Jun 162009
 June 16, 2009  Court, Featured News, Non-U.S., Online

Thousands of bloggers churn out opinions daily – secure in the protection afforded to them by the cloak of anonymity.

From today they can no longer be secure that their identity can be kept secret, after a landmark ruling by Mr Justice Eady.

The judge who has become synonymous with creating a law of privacy has struck a blow in favour of openness, ruling that blogging is “essentially a public rather than a private activity”. In the first case of its kind, Mr Justice Eady ruled that a serving police officer could not have an injunction to stop The Times identifying him as the author of the “NightJack” blog.

The judge applied a two-fold test that is now established in privacy cases: first, whether the police officer had a reasonable expectation of privacy (in this case over his identity); and if so, whether that right to privacy was overridden by a countervailing public interest in disclosure of his name.

Read more in The Times Online.

Update: The BBC is reporting that the blogger, now identified as Det Con Richard Horton, had received a written warning from his police force:

A spokesman [for the Lancashire Constabulary] said: “The commentary in the blog is indeed the work of a serving Lancashire detective and clearly the views and opinions expressed are those of the author himself and not those of the wider Constabulary.

“We have conducted a full internal investigation and the officer accepts that parts of his public commentary have fallen short of the standards of professional behaviour we expect of our police officers.”

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.