Tuesday, 16 June 2009
Police Discipline Detective...for Blogging
BBC - Force disciplines police blogger
A serving detective whose anonymous blog carried criticisms of government ministers and police bureaucracy has been disciplined by his force.
The action, by Lancashire Constabulary, follows the exposure of the blogger "Night Jack" by the Times newspaper. He was unmasked after the High Court rejected his plea that his anonymity be preserved "in the public interest".
Lancashire Constabulary said the blogger, named as Det Con Richard Horton, had received a written warning.
A spokeswoman said: "The commentary in the blog is indeed the work of a serving Lancashire detective and clearly the views and opinions expressed are those of the author himself and not those of the wider Constabulary.
"We have conducted a full internal investigation and the officer accepts that parts of his public commentary have fallen short of the standards of professional behaviour we expect of our police officers."
Earlier, Mr Justice Eady refused an injunction to prevent the Times identifying "Night Jack", who won an Orwell prize for blogging in April. The judge said said blogging was "essentially a public rather than a private activity". The blogger's lawyer had argued that preserving his anonymity was in the public interest.
Hugh Tomlinson QC said thousands of people who communicated via the internet under a cloak of anonymity would be "horrified" to think the law would do nothing to protect their identities if someone carried out the necessary detective work to unmask them.
But the judge ruled any right of privacy on the part of the blogger would be likely to be outweighed by a countervailing public interest in revealing that a particular police officer had been making such contributions. In his blog "Night Jack - An English Detective" an unnamed officer had chronicled his working life in an unnamed UK town with descriptions of local criminals and his struggle with police bureaucracy.
Mr Justice Eady said the blog contained opinions on a number of social and political issues relating to the police and the administration of justice. He added "Night Jack" had expressed strong opinions on matters of political controversy and had also criticised a number of ministers.
The judge said the blogger had known he risked disciplinary action if his employers found out one of its officers was communicating to the public in such a way. This was one of the main reasons why "Night Jack" was keen to maintain his anonymity, he added.
With particular reference to the text in red, is the article suggesting having 'opinions on a number of social and political issues' is illegal?
Wow, we've got some opinions over here, bring in the search dogs and let's see what else we can get on this guy. I forgot, are opinions dangerous again? Oh, if they fall outside of safe thought patterns? I see.
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And You Tell Me There's No Suppressed Technology?
It's another of those 'conspiracy theories' that good citizens don't notice. Imagine the standard of living if all the secret technology was released to the public...we'd be "free and independent" as JFK said! No more poverty anywhere! Can you imagine being sick enough to withhold such technology from society just to maintain your position of control? (Bearing in mind that we don't know just how much technological capability is being withheld, because, duh, it's secret.) What did Nikola Tesla really develop?
Individual Liberty? But that's "selfish"!
No, we need to look after each other voluntarily without having a government do all that at gunpoint. Sounds absurd at first but soon you realise that the reason it sounds so is because of the very unfree nature of our current existence. Envision greater possibilities! Ok, some kind of massive wake-up would be needed before this kind of free, responsible, uncontrollable society could emerge. And that's what we are seeing day by day in the world - a massive waking up of the previously enslaved masses (including myself I must add!)