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Twitter Prepared To Name Users

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the tattle-tweet dept.

Twitter 292

whoever57 writes "Ryan Gibbs, a UK footballer (soccer player) had obtained a 'superinjunction' that prevented him being named as the person involved in an affair with a minor celebrity. However, he was named by various users on Twitter. Now, in response to legal action initiated by Mr. Giggs in the UK courts against the users, Twitter has stated that it is prepared to identify the users who broke the injunction if it was 'legally required' to do so. Twitter will attempt to notify the users first in order to give them an opportunity to exercise their rights."

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292 comments

wrong name (4, Informative)

Mr Reaney (544642) | more than 2 years ago | (#36248464)

Ryan Giggs

Does that count as breaking the injunction? :)

Re:wrong name (2)

SimonTheSoundMan (1012395) | more than 2 years ago | (#36248480)

Not really, you can claim you're quoting a Parliamentarian.

Re:wrong name (1)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 2 years ago | (#36248666)

Not really, you can claim you're quoting a Parliamentarian.

Or quoting Wikipedia, which also has a mention [wikipedia.org] of the risible procedures, and added it to its article on the super-injunction [wikipedia.org] controversies.

Re:wrong name (3, Informative)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 2 years ago | (#36248790)

Quoting a parliamentarian puts you in the clear under English case law. Quoting anything or anybody else does not.

Re:wrong name (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36248902)

Good thing I'm not under English law. I can tweet or Slash as it were, the quote the hotel camera caught" Lawdy, who'd have thought Molly the wondersheep would feel just like a woman!"
          Another celebrity affair uncovered.

Re:wrong name (2)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 2 years ago | (#36248900)

Or you could be posting from Scotland. "Super-injunctions" only exist in English law, which doesn't apply here.

Re:wrong name (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 2 years ago | (#36248766)

Depends when the tweet was posted. After, and you're in the clear. Before, and if you live in England or Wales, and you mentioned the superinjunction in a tweet too... then you are liable.

Re:wrong name (1)

s0litaire (1205168) | more than 2 years ago | (#36248488)

Only if you're in England or Wales..

In Scotland we are not covered by stupid English laws... ^_~ so we've been naming him every chance we get to rub it in...

Re:wrong name (3, Interesting)

PhilHibbs (4537) | more than 2 years ago | (#36248508)

Only if you were aware of the details of the superinjunction, I would assume. If I find out that X is having an affair with Y, but am unaware that X has taken out a superinjunction, surely I am not breaking the law by saying so. The papers and news broadcasters are still not allowed, due to the injunction, to say "Ryan Giggs had an affair with Imogen Thomas", but they can now say "Ryan Giggs has been named as the footballer who took out a superinjunction over allegations of an affair with Imogen Thomas". This is because they know that it was Ryan Giggs, and they know that the superinjunction applies to them. I don't know for a fact that it was Ryan Giggs, I have never been ordered not to say it, because the superinjunction was supposed to prevent me from even knowing in the first place, so telling me not to say it would break the superinjunction. Phew. Did any of that make any sense, semantically or legally?

Re:wrong name (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36248586)

Only if you were aware of the details of the superinjunction, I would assume.

You would assume wrong. Which is one of the many problems with these ridiculous "Oh shit, I put my cock in the wrong hole!" injunctions.

Re:wrong name (3, Insightful)

Neil Boekend (1854906) | more than 2 years ago | (#36248604)

To be able to comply with the injunctions one should know about them.
If they want the whole country to comply they should tell everyone.
Assuming the injunction is against telling people that "Mr Giggs is fucking a minor celebrity" they would have to tell everyone.
This has made the injunction useless, because now they have told everyone themselves.
It's more of an advanced public secret.

Re:wrong name (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 2 years ago | (#36248662)

In order to have an effect all parties must be informed of injunctions. Presumably future injunctions will name Twitter directly, but how Twitter would enforce it I don't know. If they simply prevented people from posting a certain name then it would quickly become apparent what was happening. People would then post about it elsewhere, like on their personal blogs. The injunction would have to target every UK based blog too, which in itself would make the matter widely known.

