Court order served over Twitter

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The High Court in London has given permission for an injunction to be served via social-networking site Twitter.

The order is to be served against an unknown Twitter user who anonymously posts to the site using the same name as a right-wing political blogger.

The order demands the anonymous Twitter user reveal their identity and stop posing as Donal Blaney, who blogs at a site called Blaney’s Blarney.

The order says the Twitter user is breaching the copyright of Mr Blaney.

He told BBC News that the content being posted to Twitter in his name was “mildly objectionable”.

Mr Blaney turned to Twitter to serve the injunction rather than go through the potentially lengthy process of contacting Twitter headquarters in California and asking it to deal with the matter.

UK law states that an injunction does not have to be served in person and can be delivered by several different means including fax or e-mail.

Danvers Baillieu, a solicitor specialising in technology, said it was possible for anyone to approach the court about any method of serving an injunction if the traditional methods are unavailable.

“The rules already allow for electronic service of some documents, so that they can be sent by e-mail, and it should also be possible to use social networks,” he said.

Mr Blaney decided to use Twitter after a recent case in Australia where Facebook was used to serve a court order.

The blogger, who is also a lawyer and owns the firm serving the order, said that he thought that it was the first time Twitter had been used to deliver a court order.

The injunction – known as the Blaney’s Blarney Order – is due to be served at 1930 BST and will include a link to the text of the full court order.

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