A future with social media: Wild West or Utopia? You have a stake in the outcome – Gideon Benaim

14 05 2014

Social MediaIn late March 2014 the House of Commons Culture Media and Sport Committee said that stronger action must be taken to protect children from online bullying and pornography, and warned that internet firms “may face prosecution for failing to show commitment to safeguarding youngsters”. Read the rest of this entry »





Maria Miller had to go. How will her replacement handle the big decisions? – Tom Chivers

12 04 2014

Sajid JavidMaria Miller did herself no favours in handling the row over her expenses with such contempt for an already soured public. I do not wish to add to the Himalayan mountain of comment about her ministerial conduct, however I believe it is worth following her widely demanded resignation through to its logical conclusion. There is, after all, a government department with a £1.1bn budget which has lost its chief. Read the rest of this entry »





Hackgate Files: Under Police Protection? – Maxine Carr, Derek Webb, and John Yates

16 02 2014

Derek-Webb-007Among the 153 celebrities and politicians the News of the World allegedly asked Derek Webb to put under surveillance, one name stands out – Maxine Carr. And for both Maxine Carr and Derek Webb, 17 December 2003 turned out to be a very significant date. Read the rest of this entry »





The Met – Upsetting The Apple Cart

8 02 2014

Metropolitan PoliceIn October 1999, John Stevens, then Deputy Commissioner of the  Metropolitan Police (MET), gave a high profile address at the 9th International Anti-Corruption Conference in Durban.  His speech was entitled ‘Integrity is not negotiable‘ (here). Read the rest of this entry »





Hidden in the Deregulation Bill: is this another backdoor threat to journalism? – Gill Phillips

30 01 2014

House-of-Commons-001On Monday 3 February the Second Reading of the Deregulation Bill takes place in the House of Commons. Hidden away amidst changes to the regulation of knitting yarns, sale of liquor confectionary to children and repeal of archaic offences of shaking carpets or keeping pigsties, is a provision that seeks to repeal some of the journalistic protections in the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984, which currently ensure that there is proper inter partes judicial scrutiny before police applications to obtain journalistic material are granted. Read the rest of this entry »





News: Culture Media and Sport Committee, one off session on “Dealing with Complaints against the Press”

29 01 2014

Lord HuntThe House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee session on ‘Dealing With Complaints Against The Press’ yesterday held a one off session into progress in establishing a new press regulator, and whether any regulatory body will seek recognition under the Royal Charter made on 30 October 2013.  This can be viewed on Parliament TV. Read the rest of this entry »





Surveillance, huh? What is it good for? – Paul Bernal

19 01 2014

gchqEvidence seems to be mounting that mass surveillance isn’t actually very good at dealing with terrorism. Hot on the heels of the admission by the NSA that their mass surveillance of telephone call data had only been helpful in a single terrorism-related case, a detailed new report by the New America Foundation seems to suggest that their other surveillance programmes, including the PRISM programme, are also conspicuously ineffective. Read the rest of this entry »





Journalists in the Dock: A new low for British justice, accountability and democracy – Justin Schlosberg

5 12 2013

Rusbridger Home AffairsThis week, the chairman of the home affairs select committee, Keith Vaz, asked the editor of the Guardian newspaper, Alan Rusbridger, whether he loves this country. This question was significant not just because of the immediate context in which it was posed (the Guardian’s revelations of mass surveillance by security services). It was significant because it revealed just how deeply the discourse of the right-wing media can seep into the consciousness of politicians. Read the rest of this entry »





Clare’s Law: a simple solution, or more confusion? – Paul Bernal

2 12 2013

Clare WoodThe news that ‘Clare’s Law’, by which according to the BBC ‘enables women to check the police record of a new boyfriend’ will be expanded to cover the whole of England and Wales fills me with unease. On the surface it seems to offer a simple tool in the fight against what is a truly horrendous problem – but I find myself wondering whether the process and the implications of this law have been properly thought through. Read the rest of this entry »





Lobbyists: seven key myths – Tamasin Cave

24 11 2013

handshake_2076887bThis month’s Lords debate on the Lobbying Bill included a statement by Lord Wallace for the government on why it is refusing to introduce a more comprehensive register of lobbyistsHe said:  Read the rest of this entry »








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