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“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Abraham Lincoln

Posts Tagged ‘Barbra Streisand effect

Twitter Vs. Unnamed Sportsman.

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Up front, I like Twitter, the ease of accessing masses of information appeals to me, plus the fact that the rich and powerful can’t exert their customary controls and are brought down to the ground by the free availability of Twitter, so the new court case against Twitter should prove very amusing.

Apparently, lawyers on behalf of a Premier league footballer have served an injunction on Twitter, Business Week reports:

“May 20 (Bloomberg) — Twitter Inc. and some of its users were sued by an entity known as “CTB” in London, according to a court filing.

While the document gave no details, CTB are the initials used by the court in a separate lawsuit to refer to an athlete who won an anonymity order banning the media from publishing stories about his alleged affair with a reality-television star.

The Twitter suit was filed May 18 at the High Court in London according to court records, and named as defendants the San Francisco-based company and “persons unknown responsible for the publication of information on the Twitter accounts” listed in confidential court documents.

A Twitter user on May 8 posted a series of messages claiming a number of U.K. celebrities had received so-called super-injunctions and made claims detailing the activities that the people had sought to keep out of the public eye.

Twitter didn’t respond to a messages seeking comment. Daniel Ingram-Fletcher, a spokesman for the law firm representing CTB, didn’t respond to a messages seeking comment.

The case is: CTB v. Twitter Inc., Persons Unknown, High Court of Justice (Queens Bench Division), HQ11X01814.”

I imagine within an hour or two we will know from tweets on Twitter who CTB is and what’s going on!

It all seems so self-defeating as it highlights these issues and people are naturally going to comment on them, on Twitter, again, leading to the Barbra Streisand effect.

I suppose lawyers love it, they will end up suing tens of thousands of people across the globe who use Twitter, or perhaps they will realise the futility of such actions? When will the legal profession, the rich and powerful finally catch up with technology?

(Hat tip: Index on Censorship)

Update 1: The Guardian has more.

Update 2: Heresy Corner posts on this topic:

“It’s not yet clear how Twitter will respond to the lawsuit. Their terms of service specify that “international users agree to comply with all local laws regarding online conduct and acceptable content”, but the most notorious of the Twitter accounts listing alleged injunctions (@InjunctionSuper, which posted details of six supposed cases on 8th May and then went quiet) has not been taken down. The company is based in the United States and has little to fear from the English courts – although any assets they have in this country might be vulnerable.

In the short term, however, two things are clear. It is impossible for Twitter to delete all references to the alleged affair from their website. It has long since gone viral. It had gone viral even before the @InjunctionSuper account was set up, which is one reason why (unlike David Allen Green) I don’t think there are good grounds for saying that the account was a deliberate leak by someone in the know. (At least, if there are such grounds they do not lie in the content of the Tweets themselves, but rather in the immediate and disproportionate attention they attracted.) Predictably, the main result of today’s news on Twitter itself has been the proliferation of the name Giggs. Twitter, as a company, is powerless to shut this one down.

Secondly, there are now so many thousand “persons unknown” that they cannot all be sued, or even identified (the more likely intention). And even if CTB’s lawyers were able to track them all down and serve them with injunctions, the self-defeating effect would be to confirm the facts. Suspicion would become actual knowledge.

So how can Twitter satisfy the demands of the English courts – assuming, that is, that CTB’s case is found to have merit? The obvious way would be to block Twitter from the UK, putting it permanently out of the reach of British judges. It could happen. Already some US-based news and gossip sites, including National Enquirer, are unviewable in Britain without use of a proxy server, so alarmed are the publishers by English libel law. If CTB’s case succeeds, or inspires other, Twitter’s bosses might begin to see such a course of action as preferable to fighting costly legal battles on foreign soil. “

Update 3: The Guardian explains the Streisand effect: Secrecy in the digital age.

Update 4: TechCrunch is perplexed by the British legal system and I don’t blame them:

“We’ve been watching the British legal system turn itself into knots for the last couple of weeks, largely due to the ability of Twitter users to break just about any legal ‘super injunction’ a ‘celebrity’ (usually footballers) has on the reporting of their private life (usually affairs). So far so normal for Twitter. What’s a super injunction? It’s when someone rich (these things are very expensive) takes out an injunction on the press that not only stops them reporting something but also stops them reporting that the injunction even exists. That makes it ‘super’, which of course it is anything but.

But today the story took a new turn when it emerged that Twitter Inc. itself is being sued. Oh yes. They are going there.”

Update 5: David Allen Green blogs on it, carefully:

“It is important at this stage to be aware of what one cannot know for certain:

1. that the “CTB” is actually the same person as “CTB” in the recent privacy case (though it appears the same law firm is instructed);

2. what the claim is for in terms of law – is it a privacy claim or is it under some other form of law; and

3. what the remedy requested is – is it a damages claim or is it for disclosure by Twitter of third party information (for example the information of those who have used Twitter accounts to break – rather than repeat – allegations), or for something else.