Giggs can try to use the 75,000 people who posted about him on Twitter, but I have a feeling he won't get far.

Re:wrong name (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36248804)

my understanding is that English law doesn't require you to be aware of the injunction, it is made "against the world" which means it applies to all parties in England and Wales. Scotland has a wholly independent legal system, or at least should do (see the 1707 act of union - the UK supreme court muddies this someone, and in my opinion is unlawful as it breaches the aforementioned act - but the supreme court ISN'T the highest court in Scotland in civil matters, that is still the court of session). Under Scots law a party must be served with an interdict (our version of injunctions) in order for them to apply to that party so it would be near imposable to impose a "contra mundum" on Scottish parties.

After the Pan-Am debacle I thought that some American's might have learned a little more about scots law - particularly on the topic of its separation from the English system. AFSAIK were are the only legal system that has three judgements possible in a criminal case guilty, not guilty and "not proven" - we also have 15 on a jury, not 12 as in most other countries.

We, and I dare say, our Welsh counterparts, feel a little bit of us die inside every time we see UK in a headline of a story that really only applies to England - we have our own devolved governments and in Scotland we even have out own legal system. Wales was conquered so their legal system was subverted for the English one. Scotland was bought (google the darien scheme for a bit of back ground) in the words of our national poet - We were bought and sold for English Gold. One of the conditions of this sale was that we kept our own legal system.

Re:wrong name (1)

dimeglio (456244) | more than 2 years ago | (#36248822)

Typically, ignorance of the law is not a valid defence.

Re:wrong name (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36248898)

Not so with super-injunctions. They are not law, they are adhoc decisions for the rich to keep their ugly mugs out of the press when they've been caught doing something they'd rather keep quiet. You can talk about Giggs's infidelity as much as you like, legally, up until you becomes aware of the super-injunction.

Re:wrong name (1)

azalin (67640) | more than 2 years ago | (#36248524)

Not really. You would also have to name the "minor celebrity" he might have had an affair with.

Re:wrong name (1)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 2 years ago | (#36248926)

No, but if you were to mention his alleged relationship with a Big Brother actress, or the alleged existence of such an injunction, that would, in the event that such an injunction were to exist, be in breach of it.

This is dumb (4, Insightful)

Squiddie (1942230) | more than 2 years ago | (#36248476)

This is retarded on a single point. How can they break the injunction if it wasn't directly filed against them. It's not as if all Twitter users work there.

Re:This is dumb (3, Insightful)

Inda (580031) | more than 2 years ago | (#36248518)

This is the argument I've been using against the BBC when they've been removing my posts.

How am I, Joe Public, supposed to know this super-injuction even exists?

Unless I'm told that mentioning Ryan Giggs is off-limits, how am I to know? I'm not a news organisation, I'm not a journalist, I don't work in the courts, I can't even attend the hearing.

My name is Joe Public and I broke the super-injuction. Lock me up for two years... if you can catch me copper!

Re:This is dumb (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 2 years ago | (#36248634)

How am I, Joe Public, supposed to know this super-injuction even exists?

You aren't.

The BBC is. And the BBC moderates the discussion. If they don't remove your posts, they're liable. Of course, if you don't know, how do you know about Ryan Giggs in the first place?

Re:This is dumb (1)

coolmadsi (823103) | more than 2 years ago | (#36248768)

Of course, if you don't know, how do you know about Ryan Giggs in the first place?

He has been a very well know football (soccer) player for well over a decade for one of the most popular football teams in the world. It can be very easy to know who he is without having heard of the super injunction.

Re:This is dumb (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 2 years ago | (#36248884)

You're allowed to talk about the footballer. You're just not allowed to talk about any alleged activities that the injunction prevents you from talking about.

Since the only people who know about the alleged activities are those who know about the injunction and those who have learned from those people, then you should probably know about the injunction. Very few people know of Ryan Giggs' activities but aren't aware of the injunction preventing them from revealing the information.

Re:This is dumb (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36248808)

Let me get this straight if he would have yelled it in a park, it would have been free speech, or if not then the city hall would be liable. How does that work anyway?

Re:This is dumb (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 2 years ago | (#36248874)

Only if city hall are aware of the injunction, and have a policy of moderating what people shout in the park.

