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Supreme Court should rule on privacy, says MP

Adam Sherwin
Thursday 12 May 2011 00:00 BST

The Culture Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, should challenge a super-injunction in the Supreme Court to ensure that the courts are not interfering with free speech, an MP has claimed.

John Hemming, a Liberal Democrat, has tabled a written question in Parliament, urging Mr Hunt to intervene.

Mr Hunt said this week that ministers would hold urgent talks over the regulation of social media, pointing out that Twitter posts claiming to name those who have taken out injunctions made a "mockery" of privacy rules.

Mr Hemming said: "The current interpretation of the Human Rights Act is acting in an oppressive manner. The Government has the power to apply to intervene in privacy actions. It should use that power to ensure that the Supreme Court has the opportunity to sort out this problem."

He said Mr Hunt, using Treasury solicitors, could select a super-injunction and ask the Supreme Court to judge whether the order was contrary to section 12 of the Act, protecting freedom of expression for publishers.

With Twitter refusing to take action against the mystery Tweeter, attention has turned to Facebook, the world's largest social network site. Fake accounts have been created in the names of celebrities named on Twitter, detailing alleged sexual indiscretions.

The names remain on the mystery Tweeter's page, which now has more than 100,000 "followers", despite lying dormant since Sunday. The list has been pasted on numerous Facebook pages. Facebook, like Twitter, is based in the US and lies outside the jurisdiction of the UK courts.

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