As yet, we simply do not know.”

Bickering, Assange And Wikleaks.

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I hadn’t realised it but apparently there is a lot of bickering behind the recent leaks on Gitmo:

“The fight over who had what when, and was supposed to use it how, is leading to some especially hard feelings, including between folks who once got along. The gist seemed to be, “Is there no decency anymore?” Over here we have Wikileaks (presumably Julian Assange), tweeting annoyance over former colleague Daniel Domscheit-Berg’s alleged sneakiness.
“Domschiet, NYT, Guardian, attempted Gitmo spoiler against our 8 group coalition,” tweeted the Wikileaks account. “We had intel on them and published first.” And over there we have Pentagon press secretary and former NBC correspondent Geoff Morrell complaining about the New York Times’ Easter offensive. “Thx to Wikileaks we spent Easter weekend dealing w/NYT & other news orgs publishing leaked classified GTMO docs,” Morrell tweeted earlier today.

That Wikileaks earns the sarcastic thanks in Morrell’s account, considering that Times executive editor Bill Keller says in Calderone’s piece that “WikiLeaks is not our source.” But I guess it’s still a bit easier and less relationship damaging for the Pentagon to go after Assange and company than Keller and his team. “

Michael Calderone at HuffPost covers it too.

TPM LiveWire seems to get to the nub of the issue:

“Wikileaks founder Julian Assange's reputation as a fighter for transparency and destroyer of secrets ought to be thoroughly demolished by today’s spectacle of the New York Times literally forcing him to give up the Guantanamo Bay files he’d been hoarding for months.

Assange has been sitting on the 700-plus Gitmo detainee files since at least May of last year, when accused Wikileaker Bradley Manning confessed in a chat session to passing them to Wikileaks along with a plethora of classified military reports and diplomatic cables. They were the final sizable arrow in Assange’s anti-government quiver, and for months we’ve been waiting, and waiting, and waiting for their inevitable release. But Assange kept holding back.

They were published last night, at long last, only because the New York Times finagled its own copy–presumably from Wikileaks defector Daniel Domscheit-Berg–and shared it with NPR and the Guardian. Wikileaks, which had been working with the Washington Post and other papers on the Gitmo papers but was still keeping the information embargoed, scrambled to get its own version up. “

Update 1: Lest I forget, the NY times a good piece, a History of the Detainee Population.

Julian Assange at Kensingston Town Hall.

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The New Statesman failed to organise Live Streaming of their recent event with Julian Assange and couldn’t even get themselves organise to put it on YouTube.

Still, someone has done the job for them.

The clip below is just Assange, more might turn up later, but it is funny that the British media go on and on about ‘new media’ ‘Internet 2.0′, Twitter, and other buzz words they clearly don’t understand, yet they don’t have the wherewithal to upload a simple video to YouTube, how useless.

Update 1: Read more of the New Statesman’s self congratulatory guff at:

This house believes whistleblowers make the world a safer place: Part I

This house believes whistleblowers make the world a safer place: Part II

Julian Assange, Secrets And The Metropolitan Elite.

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It is very hard in the Internet age to keep a secret, as Wikileaks have shown. Someone will normally release a document or better still an incriminating video, and then the whole world knows.

YouTube is replete with every form of embarrassing video clip known to humanity, and then some.

However, if you were to look for a video clip of Julian Assange’s latest outing at the Kensington Town Hall, you won’t find anything, yet.

Not only that, but if you weren’t part of the Metropolitan Elites, a New Statesman reader or an interested media type then you probably wouldn’t know it was actually going on, in the first place.

If you did make it, then entry would cost you £20, concessions costing £15.00, not cheap in the age of austerity.

Hunting around assiduously you might find a slightly incoherent page on the New Statesman which purports to be live blogging, but it is next to impossible to follow the debate between Julian Assange and Douglas Murray, etc

Certainly, from the photos it seems to be well attended, by the Metropolitan Elites, but that doesn’t help anyone outside of London wanting to follow the debate.

I would speculate that the New Statesman might have considered doing Live Streaming during the planning of this event, as it is cheap and easy to do, but could have been overruled by a paranoid Julian Assange?

I say that as Assange has a bit of a track record with this type of behaviour. When doing the rounds in Cambridge and sucking up to the would-be elites Assange forbade video recording when he spoke.

It is all rather peculiar, all rather 1950s, keeping discussions within a self selecting few and restricting information on the wider issues.

Readers might think that goes against the ethos of Wikileaks, but it’s hardly surprising, those who have power and control, however, small it is, will often abuse and use it for their own ends. Julian Assange and the Metropolitan Elites are no different in that respect.

