Twitter account claims to expose injunction celebrities

A TWITTER user has set up an account claiming to expose a series of celebrities and high-profile public figures who have obtained injunctions to prevent reporting about their private lives.

The messages on the microblogging site, which can be read by anyone online, comes after a council defended its legal fight to unmask a blogger amid reports Twitter has handed British users’ details over to the local authority following a court order.

The latest attempt to get around gagging orders supposedly taken out against the media also follows a year-long review of the use of injunctions that exposed tensions between Britain’s parliament and judiciary.

The list, made in 14 separate tweets, contains links to documents, names and even some addresses of those who it claims have been granted injunctions.

It was published just hours after reports that South Tyneside Council’s bid to get California-based Twitter to reveal details about a number of accounts as part of a libel investigation was successful.

The council has been pursuing legal action against a blogger known as Mr Monkey, who has levelled a stream of criticisms and false allegations against councillors and council officers.

Some commentators believe the move could have wider consequences for those wanting to track down Twitter users who break privacy injunctions.

Last week, the former head of the press watchdog insisted that the Human Rights Act must be amended urgently to end the “shambles” of judges gagging newspapers over the private lives of celebrities.

John Wakeham said the “intolerable” spate of privacy injunctions granted was an “inevitable” consequence of the legislation, which was passed by Labour in 1998.

The peer called for a change to the law so that judges could only grant injunctions where issues “impact on public authorities and the State”.

Wakeham, who chaired the Press Complaints Commission from 1995 to 2001, suggested the media should be “outside the direct supervision of the courts on privacy issues” and should instead be regulated by a strengthened commission.

Liberal Democrat MP John Hemming named Ryan Giggs as the footballer who took out a gagging order to cover up his relationship with reality TV star Imogen Thomas.

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