Sunday, December 19, 2010

UK approves Tweeting in the Court Room During Assange Bail Hearing

You have to give credit to Julian Assange where credit is due. His name and his organization WikiLeaks strikes fear in every government and large corporation throughout the world. He has the ability to destroy international relationships and expose secrets with a simple keystroke. Due to Assange's creation, no "For Your Eyes Only" document is safe from "inquiring minds."

So far, Wikileaks' infamous document releases have been a big disappointment to me. Reading how U.S. diplomats view leaders from around the world is boring. I want WikiLeaks to release its documents on Bigfoot, the incident at Roswell, New Mexico in 1947, and its information on the Warren Commission. I want to know if Lee Harvey Oswald was the only person involved with President Kennedy's assassination.

Despite WikiLeaks major shortcomings, we can thank Assange's actions and current celebrity for a UK court's acceptance of the usage of Twitter during a court room proceeding. Howard Riddle, the Chief Magistrate presiding over Assange's bail hearing was asked and provided permission to a reporter that he could send Tweets if it is done quietly and does not disturb the court. Therefore, it appears that mircoblogging during a trial by reporters may be acceptable in the UK.

As of this writing, the US does not have a uniform rule on microblogging by reporters during trial. In a recent high profile trial in Chesire, Conn a defendant is using as part of his basis for appeal that Tweeting during trial created a "circus atmosphere." So far this argument has fallen on deaf ears. However, until there is uniformity throughout the US this argument may succeed in some jurisdictions.

In my opinion, up until this point in time,WikiLeaks' major contribution is that it has assisted a UK court in deciding that Tweeting during a judicial proceeding is acceptable. Only after WikiLeaks uploads the documents that answer all of my questions regarding Area 51, the Roswell Incident, and the Bigfoot can I truly say that it has topped its biggest accomplishment to date which is having a UK jurist determine that Tweeting during a court proceeding is acceptable.

To learn more about how your legal rights may be affected by social media usage you may contact me at www.shearlaw.com.

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