You have a point (1)

tanveer1979 (530624) | more than 2 years ago | (#36248642)

I think they should announce it on national TV that
Mr. X has an affair with Y, and you are forbidden to mention about the affair.

Re:You have a point (2)

slim (1652) | more than 2 years ago | (#36248670)

This is exactly what was done, for weeks.

The female half of the affair was named. The male half was identified as "a Premiership footballer", and it was explicitly stated that the injunction meant they were forbidden to name him.

It has been a farce.

Re:You have a point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36248688)

This is exactly what was done, for weeks.

The female half of the affair was named. The male half was identified as "a Premiership footballer", and it was explicitly stated that the injunction meant they were forbidden to name him.

It has been a farce.

That they where forbidden does not mean I am forbidden. Also, I'm in europe, the injunction should not effect me in any way.

Re:You have a point (1)

asc99c (938635) | more than 2 years ago | (#36248836)

The real farce has been that they were allowed to tell people everyone was naming him on Twitter, and the woman's name is Imogen Thomas. If the injunction had blocked her name, it would have got rid of the obvious search on Twitter. If the injunction also prevented referring people to somewhere that the information was available, it would have left people googling searches for injunctions.

If you're going to bother with an injunction, don't let people with internet access have the search term and website surely!

Re:You have a point (1)

sgbett (739519) | more than 2 years ago | (#36248934)

The real farce is the legal system being abused by those with deep pockets to promote their own personal ends. I'm shocked and outraged such a thing would occur!

Re:This is dumb (2)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 2 years ago | (#36248678)

The injunction doesn't apply to you unless there is a reasonable reason for you to know it existed - in this case, the injunction was brought out against the news media, and they would have been well aware of both the story and the injunction within the media circles, so they would fall under the reasonable knowledge requirement. You and I however wouldn't know anything about the story nor the injunction until the story broke - at that point, it would be a fair defence that the story was now in the public knowledge, so the injunction no longer applied.

The legal issues are not against the people that re-tweeted the story, they are against the few people that initially tweeted it - those people have been linked to the media, and it might be proven that they had reason to know about the injunction prior to releasing the information.

If you knew about the affair from somewhere, say someone in the media told you but did not tell you about the injunction, then you would also be in the clear.

Re:This is dumb (4, Informative)

Xest (935314) | more than 2 years ago | (#36248718)

I wouldn't worry too much aboutt he BBC removing your posts, I've had them do the same when my posts have been mature, factual, and perfectly legal. The BBC moderators are highly politicised and moderate entirely based upon their personal opinion about a subject rather than following the guidelines laid out on the BBC's site.

It's probably the BBC's most atrociously biased department, and I personally tend to think the BBC does a good job of being objective for the most part. When the web cuts came swinging it'd have been better if they cut right through that department frankly as I'd rather the BBC has no discussion section than a discussion section moderated by highly biased individuals repeatedly imposing their own world view on discussions.

That's not to comment about your rights regarding naming those who have taken out super injunctions of course, just as I say, try not to let BBC moderation bother you- it's pathetic.

Re:This is dumb (4, Informative)

SimonTheSoundMan (1012395) | more than 2 years ago | (#36248534)

A super-injunction is aimed at everybody. Only peers and MPs can brake the injunction by use of Parliamentary Privileges. A hyper-injuction tries to over-rule these privileges though. Hyper-injunction has only been used a couple of times as far as we know. Example 'Hyper-injunction' stops you talking to MP [telegraph.co.uk], other example would be Trafigura.

From TFS,

Twitter will attempt to notify the users first in order to give them an opportunity to exercise their rights.

You have no rights under a super-injuction. Even the defending party, example a news paper, isn't even allowed in the courtroom when the injunction is made. That's how repressive these injunctions are.

Re:This is dumb (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36248576)

A super-injunction is aimed at everybody.

A hyper-injuction tries to over-rule these privileges though.

What idiot is naming these things? This reminds of Pokemon more than anything else: "Potion", "Super Potion", "Hyper Potion". Seems like somebody is slacking off to play their Gameboy.

