In the UK, a Few Tweets Restore Freedom of Speech

The Guardian newspaper was forbidden by a judge from reporting a question in UK parliament. The press’s freedom to do so has been fought for since at least 1688 and fully acknowledged since the 19th century. At issue was a matter of public record — but the country’s libel laws meant that the newspaper could not inform the public of what parliament was up to. The question concerned the oil trading company Trafigura, the toxic waste scandal they are involved in, and their generous use of libel lawyers to silence those who would report on the whole thing. After tweeters and bloggers shouted about Trafigura all over the Internet, the company’s lawyers agreed to drop the gag request — via Slashdot

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