UK Injunction Process Revised To Better Fit The Realities Of Internet Communication

from the "stfu-internet"-is-not-a-valid-command dept

As the fallout continues from the newly-minted "Giggs effect", UK’s Parliament has rushed into the breach, trying desperately to shut down the entire internet on behalf of one philandering footballer.

When MP John Hemming uttered the player’s name aloud in Parliament, pointing out the "impractibility" of arresting 75,000 Twitter users, it was assumed that the injunction was off and the UK media free to publish Giggs’ name and extracurricular activities.

However, this was reversed the very next day. Mr. Justice Tugendhat issued a ruling stating that although the injunction had failed to shut the internet up, it still served a purpose to prevent Giggs and his family from intrusion or harrassment. How exactly this injunction is supposed to prevent anything remains a mystery, unlike the identity of the original Man with No Name, Ryan Giggs.

Tugendhat’s ruling has been examined by Parliament and found to be lacking. In fact, it was their opinion that the entire "injunction" process was "badly in need of an overhaul".

The following statement* has been issued:

In light of recent events, Parliament has determined the injunction process is in need of revision.

As the events of the past few days have shown, once the information reaches the internet, there is no way of retrieving it. In this era of lightning-fast communication and group coupon utilization, it is unrealistic to expect that any such injunction process will prevent the spread of sensitive information.

As our main concern still lies with those who have filed a injunction in order to protect themselves from their own (and often, actionable) misdeeds, the Parliament has ratified (or whatever it is that we do here) the following changes to the injunction process:

The internet today currently serves billions of people worldwide, nearly 50% of whom are either ‘wired in’ to various social networks or torrenting ‘The Hurt Locker’.

Considering the unimaginable amount of potential superinjunction violators, as well as the incredible difficulty of placing said violators under arrest (not to mention the intricacies of multiple countries’ extradition laws), Parliament has determined that the simpler course of action would be to remove the ‘victim’ of this sort of exposure.

Any citizen filing for an injunction will be remanded to our custody and transported to a location where internet service is extremely limited. Like Burkina Faso. Or 1993.

It is hoped that this action will prevent the injunctioner from being haunted by his own actions and free him from possible harrassment. Spouses who have not yet filed for divorce will be delivered to this "internet-free zone" within 48 hours of the first damning ‘Tweet’, often accompanied by a lawyer.

The trial run of this new process is underway. Giggs has been remanded to the custody of Sergeant Murtagh, who has repeatedly stated that he is "too old for this shit." Giggs is to remain sequestered for the next 90 days or until eclipsed by the next footballer scandal, whichever comes first.

*This is probably not true. At all. I had a rack of bad shellfish and spent the night suffering from mild hallucinations which I hoped to calm with the stately, measured tones of a BBC-Span** broadcast.

**This most likely doesn’t exist either.

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Comments on “UK Injunction Process Revised To Better Fit The Realities Of Internet Communication”

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Raphael (profile) says:

Don't say they never think of the little guy

“Many of you have noted that the superinjunction process is insufficiently responsive to citizens of limited means. We are sensitive to this concern. Citizens of limited means maintain our estates and townhouses. They polish our shoes, prepare our meals, and perform the unpleasant tasks associated with raising our offspring.

In order that they might also receive the full benefit of this policy, we are instituting a program under which the Government, at no charge, will provide requesting citizens with a Home Superinjunction Kit. This is to consist of a 20-gallon cylindrical receptacle, a 20lb bag of cement mix, a 20lb bag of sand, and a snorkel. Any citizen who desires the benefits of a superinjunction is encouraged to make use of these kits until such time as we can make the world completely inoffensive to everyone at all times.”

Raphael (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Response to: Anonymous Coward on May 25th, 2011 @ 6:25am

Our tour of the internet pauses here, ladies and gentlemen, to observe the curious species known as the anonymous comment troll. This elusive creature subsists entirely on misinformation, crude sexual innuendo and conflict. Sometimes the tool of powerful interests, they are more frequently the online avatars of profoundly miserable humans.

Imagine him, if you will, sitting in the corner of the public library where his furtive consumption of pornography is least visible to the librarian at the reference desk. Consider the librarian, pretending with all her might not to notice; she understands that this individual is so persistently terrified and self-defeating that the removal of this tenuous link to the outside world might cripple him permanently. Is there hope for the anonymous comment troll? Not if he has anything to say about it.

We will now move on to our next stop, but I encourage you all to note the behavior of anonymous comment trolls where you see them in the wild. They are a persistent part of the online ecosystem, and gather in large numbers around areas of new innovation. They are like the commotion of splashes on the surface of the ocean during a feeding frenzy, showing the gulls where there are scraps to be had…

Jake says:

Actually, it does exist, only it’s called BBC Parliament. And that’s probably not a lot worse than what they’ll actually come up with!

Come to think of it, why has nobody yet done anything about the fact that the rules on parliamentary privilege were last updated well before we even started letting television cameras in? I’m not exactly wild about the concept of superinjunctions, though I can see points on both sides given how many British newspapers are happy to ignore every other law of the land that stands between them and higher sales figures, but letting MPs torpedo them on a whim is beyond ridiculous.

Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile) says:

Re: Re:

BBC Parliament! I can only imagine the sort of excitement that zzzzzzzzzzzz

On the other hand, it’s a hallucination come true!

PS. If the MPs can’t whimsically torpedo injunctions, then it’s up to the internet to take the lead. (Again.) Remind me to create a Flash game called Whimsical Torpedo. I’m thinking Battleship meets Katamari Damacy with each successful hit being rewarded with a choice P.G. Wodehouse quote.

DannyB (profile) says:

Words to WikiLeaks by


As the events of the past few days have shown, once the information reaches the internet, there is no way of retrieving it. In this era of lightning-fast communication and group coupon utilization, it is unrealistic to expect that any such injunction process will prevent the spread of sensitive information.

Words the US Government needs to take to heart about WikiLeaks.

Paddy Duke (profile) says:

I'm bored of the crappy comedy posts now

I find most of Tim Cushing’s articles inappropriate in tone for Techdirt, where I used to come to read insightful articles on issues surrounding the media, government policy, international legal systems, and technology.

Recently though, it seems that I’d have been better off reading The Onion. At least their satire is funny.

Dark Helmet (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: I'm bored of the crappy comedy posts now

I’m surprised at this kind of response actually. Techdirt is 99% serious posts and I really like a snarky but smart take no and again. Of course, I’m one of those odd people that believes humor is the last tool of the oppressed, so perhaps I’m the idiot.

In any case, Cushing is the second funniest person I’ve seen posting on Techdirt (is it possible to “see” yourself?). Meanwhile, there’s always a point behind them. Perhaps that post in question would be better served with comments related to the actual topic and not opinions on the humorous tone of the piece?

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