Re:This is dumb (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36248654)

You have no rights under a super-injuction. Even the defending party, example a news paper, isn't even allowed in the courtroom when the injunction is made. That's how repressive these injunctions are.

Come on, that's the legal theory of ONE SIDE... even if you're in the UK.

Which Twitter, one might add, isn't, so Twitter saying that they'll release the names when they're legally required is actually good news. There never was a question that they'd do that (or do you think they'd break the law?), but what they're also implicitely saying is that they won't just name their users because someone wearing a uniform comes knocking and asks nicely (or not so nicely).

If Ryan Gibbs wants to prosecute Twitter users for uttering his name in reference to this sex scandal, he'll have to get a US court to order Twitter to hand over the names. That's what Twitter is saying, and "good luck with that" is what I am saying.

Re:This is dumb (1)

jamesh (87723) | more than 2 years ago | (#36248764)

If Ryan Gibbs wants to prosecute Twitter users for uttering his name in reference to this sex scandal, he'll have to get a US court to order Twitter to hand over the names. That's what Twitter is saying, and "good luck with that" is what I am saying.

I suspect "good luck with that" is what Twitter are mumbling under their breath too.

Re:This is dumb (1)

drginge (963701) | more than 2 years ago | (#36248794)

However, the injunction is only valid in England, so that's not everybody...in fact its nowhere close. How about those twitterers who named Giggs that are based in Scotland/Ireland/Europe/World? Will twitter identify the locality of the tweet before handing over account details of users who have done absolutely nothing wrong? In doing so will twitter breach other privacy laws?

Re:This is dumb (1)

Leperous (773048) | more than 2 years ago | (#36248838)

The injunction applies to people who know about the injunction, i.e. not necessarily only those who it was served to. Your average Twitter arguably knows about that injunction (although from Nth-hand rumour), and is also arguably publishing libel (although with little/no damaging consequences).

Re:This is dumb (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36248846)

As you point out the injunction is secret and cannot apply to someone who does not know of it. Yes that's how stupid police states become.

Therefore, if Giggs wants twitter user info he should be required to prove the twitter users in question first knew about the injunction and then broke it.

Twitter should be fighting this.

Re:This is dumb (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36248890)

"super-injunction", "hyper-injunction"?! Who came up with these names, 12 year holds?

Re:This is dumb (1)

world_citizen (33348) | more than 2 years ago | (#36248908)

A super-injunction is aimed at everybody.

You've forgotten to mention one thing. Everyone in the UK.

Outside of the UK people can write what they want about Ryan Giggs, the clown who thinks he can control the world.

Re:This is dumb (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36248536)

They've probably got or are threatening to get a Norwich pharmacal [wikipedia.org] order, which is the England and Wales way of compelling someone to hand over details in a case like that.

Re:This is dumb (2)

nosferatu1001 (264446) | more than 2 years ago | (#36248720)

WHcih would not apply to a US company that has no business interests in the UK

Re:This is dumb (1)

JJP (26494) | more than 2 years ago | (#36248800)

But Twitter most definitely does have business interests in England and Wales!! They have a business-model in which they make money of their subscribers and they have subscribers from England and Wales using their services.

Jurisdiction (2)

maroberts (15852) | more than 2 years ago | (#36248896)

Having business interests in the UK is not the same as the UK having jurisdiction over a company or person. The mere fact that twitter trades with UK citizens does not (necessarily) give the UK jurisdiction. Dealings with Twitter are presumably carried out under US law (or to be more specific, whichever state Twitter has headquarters/ a significant office in)

See the recent George Hotz case for an example of whether the courts have jurisdiction over the case (Mr Hotz claimed he had minimal association with California and couldn't be sued there).

Similarly, unless Twitter has a significant UK office, it is governed by US law and not UK law. (I agree it is not always as black and white as this) Twitter has simply stated that they will comply with legally valid requests, but they may be well within their rights to contest the validity of the request as the reason the information is sought is not an offence in the US.

Re:This is dumb (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36248738)

You already said dumb. Do you have to lower yourself to using the word retarded?

Re:This is dumb (2)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 2 years ago | (#36248770)

Furthermore, his name is Ryan Giggs.