Still, I am not sure that Julian Assange or his hosts have a sufficiently well developed sense of irony to see the problem with their own conduct!

Who knows, perhaps, someone will secretly release a bootleg video of the event?

Update 1: Esther Addley adds more:

“But the political commentator Douglas Murray, director of the centre for social cohesion, challenged Assange over the website’s sources of funding, its staffing and connections with the Holocaust denier Israel Shamir, who has worked with the site.

“What gives you the right to decide what should be known or not? Governments are elected. You, Mr Assange are not.”

Murray also challenged the WikiLeaks founder over an account in a book by Guardian writers David Leigh and Luke Harding, in which the authors quote him suggesting that if informants were to be killed following publication of the leaks, they “had it coming to them”.

Assange repeated an earlier assertion that the website “is in the process of suing the Guardian” over the assertion, and asked if Murray would like to “join the queue” of organisations he was suing.

The Guardian has not received any notification of such action from WikiLeaks or its lawyers.

Jason Cowley, the editor of the New Statesman and chair of the debate, interjected to ask: “How can the great champion of open society be using our libel laws to challenge the press?” “

Continuing Coverage: Wikileaks And Assange.

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Some new material has been released into the public domain concerning the allegations against Julian Assange.

I can’t make my mind up on it. I think it tends to detract from the issues which have come out during these Wikileaks, Techworld reports:

“Text messages sent by the two women who accuse WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange of rape and assault mention “revenge” and “economic gain,” according to testimony during the second day of his extradition hearing.

Defense witness Björn Hurtig said he was allowed under police supervision to examine hundreds of messages, which “suggest things that go against what the claimants have said regarding the rape.”

Hurtig, who is Assange’s attorney in Sweden, said he saw text messages “speaking of revenge” and taking “economic advantage” of Assange, who is wanted for questioning related to alleged incidents with two women in mid-August 2010.

He faces possible charges of unlawful coercion, sexual molestation and rape, but his legal team presents those accusations as a veiled attack related to WikiLeaks’ release of secret U.S. diplomatic cables.”

His solicitors, Finers Stephens Innocent, have other material on their site here.

I haven’t looked through it if anyone finds anything good then please let me know.

And some of my other posts on the matter:

Sorry To My Female Readers.

Julian Assange: Fool? Historically illiterate ? Or Worse?

Julian Assange And The English Middle Class.

Shamir, Stupidity And Julian Assange.

Wikileaks Bits.

Wikileaks, Cyber-attacks And Wandsworth Prison.

Conspiracies, The CIA And The Racist, Israel Shamir.

Sorry To My Female Readers.

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I have had time to reflect and I wish to say sorry to my female readers, who I may have inadvertently offended in the discussions around Julian Assange’s Arrest And The Broken Condom.

I feel I was often too caustic, and not sufficiently attuned to the issues, as seen from a different perspective.

Regrettably, I tend to focus on political matters, sometimes to the exclusion of more intricate points.

So my apologies, particularly to any of my female readers who were rightly offended by my unnecessary and direct comments.

Sorry.

Julian Assange: Fool? Historically illiterate ? Or Worse?

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Access to the Internet doesn’t confer intelligence, but you would like to think that those with high-speed connections to the web could at least educate themselves on the basics.

The web is a positive encyclopaedia and with a few clicks you can find out most things.

So it is all the more annoying to see a constant, almost obsessive, Internet user demonstrate major historical illiteracy, that person is Julian Assange.

Readers will remember how I am somewhat enamoured of Wikileaks, as I think that it is good for information to come out into the public domain and stimulate debate. How I find the timing of the charges against Assange too coincidental.

Nevertheless, as the story unfolds in the media you get the impression that Julian Assange is a bit of a fool, or at the very least rather naive and unworldly.

His failure to do an elementary Google search on Israel Shamir/Jöran Jermas/Adam Ermash was rather worrying.

Assange’s profile on the free dating site, OkCupid.com, is indicative of someone not fully in touch with reality.

His latest comments, comparing his treatment to that of the Jews, is unbelievable, the JC has more:

“The founder of WikiLeaks has compared his treatment by the Swedish authorities seeking his extradition over sexual assault allegations to the persecution of the Jewish people in the last century.

Julian Assange, the 39-year-old Australian behind the extraordinary leaks of US diplomatic cables and documents, told The Times that he believed the allegations and the publicity surrounding them were unfounded and motivated by “a mixture of revenge, money, and police pressure.”

He said: “All sorts of abusive statements were made against the Jewish people in the 1950s and before.

“I’m not the Jewish people, but the people who believe in freedom of speech and accountability [are in the same position].”

Julian, it was considerably more than just “abusive statements”. Try searching Google with pogrom, Soviet antisemitism and mass murder.

I am lost for words.

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