Bad News for Bloggers

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Two recent decisions - one in England, the other in New York - raise the fundamental question how far bloggers are entitled to communicate their views without disclosing their identity. The US Supreme Court has upheld a right to speak anonymously; there are good arguments both for and against recognition of this freedom. A qualified right to speak anonymously can be justified on the same argument which supports the privilege claimed by journalists not to disclose their sources: without its recognition some people will be deterred from contributing to public debate either by acting as citizen-journalists or by giving the media information for it to publish. In this context, it is difficult to explain the decision of The Times to identify an anonymous blogger.

Document Type: Commentary

Publication date: December 1, 2009

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