Only one of the most famous English football players in the world. He's got a fucking OBE, for christ's sake.

Re:This is dumb (3, Informative)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 2 years ago | (#36248786)

Apologies for replying to myself, but I should point out two things. Firstly, I hate football. It's corrupt, boring, and too political. Secondly, he's called Ryan Gibbs only once, implying it's a typing error. Samzenpus, do your fucking job as an editor and EDIT THE GOD DAMN SUBMISSIONS.

Re:This is dumb (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36248814)

The twitter users are witless patsies. Murdoch wanted to publish to create drama and drive up ratings for the championship match. The entire thing is a none event, Trafigura was in the public interest, private matters of individuals are not!

Freedom of speech doesn't extend to liable and those attempting to justify this as being in the public interest are clearly retarded ("he's rich and I'm bitter and envyous..."). Had Giggs paid his protection money to Max Clifford, this would have been kept out of the news.

Super injunctions need scrapping and the tabloid press need stomping on, instead the government will use these events and the stupid people involved as an excuse to censor the web. Well fucking done you twittering twats!

Re:This is dumb (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36248872)

This is retarded on more than one point....

Wait.. (1, Funny)

T-Bucket (823202) | more than 2 years ago | (#36248482)

You mean people actually created twitter accounts with their REAL NAMES??!??!??? If you're that stupid, you deserve it!

Re:Wait.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36248506)

You don't have to register with a real name. Email address + ip address of the post are enough to get a rough idea who wrote it.... Remember unless you go through many VPNs or TOR there is always a possibility of being traced back..

Re:Wait.. (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 2 years ago | (#36248530)

How is it stupid? Is creating a Facebook account with your real name stupid too? What if your friends want to actually find you by name? I have a Twitter account which I never use, and a Facebook account which I use all the time, both under my *gasp* real name! I'm not a journalist though, and if I were then I wouldn't use my public account to break court injunctions. That's just stupid.

Re:Wait.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36248864)

Does it say Somersault on your birth certificate ?

Yes, it says Anonymous Coward on mine.

Giggs, not Gibbs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36248484)

It's Ryan Giggs, not Gibbs.

Re:Giggs, not Gibbs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36248700)

Giggity.

Maybe the Twits should apply for a super-injunctio (2)

ledow (319597) | more than 2 years ago | (#36248494)

Maybe the Twits should apply for a super-injunction to keep their name secret? After all, it's not in the public interest for them to be outed and it might hurt their families etc.

Oh, sorry, I forgot - you have to be rich enough.

Or Ryan Giggs could just instruct his lawyers to stop digging him into an even deeper hole, the end result of which will be that he'll have even less privacy than when he started.

A year ago: "Ryan Giggs had an affair" would have been a one-day, one-column bit of news and nobody would have cared.

Today, the thing has been in the papers every day for several months and is going to be the subject of (in the worst case) 75,000 lawsuits.

Similarly, other people who had superinjunctions (including a BBC journalist!) confessed to them, and the affair they had that was the subject of the censorship, and within a day they were out of the news.

Nobody will go to jail - and if they do it'll be so incredibly expensive that you'll be more likely to have riots over the costs than the privacy implications... MP's in the UK have already said it's far too impractical to jail (or even identify) 75,000 people for such a thing, especially when days later an MP themselves used parliamentary privilege to announce who the subject of the injunction was (and Scottish newspapers have already printed it, as have Italian, American, etc. etc.)

And the whole question of superinjunctions has gone so far that the prime minister himself said that he doesn't understand how they were issued and thinks that it's wrong that they were.

Twitter have said they'll co-operate. But nobody's actually ASKED for that data yet. And they probably never will.

Re:Maybe the Twits should apply for a super-injunc (3, Insightful)

ledow (319597) | more than 2 years ago | (#36248550)

P.S. Next time keep it in your pants, and you won't have a problem, Ryan.

Re:Maybe the Twits should apply for a super-injunc (1)

djsmiley (752149) | more than 2 years ago | (#36248598)

According to the media, *he* has requested it.

