ANONYMOUS bloggers — from public service whistleblowers to incendiary political commentators — will no longer be able to operate from the anonymity of cyberspace under a landmark ruling handed down by the British High Court. The case, brought before the court by The Times newspaper, sets a precedent in the wake of an attempt by a British police officer, who wrote a highly successful "insider" blog called NightJack, to try to keep his identity secret when a newspaper reporter guessed who he was.
The detective constable, Richard Horton, works with the Lancashire force and had used inside information on controversial cases, including genuine prosecutions, to comment on policing tactics and the application of the law. His writings urged readers not only to mistrust politicians and the legal system but also police officers.He was awarded the prestigious Orwell Prize for political writing as his blog, which was attracting an estimated 500,000 readers a week, sparked public debate about cases, although he changed names and details to protect victims and officers.
But according to the High Court, blogging is essentially "a public activity" and the police officer could not have a "reasonable expectation" to anonymity as it is not a private activity. The judge, Mr Justice Eady, added that even if the officer could have claimed he had a right to anonymity, he would still have ruled against him on grounds of public interest.
This is bad news for those who wish to anonymously publish the truth about corruption within the Government or Corporate sector. I totally disagree with the lawmakers decision, the public has a right to freedom of expression as well as expose the lies of those in authority. Although, the following case I totally support the right for the Government to determine the bloggers true identity.
The indictment, which was filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, accuses Drew and others of registering on MySpace as "Josh Evans" and using the account to lure Meier into an an online romance.