Leading article: Secrets and lies

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The Independent Online

It was always just a matter of time before someone in the new media with sufficient bravado or determination decided to try his luck against the tide of "super-injunctions" – the bans on disclosure whose very existence must be kept under wraps. What is expensive forbidden territory for newspapers and broadcasters is harder to define, and much harder to guard, in today's new social media, where there is a ready answer to every question – you just don't know whether that answer is true.

Set against the crusading zeal of Julian Assange and the mass of classified information published by WikiLeaks, the ambitions of the Tweeter who attached names to a clutch of shy and hitherto anonymous celebrities seem modest. But the issues, and the dilemmas, are related. The high walls of law and convention that keep information "safe" from the masses are collapsing, and remedies for the aggrieved are less reliable than they were.

If the rules have become unenforceable, it can be argued that they must be reinforced, abandoned or changed. But it is untenable that there should be one law for the old media and quite a different law, or none at all, for the new. Granted that the technological possibilities change by the day, the law must strive to keep up.