Law and Media Round Up – 21 May 2018

21 05 2018

On Tuesday 15 May 2018 the House of Lords voted to support amendments to the Data Protection Bill implementing Part Two of the Leveson Inquiry, namely 252 to 213 in favour of the proposals.However, when the matter went back to the House of Commons MP’s again voted against the amendment to implement Leveson Part Two, amid statements by Culture Secretary Mike Hancock offering to strengthen press regulation powers.

Whilst the ping-pong style of approval continues between the Houses, the draft Data Protection Bill must be implemented by 25 May 2018 to ensure the harmonisation of UK data protection laws with those mandated by the General Data Protection Regulation.

Mark Zuckerberg is set to meet MEP’s before the European Parliament and respond to further question regarding Facebook’s treatment of user personal data. BBC News, Reuters and CNBC has coverage.

Money Savings Expert Founder Martin Lewis has met with Facebook following his filing of a defamation lawsuit against the social media giant. The case centres around fake advertising on the site which utilised Lewis’ personality.

The Law Society Gazette has a comment on the case of Reid v Newsquestentitled “High Court backs lawyers’ ‘hatchet job’ lible claim”.

The Brett Wilson Media Law Blog has considered how unjustified threats of legal action may amount to harassment illustrated by the recent case of Worthington & Anor v Metropolitan Housing Trust Ltd [2018] EWCA Civ 1125.

Internet and Social Media                 

Stanford Law School has launched the second version of its World Intermediary Liability Map, a useful and extensive map which provide an accessible resource summarising international legal frameworks imposing intermediary liability. Where possible this includes legislative mandates, caselaw application and insightful commentary.

A Californian Court has awarded $6.4m to a woman who sued her ex-boyfriend after he posted sexually explicit images online.

The LSE Media Policy Project Blog has a succinct summary of global governmental policy responses to Facebook’s regulation noting that some jurisdictions have been zealous and hasty in their effort to regulate the social media giant.

The Press Gazette has an article on the use of data collection mechanisms by news websites following a Report [pdf] published by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism.

Wired notes extensive comments by FCC chair Aji Pai on Twitter and the insight into net neutrality policy these provide.

Following an online smear campaign against him BBC present Stephen Nolan has threatened to sue the “internet trolls” responsible for the campaign, the Belfast Telegraph reports.

Privacy and Data Protection

The Council of Europe has amended the data protection convention via Convention 108, strengthening data protection laws. The associated press release, with coverage of the practical implications of the Convention adoption, can be found here.

The HawkTalk blog has an in-depth article on the Data Protection Bill’s treatment of employment references as confidential information, which cannot be disclosed in any circumstances.

Above the Law considers how companies need to engage with Data Protection laws at Board level.

The Register debates whether users increasing demands for convenience will lead to a corresponding trade-off in privacy rights.

ICO

The Crown Prosecution Service has been fined £325,000 following the loss of 15 victim’s unencrypted interviews.

Surveillance

Privacy International has an article on its case against the Governments powers to intercept and hack telephone communications, which has recently been given leave to be heard in the UK Supreme Court in December 2018. The case originates from a decision of the Investigatory Powers Tribunal permitting the Government to use “general warrants” to blanket hack multiple devices in the absence of manifest evidence of individual wrongdoing, which later was the subject of a judicial review application.  The Court of Appeal decision – which can be found here – was that the Tribunal could not be subject to judicial review proceedings due to the protection afforded by section 67(8) of the Regulatory Investigatory Powers Act 2000.

The Stanford Cyberlaw Blog has highlighted Google’s influence in relation to militarisation and defence, arguing that its commercialisation of technology to serve these purposes much be curtailed. The article comes in light of Google’s participation in the Pentagon Project Maven, which researches the application of AI to military drones. Yahoo News has a similar article focusing more broadly on the militarisation of technology, including the use of drones for surveillance purposes.

The US State Department is to collect via applicants’ social media information for tracking and security purposes – the Social Media Law Bulletin has coverage.

