[LINK] Streisand Effect in the real world

Craig Sanders cas at taz.net.au
Wed Oct 14 21:25:39 AEDT 2009

the net is still useful for something other than astroturfing and spam
after all...


An unprecedented attempt by a British oil trading firm to prevent the
Guardian reporting parliamentary proceedings has collapsed following a
spontaneous online campaign to spread the information the paper had been
barred from publishing.

Carter-Ruck, the law firm representing Trafigura, was accused of
infringing the supremacy of parliament after it insisted that an
injunction obtained against the Guardian prevented the paper from
reporting a question tabled on Monday by the Labour MP Paul Farrelly.

Farrelly's question was about the implications for press freedom of an
order obtained by Trafigura preventing the Guardian and other media from
publishing the contents of a report related to the dumping of toxic
waste in Ivory Coast.

In today's edition, the Guardian was prevented from identifying
Farrelly, reporting the nature of his question, where the question could
be found, which company had sought the gag, or even which order was
constraining its coverage.

But overnight numerous users of the social networking site Twitter
posted details of Farrelly's question and by this morning the full text
had been published on two prominent blogs as well as in the magazine
Private Eye.

Carter-Ruck withdrew its gagging attempt by lunchtime, shortly before a
2pm high court hearing at which the Guardian was about to challenge its
stance, with the backing of other national newspapers.

MPs from all three major parties condemned the firm's attempt to prevent
the reporting of parliamentary proceedings. Farrelly told John Bercow,
the Speaker: "Yesterday, I understand, Carter-Ruck quite astonishingly
warned of legal action if the Guardian reported my question. In view of
the seriousness of this, will you accept representations from me over
this matter and consider whether Carter-Ruck's behaviour constitutes a
potential contempt of parliament?"

The Commons question reveals that Trafigura has obtained a hitherto
secret injunction, known as a "super-injunction", to prevent disclosures
about toxic oil waste it arranged to be dumped in west Africa in 2006,
making thousands of people ill.


more in the article.

see also http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2009/oct/12/guardian-gagged-from-reporting-parliament


craig sanders <cas at taz.net.au>

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