedly launched the American freedom of speech backlash against UK libel laws"

Hat tip: Old Holborn

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