Cameron weighs in on Twitter injunction debate

The prime minister has said that privacy laws should be examined, after a gagging order failed to prevent the identity of a celebrity with a super-injunction from being revealed online

Prime minister David Cameron has acknowledged that the government should review current privacy laws in England, after the identity of a celebrity was widely shared on Twitter despite being protected by a court injunction.

Prime minister David Cameron

Prime minister David Cameron has said that privacy laws should be examined, after a gagging order was breached online. Photo credit: BIS

It is unfair and "rather unsustainable" that newspapers cannot print information that is commonly known online, Cameron said in an interview on ITV1's Daybreak programme on Monday. However, he noted that "the law is the law" and judges are being called upon to interpret existing legislation.

"What I've said in the past is the danger is that judgements are effectively writing a new law, which is what parliament is meant to do," Cameron said. "So I think the government — parliament — has got to take some time out, have a proper look at this, have a think about what we can do. But I'm not sure there is going to be a simple answer."

The prime minister's comments come after a celebrity known as 'CTB' filed suit against Twitter and undisclosed individuals for publishing details identifying him on the social-networking site. Those details were protected by a gagging order, known as a super-injunction. Super-injunctions bar any publication in England and Wales from revealing the existence of an injunction, which itself prevents the publication of a story.

In the past, Twitter has shown signs of support for free speech. For example, it provided technology to help protesters get around internet outages during the recent upheavals in Egypt.

The suit names Twitter at its California headquarters as a defendant. However, the social-media company plans to open the doors of its first London office soon, according to reports over the weekend.

Twitter executive Tony Wang relocated to London over the weekend, according to his personal Twitter stream. Wang has said that the move is in order to "get us [Twitter] started in the UK".

The company has not released many details about its new London office. However, the Twitter vacancy page shows that it wants to recruit account executives, a communication manager and sales account manager. Wang also lists his job as "doing deals" at Twitter, suggesting that the new office could be a hub for the company's UK sales and marketing activities rather than for developing technology.


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