But then again this is the same media that weren't meant to talk about it ;)

Re:Maybe the Twits should apply for a super-injunc (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36248624)

And the whole question of superinjunctions has gone so far that the prime minister himself said that he doesn't understand how they were issued and thinks that it's wrong that they were.

Of course the PM is going to say he thinks they've gone too far - he's a toadying populist PR man. Have a read of this: http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/QB/2011/1232.html. It's the judgement about why the injunction was granted and subsequently upheld. You'll note that, in the judge's opinion, Giggs was effectively being blackmailed and if the proceedings went to trial, he could reasonably expect a permanent injunction against the publication of the story based on this. I find it hard to argue against the existence of the injunction once you've actually read about it.

MP themselves used parliamentary privilege to announce who the subject of the injunction was

It sets a dangerous precedent that MPs wilfully ignore the ruling of a judge (based on law that Parliament enacted by introducing the Human Rights Act) to expose something that blatantly isn't in the public interest. I can understand using parliamentary privilege to expose something like the Trifigura toxic waste scandal, but it's surely in no way correct for them to do the same thing to expose a married man's affair?

Twitter have said they'll co-operate. But nobody's actually ASKED for that data yet. And they probably never will.

I'm not a lawyer and I have no idea if there's any basis under which the Twitter users can be sued. But Twitter has a UK Ltd company so it's pretty obvious that they're going to give up information at the first opportunity rather than become a target themselves.

Re:Maybe the Twits should apply for a super-injunc (2, Interesting)

Xest (935314) | more than 2 years ago | (#36248782)

I agree but what I'd add is that Twitter should be absolutely lambasted for agreeing to hand over the names as that's what really stinks in this scenario.

They're a US company and the data is stored on US servers, they've only just recently opened an office in the UK and did so as part of the British Prime Minister's push for a greater digital economy in the UK but aren't yet heavily invested enough here to be harmed financially.

They are perfectly positioned to outright defy such a request with the ultimatum that they will take their European office to somewhere else such as Paris or any number of other European countries. This would put immense pressure on the PM to make the UK more suitable for tech companies by ensuring our laws are not a deterrent to such innovation as they are currently.

But instead they've chosen to just fuck their users to save themselves a little bit of hassle and at the expense of what would've been some great PR for them in doing what is right.

Worse, it wouldn't be so bad if it weren't the immense hypocrisy of it. Previously Twitter has cashed in on it's useage during the Iranian protests, and the Arab Spring uprisings yet what does this precedent say, that if an authoritarian regime wants names it'll hand them over? or is it simply being two faced here and saying it'll gladly allow dissenting voices in some countries, but not others?

Twitter's stance is pathetic, completely and utterly pathetic. They had here an opportunity to really use this as an example of why countries like the UK can never have a silicon valley because of absurd laws, and instead of using that example to push for a better place for a European HQ they're just doing a Sony and fucking their users for nothing more than an absolutely tiny short term economic gain, one that will likely dent their image and do them far more harm longer term.

Re:Maybe the Twits should apply for a super-injunc (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36248932)

I wish I had mod points and could mod "+100 bang on the money".

Twitter are a craven bunch of arseholes.

In this world you either do the right thing or you are part of the problem. No matter how small the act.

All Too Late (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36248514)

Mr Giggs, you are closing the stable door and then flogging a dead horse - its out there. All you're doing now is paying lawyers for some attempt at revenge on the (likely) many who leaked it.

Go make up with your wife and admit you screwed up.

Ironically, if he'd never taken a superinjunction, this story would have been a 1-day wonder and the tabloids moved onto something else.

It was not a "Super Injunction" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36248516)

As far as I can see, anyway. The term super injunction refers to a ban on reporting that there is even an injunction in effect.

It's Giggs, actually (1)

pommaq (527441) | more than 2 years ago | (#36248520)

Ryan Giggs. Not Gibbs. Agile but hairy Welsh player who's been playing for Man U practically forever. Or maybe the spelling mistake was a bid to avoid a superinjunction?

Who? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36248522)

Brilliantly ignorant. Are you really the only people who don't know the guy's actual name? Who accepted this submission?

Giggs not Gibbs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36248526)

His name is Giggs, not Gibbs...

