LONDON, UK, (10th May 2011): Ian Birdsey, privacy expert at specialist insurer Hiscox, comments:
"The recent twitter-led revolt against celebrities demonstrates how the internet is threatening to make super-injunctions irrelevant. You can stop a media outlet from running a story but you can't stop the citizen journalist putting information in the public domain."
"The privacy debate echoes the Spycatcher case from the 80's - laws may exist to restrict publication but you can't always smother a hot story. When a former MI5 agent attempted to publish a book in the UK based on his own experiences in the secret services, the government banned the book in Britain and placed gagging orders on newspapers. However, as the book was available outside the UK, these steps were irrelevant and ultimately futile. No matter how much the UK government tried to kill it, the story was out."
"This case shows that while the rich and famous might have spent the last 12 months expanding English privacy law through the courts, social media has opened up borders and certainly has the potential to redress the balance. With the internet ultimately enabling anyone to be a journalist and report in the public domain, privacy laws will need to radically change to catch up."
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Notes to editors
Hiscox, the international specialist insurer, is headquartered in Bermuda and listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE:HSX). There are three main underwriting parts of the Group - Hiscox London Market, Hiscox UK and Europe and Hiscox International. Hiscox London Market underwrites internationally traded business in the London Market - generally large or complex business which needs to be shared with other insurers or needs the international licences of Lloyd's. Hiscox UK and Hiscox Europe offer a range of specialist insurance for professionals and business customers, as well as high net worth individuals. Hiscox International includes operations in Bermuda, Guernsey and USA. Hiscox Insurance Company Limited, Hiscox Underwriting Limited, Hiscox Europe Underwriting Limited and Hiscox Syndicates Limited are authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.
For further information, visit www.hiscox.com.
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