There appears to be a serious problem with super injunctions for bloggers. How can we comply with an injunction that is so secret we don’t even know it exists?
I heard the other day that Ryan Giggs was having an affair. Let’s use him as an example; say he took out a super injunction to prevent people reporting that online. How would I know it even exists? There does not appear to be any way I can find out that there is a gagging order on the information. The major newspapers are informed, but I wonder if all the smaller local ones are. Bloggers certainly are not.
It seems like the only choice for bloggers is to not write about anything that could be covered by a secret injunction, but clearly that is unacceptable as it would mean the end of free speech and amateur reporting. Not just online, but in newsletters and books too.
On Newsnight they were discussing the nature of these super injunctions and apparently many of them are in place to prevent blackmail. Random celebrity is threatened with “exposure” by someone so they try to prevent that person going to the papers. Chances are at least some of these cases are genuine blackmail where the victim has done nothing wrong and simply wishes to protect their reputation, but since we can’t know that when it does eventually leak out it is impossible to present both sides of the story. I generally don’t go in for this kind of tittle-tattle but people like Sir Fred Goodwin and the various private companies using super injunctions should be reported on and it is clearly in the public interest, and therefore the situation is intolerable.