Ah AH AH AH Staying alive! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36248568)

HAHA. Ryan Gibbs?! He's the not the long lost BeeGee's brother! Its Ryan Giggs.

Hang on a minute... (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 2 years ago | (#36248570)

Twitter has stated that it is prepared to identify the users who broke the injunction if it was 'legally required' to do so.

Or, to put it another way:

If the law says we must do something, we'll do it.

No kidding. What's important is what they haven't said. They haven't said:

Even though we're a US-based company, we'll honour an order from a UK court.

Nor have Twitter said:

We still plan to open an office in the UK, and there's a good chance that as soon as we do we'll be slapped with a UK court order which we'll have to honour.

Re:Hang on a minute... (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 2 years ago | (#36248694)

If a British owner of an online gambling website can be arrested on felony charges the moment he steps into the US, simply on the basis that his website allows US citizens access to online gambling (illegal in most US states), then why can't a British court request data from an American company?

Re:Hang on a minute... (1)

TemperedAlchemist (2045966) | more than 2 years ago | (#36248696)

Well naturally, it's called politics, the art of saying the obvious. Of course twitter has no intention of doing anything. It's more or less passive-aggressively saying, "Come at me bro!" And the bit about notifying users is more like, "I'm sorry Mr. Giggs, but we can no longer identify the users because they have deleted their accounts."

Oh and while I'm at this. Ryan Giggs had an affair with Imogen Thomas. Face it, Mr. Giggs, this is the internet. I'd back out of this now before 4chan gets clever.

Addresses not names! (1)

thredder (1211746) | more than 2 years ago | (#36248640)

If twitter releases any info it should perhaps be addresses first (if they have such data). The Giggs story was broken by a Scottish newspaper not covered by the English courts' superinjunction. Therefore, any twitter users not under English jurisdiction are surely also free to release any info they want (I'm not a tweeter or lawyer so don't know if that is accurate, but it's logical). Before releasing names, perhaps they should look into where the tweeters were to see if they were even covered by the super-injunction.

Re:Addresses not names! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36248788)

I think you have to consider the time line of what actually happened, instead of the normal knee jerk reaction.

Some newspaper found out about this affair (although it was probably offered up for sale by the lady involved), the paper asks the footballer for comment (as I think they have to) who promptly gets a 'super-injunction' stopping the story going to press. So at this point the press know about it, but then gen-pop don't. (Am I right in thinking the press are told about these injunctions, so they know not to print the details?)

After the press have a bit of a paddy about not being able to print such a kiss-n-tell story someone starts releasing details of all the super-injunctions on twitter. The natural assumption is that who ever 'tweeted' the details is a member of the press, and as so as been expressly told not to release the details into the public. (As a pose to say me randomly guessing the name and tweeting it.)

If it does turn out that it was someone at the papers, then they will be in contempt.

Personally I am all for a free press, there should be no legislation to hold them back in outing illegal or dangerous activity of any kind. However these sorts of moral issues, which is frankly driven by someone who is desperate to be noticed again (see yesterdays Sun featuring Imogen in quite skimpy Man U kit) is just wrong. There is no angle here, other than to sell more papers, get someone back into the Z-List, and ruin someone's life. As far as I'm aware Giggs hasn't sold his image in a 'family man' way others have, nor has he coveted media attention. So where is the 'public good' in this?

Background (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36248644)

To explain why this is a big deal:

In the US, freedom of speech is seen as the most fundamental of human rights, trumping all others.

In the EU, the right to personal privacy has been given a higher weight than freedom of speech by the EU bill of rights.

The result of this is that when the two come into conflict -- ie when talking about someone infringes on their personal privacy -- it is privacy that wins in the courts.

The definition of personal privacy is quite hard to nail down, and there are any number of fringe cases, but discussion of someone's sex life is fairly clearly within scope. This is why My Giggs is able to prevent the media from discussing it, and to sue those who do so.

The next argument is about jurisdiction. British newspapers are one thing, but Twitter is based in the US. This is a whole other discussion, and could lead to very long and drawn out (and expensive) legal arguments, but Twitter is sidestepping the whole thing by stating publically that they won't fight it.

