Shatter vows to put end to ‘creepy keyhole journalism’




Justice Minister Alan Shatter said he would put an end to “creepy keyhole journalism” as his revisiting of privacy rules for the media received ministerial support.

However, Mr Shatter may spark a rift in the Cabinet with his moves on privacy legislation as the fallout from the publication of the Kate Middleton photos continues.

Labour minister Pat Rabbitte has said he is not convinced of the need for the legislation.

However, Mr Shatter’s decision to fast track changes to the dated privacy laws yesterday received the support of Richard Bruton, the jobs minister.

Speaking in Dublin, Mr Bruton said the Government would consider the issue shortly. He said it was a poor editorial judgement by the Irish Daily Star to print the photographs.

“We have to see a bill produced for Cabinet and Cabinet will take a decision on that. Clearly there’s issues raised. The minister will have to bring his proposals and Cabinet will consider those in due course.”

Asked if he thought privacy rules for the media should be strengthened, he added: “This case that has been brought to light has been one of poor judgement, poor editorial judgement that has occurred in this case. The implications of that haveto be assessed. Mr Shatter is making those assessments. Final decisions on that aren’t for me to express a view. These are complex areas. The Government will take a decision in due course on proposals emerging.”

His comments came as Mr Shatter said in a newspaper interview yesterday that the legislation was essential in ending what he called “creepy keyhole journalism”.

“In the light of this, and other actions by sections of the print media, it is my intention to bring proposals to cabinet in the new year.

“This was always my intention, but given what we have seen in relation to the Star, we will review the legislation sooner than expected.”

Mr Shatter had originally told the Seanad in March that he planned to revisit the laws — abandoned by the last government — next year.

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