Thursday 24 December 2009

Privacy law: Why the Sun can't name Premier League football manager caught in brothel

Despite widespread speculation about his identity on the internet, the Sun has been prevented from naming a Premier League football club manager it claims visited a brothel.
The Sun yesterday claimed it was gagged from naming the manager because of what it claims is "creeping privacy laws" in the UK.
Press Gazette editor Dominic Ponsford says today the "Max Mosley effect" has been blamed for stopping the paper naming the manager who it said visited a Thai “vice den”.
In July, the High Court ruled that the News of the World had infringed the privacy of married Formula One boss Max Mosley by revealing that he had taken part in a sado-masachistic orgy with five dominatrices, publishing photos and video.
Lawyer Mark Stephens is quoted in the Daily Mail today stating: "We have gone far too far with our privacy laws. There was a concern that the media was becoming more aggressive in its reporting. That has now been swung back, and the law is now being used by the rich and powerful to stifle legitimate reporting."
Also in the Daily Mail today, media commentator Stephen Glover says: “The sole reassuring aspect of this sordid tale is that various bloggers on the internet are already fingering the culprit. The privacy law which is throttling newspapers makes no impact on the wilder reaches of the internet.
"But for the mainstream media, on which most people depend, the outlook is grim. Today, it is a football manager. Tomorrow, it may be someone really important doing something even worse. In either case, thanks to the rapid progress of judge-made law, and in particular the rulings of one judge, we can't and won't be told the truth."

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