Re:Background (3, Informative)

Zugok (17194) | more than 2 years ago | (#36248742)

Actually, no in EU, privacy and freedom of speech are prima facie equal. Then the circumstances are considered in the balancing exercise. See von Hannover v Germany

Wide-reaching injunction to sweeping judgement (1)

canwaf (240401) | more than 2 years ago | (#36248690)

I hope that Gigg's lawyers don't manage to convince the judge that there should be a one-size fits all ruling/judgement against people who tweeted about Giggs before the MP broke the gagging aspect of the injunction. This wide-reaching injunction-happy judiciary may be prone to making sweeping punishment-happy rulings that can ruin people's lives more so than being a minor celebrity being caught up in a minor scandal published in low quality tabloids.

Privacy, Super-Injunctions and the Media - Dispell (1)

azzy (86427) | more than 2 years ago | (#36248708)

There's a good article on this issue at http://www.pirateparty.org.uk/blog/2011/may/25/privacy-super-injunctions-and-media-dispelling-myt/ [pirateparty.org.uk]

Privacy law in the UK is fairly simple but its application is confusing, and this confusion has not been helped by recent events. Over the last few weeks we have seen intense criticism of the law, and its application by the judiciary, coming from politicians, the media and even the Prime Minister. Not everything being reported by any of these groups is entirely accurate.

This helps dispel some of the myths that are being spread around about this case and others like it.

What I want to know is... (1)

jonwil (467024) | more than 2 years ago | (#36248712)

How an injunction granted by a UK court can apply to a web site hosted in the US or to users of that web site who are located in countries other than the UK.

Re:What I want to know is... (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#36248818)

How an injunction granted by a UK court can apply to a web site hosted in the US or to users of that web site who are located in countries other than the UK.

My understanding (and I could be wrong) is that they are going to try to get an injunction in a US court to ask Twitter to release information necessary for them to take proceeding against British twitters in a British court. Well actually probably only English and Welsh twitters, because the gagging order only applied there.

Re:What I want to know is... (2)

Zedrick (764028) | more than 2 years ago | (#36248820)

It's not a UK court, it's an English court - which means that newspapers in Scotland are free to publish his name. Media in the US should be able to do the same.

The Public Library Excuse (2)

Thangalin (848856) | more than 2 years ago | (#36248840)

Suppose I went to a public library, logged into my Twitter account and forgot to sign out before leaving. Someone uses the terminal immediately after my departure, notices my Twitter account, tweets Ryan's name, then signs me out.

What if a thief ran off with my phone while I was tweeting, tweets Ryan's name, and then the police recover my phone, but not the crook.

Am I liable? How could they prove it was me?

Re:The Public Library Excuse (1)

Tim C (15259) | more than 2 years ago | (#36248888)

How could they prove it was me?

The same way you prove anything - present evidence and let the magistrate/jury/whatever decide. Proving this is difficult, but not impossible - for example your defences won't wash if you tweeted about this a lot over a relatively extended period of time.

"Legally required"... (2)

colin_s_guthrie (929758) | more than 2 years ago | (#36248844)

It seems the wording is interesting. Of course they will give up the names if "Legally required" to do so. Otherwise they are breaking the law.... it's not a hard concept to understand.

That said the current action being taken against Twitter is basically just asking nicely. It would be a *lot* more complicated for that "asking nicely" to be come a legal requirement. It would require that a US court issues the request and thus cross continent legal corporation which is a) expensive and b) time consuming and c) subject to calif. priviacy laws. If things don't line up correctly, there will be no "legal requirement" and thus the names will not be given up.

That's my interpretation of it at any rate.

If the injunction is not public, how would I know (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36248858)

If the injunction is not public, how would I know not to write about Mr Giggs or whoever he may be.

Should read: Twitter CEOs don't want jail (1)

evilandi (2800) | more than 2 years ago | (#36248862)

So basically Twitter are saying that they'll do what a court in their own jurisdiction tells them to do.

Isn't that stating the bleedin' obvious? Seriously, did anyone expect Twitter company directors to say "Sure, I'll do jail time to defend some foreigner's rights to call the star of a sport that we don't even play, a slut."

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