LONDON (Reuters) – Egypt's Hosni Mubarak failed to stem protest by turning off the Internet. Syria couldn't stop mobile phone video of bloody crackdowns appearing on YouTube.
The U.S. struggled to prevent the spread of Wikileaks cables and all the efforts of China's authorities haven't quite halted online dissent.
Now, a selection of mid-ranking British celebrities who hoped expensive court "superinjunctions" would hide affairs or indiscretions may be the latest victims of the rising power of the Internet and social media.
See, the rich and powerful can get a court to bar anyone from saying mean things. The author continues:
Only available in Britain but theoretically with global reach . . .
Hahahahah. Yes, theoretically, if there’s SuperInterpol cops who can take a helicopter to Idaho and kidnap a blogger.
. . . superinjunctions ban media outlets from mentioning not only the details of the case and the identities of those involved but even the existence of the injunction itself.
Breaching the order would put someone in contempt of court, liable to an unlimited fine and up to two years in prison.
Mainstream media organizations largely -- if reluctantly -- obeyed; but in recent weeks a string of identities and occasionally explicit details have leaked anyway, largely via Twitter and the wider Internet.
The highest profile, Manchester United footballer Ryan Giggs, was on Monday finally outed by mainstream media after an MP used "parliamentary privilege" to name him after tens of thousands of Twitter users had done likewise.
So there you have it: whenever you complain about government wasting its time over things you might not consider important, remember that an MP used his position to name a soccer player who everyone knew was having an affair with a Big Brother contestant.
Mr. Giggs’ response? He’s suing Twitter. Which is like suing the air for carrying sound waves if someone says something you don’t like.