Newspapers Journalism and Regulation

The Press Gazette has an item about the Lord Kerslakes’ comments  about journalistic coverage and practices following the events of the 22 May 2017 Manchester Arena attack.

Emiel Jurjens and Jens van den Brink comment, via an INFORRM post, on the EI’s growing efforts to tackle fake news and the spread of misinformation following its recent publication of the Communication on Tackling online disinformation Report.

IPSO

The Press Gazette has considered the difficulties surrounding curtailing fake news coverage and the role of the IPSO mark in relation to these efforts.

Rulings              

IPSO has published a series of rulings and two Resolution Statements from the Complaints Committee:

 Statements in Open Court and Apologies

 On 15 May 2018 there was a statement in open court in the case of Lachaux v AOL (Huffington Post).  5RB has published the statement on their website.

 On 17 May 2018 there was a statement in open court in the case of Chandler v Another Europe is Possible Limited.  There was a report in the National.

 Last Week in the Courts

 On 14 May 2018 Warby J heard applications in the case of Sube v News Group Newspapers.

On the same day Jay J heard an application for permission to appeal (with appeal to follow if permission granted) against the judgment of Master Fontaine in the case of Buzzfeed v Gubarev.  He handed down judgment on 14 May 2018, dismissing the appeal ([2018] EWHC 1201 (QB))

On 16 May 2018 Langstaff J handed down judgment on costs in Various Claimants v Wm Morrison Supermarkets PLC [2018] EWHC 1123 (QB).  He awarded the Claimants 40% of their costs. There is a post about the decision on the Panopticon Blog.

On 17 May 2018, the Court of Appeal (Gross, Macfarlane and Coulson LJJ) heard the appeal in the case of TLT v Home Office.  Judgment was reserved.

On 18 May 2018 Jay J granted an injunction in the case of Reid v Price, preventing Katie Price from showing “sexual” pictures of her former husband Alex Reid.  There was a Press Association report.

Events

Media Law in Other Jurisdictions

Australia

The Guardian reports on the evidence given by radio host Alan Jones in the Brisbane Supreme Court the libel case brought by the Wagner family.  ABC news reports on his cross-examination.

The same newspaper has a report about the award of Aus$175,000 to former MP Sophie Mirabella.

Canada

Michael Geist’s Blog notes Bell Media’s comments in relation to allegations that it conducted preliminary private meetings with the CRTC in relation to its website blocking plan.

China

The Wall Street Journal considers Beijing’s surveillance laws and how the government’s investment and integration of technology into its surveillance strategy has the dangerous propensity to repress the public.

India

The Hoot has coverage of the recent Karnataka elections, particularly in relation the impact of fake social media audio and messaging.

Malaysia

TV3 has been ordered to pay RM1.1M to opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim in a defamation lawsuit.

Malta

The Media and Defamation Act 2018 has been passed by parliament and will come into force this week.  The Times of Malta has a piece entitled Criminal libel is history as new media law comes into force

United States

Summer Zevros’ defamation case against President has proceeded to its initial evidence gathering stage following the New York Appeals court denying a motion to stay the case filed by the President’s lawyers.

Blog Law Online has an article on the publication of client names by attorneys in their course of representation, illustrated by the recent case in April 2018 in the Columbian Courts where Sean Hannity’s representation by Michael Cohen was requested to be revealed by a lawyer present at the proceedings for media third parties.

Research and Resources

Next Week in the Courts 

On 21 and 22 May 2018 Warby J will hear an application for permission to serve a representative action out of the jurisdiction in the case of Lloyd v Google.

On 24 May 2018, the Court of Appeal will hear an application for permission to appeal in the harassment case of Lisle-Mainwaring v Associated Newspapers.

Judgments

The following reserved judgments after public hearings in a media law case are outstanding:

Economou v Freitas, heard 17 and 18 April 2018 (Lewison, Ryder and Sharp LJJ)

TLT v Home Office, heard 17 May 2018 (Gross, Macfarlane and Coulson LJJ)

This Round Up was compiled by Suneet Sharma, a junior legal professional with a particular interest and experience in media law


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