Trafigura: A few tweets and freedom of speech is restored

Posted in: Legal & Security at 15/10/2009 02:18

The Guardian story announcing that it had been restricted by an existing high court order from reporting certain parliamentary proceedings had been published online for just a matter of minutes before internet users began tearing apart the gag.

On Monday evening, blogs and the social networking site Twitter buzzed as users rushed to solve the mystery of who was behind the gagging attempt that less than an hour earlier had prevented the newspaper reporting details of a question tabled by an MP to be answered by a minister later this week.

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Trafigura drops bid to gag Guardian over MP's question
An unprecedented attempt by a British oil trading firm to prevent the Guardian reporting parliamentary proceedings collapsedtoday following a spontaneous online campaign to spread the information the paper had been barred from publishing.

Carter-Ruck, the law firm representing Trafigura, was accused of infringing the supremacy of parliament after it insisted that an injunction obtained against the Guardian prevented the paper from reporting a question tabled on Monday by the Labour MP Paul Farrelly.

Twitter-power wins gagging victory over Carter-Ruck and Trafigura
Twitter erupted in celebration today as users of the microblogging site claimed victory after a short but furious campaign against London's most famous libel lawyers.

The campaign was prompted by a report last night on The Guardian website cryptically announcing that the newspaper was legally barred from giving any details of a particular parliamentary question published in yesterday's Commons order papers.

UK law firm in partial retreat over Guardian gagging order
The reach of parliamentary privilege and the efficacy of High Court injunctions in the age of the internet came under the spotlight on Tuesday, after The Guardian newspaper won its battle to change a court order that prevented the media from reporting the contents of a parliamentary question.

The decision by Carter-Ruck, libel lawyers, to drop their attempt to enforce a gag followed a concerted campaign on Twitter, the social networking site, through which the contents of the question were widely disseminated. Although there was no suggestion the campaign had directly influenced Carter-Ruck, the development led media lawyers to argue that the law had not kept pace with technological innovation.

U.K. Twitter Campaign Helps Curb Gag on Press
A Twitter campaign that rippled through the U.K. Tuesday helped to induce an about-face on a legal injunction that was preventing the Guardian newspaper from reporting on a public parliamentary proceeding.

Bloggers and Twitter users, led by Guardian Editor Alan Rusbridger, expressed indignation about a court injunction that called into question the British newspaper's right to report on a parliamentary debate.

Reporting bans may lose their power in Twitter age says expert after Guardian ban is lifted
The editor of a newspaper which was banned from reporting on the tabling of a question in Parliament has thanked the users of micro-blogging service Twitter for their role in what he called a "victory for free speech".

A litigation expert has said that the widespread passing on of information by Twitter and Facebook users when it was the subject of a reporting ban could undermine the effectiveness of such injunctions.

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