Giggs lawyers hunt down Twitter users

2011-05-25 22:13

Paris - Twitter will attempt to notify its users so that they can defend themselves before it hands over user information to the authorities, a senior manager said on Wednesday when asked about a privacy dispute in Britain related to the Ryan Giggs case.

"Platforms should have responsibility not to defend the user, but to protect that user's right to defend him or herself," said Tony Wang, general manager of Twitter's European operations.

Users have posted details on Twitter of celebrity scandals, in contravention of so-called super injunctions.

Super injunctions, issued by English courts, ban media outlets from mentioning not only the details of the case and the identities of those involved but even the existence of the injunction itself.

Breaching the order would put someone in contempt of court, liable to an unlimited fine and up to two years in prison.

Mainstream media organisations have reluctantly obeyed such court orders, but in recent weeks a string of identities have leaked, largely via Twitter and the wider internet - in an echo of the unsuccessful attempts to suppress the publication of WikiLeaks cables on the internet.

Lawyers representing one of the celebrities named, Manchester United footballer Ryan Giggs, have asked US - based Twitter via a London court for information about the users who published his name in tweets.

Lawyers chasing down ordinary people

Wang, who was speaking at the e-G8 internet forum in Paris, said he could not comment specifically on the cases in Britain, but said: "If we're legally required to turn over user information, to the extent that we can, we want to notify the user involved, let them know and let them exercise their rights under their own jurisdiction.

"That's not to say that they will ultimately prevail, that's not to say that law enforcement doesn't get the information they need, but what it does do is take that process into the court of law and let it play out there."

A British politician identified Giggs on Monday in parliament as the soccer star fighting a legal battle to prevent newspapers publishing allegations of an affair.

John Hemming, who campaigns for press freedom, used parliamentary privilege, which allows parliamentarians to raise legal issues without fear of prosecution.

Hemming said he had acted after lawyers asked for information about Twitter users. "If you are going to have an expensive firm of lawyers chasing down ordinary people, with a view to threatening them with a jail sentence because they have gossiped about a footballer, that is fundamentally wrong," he told BBC television.

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron has promised a review of privacy laws.

Read more on:    twitter  |  ryan giggs  |  uk  |  social media  |  internet
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
5 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

The world's least visited destination is breathtaking!

Who would have guessed the world’s least visited country would have such spectacular beaches?

 
 

I love summer.24

LOL treadmill fail!
Google’s top searches of 2014
10 of the strangest Christmas traditions around the world
2014's best drone videos

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Any chance to explore the distant shores of things yet to be found will fascinate you. The challenge is dealing with the issues...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.