World wide warning
An anonymous internet blogger has become the first person ever to receive a court order via Twitter. A High Court judge served the order on the unknown Twitter user for posting under the identity of political blogger Donal Blaney. Mr Blaney took action after what he described as “mildly objectionable” posts began to appear under his name on the internet micro-blogging site. The injunction requires the unknown blogger to reveal their identity and orders them to stop using Mr Blaney’s name.
Matthew Richardson, the barrister who brought the case before the courts, said: “The order is huge step forward in preventing anonymous abuse of the internet… people can no longer hide behind a cloak of anonymity.” Many technology experts believe that the case marks a turning point in the way the legal system deals with internet crime. Only weeks ago a court in Australia posted a court summons on the Facebook profile page of a couple who were on the run after defaulting on their mortgage.
Although usually served in person or over the telephone, court orders have been served in the past using fax and email. Whether the use of Twitter to serve the injunction in the Blaney case will have any effect on the offending blogger, is yet to be seen.