Twitter user sent court order through Twitter message

A court order has been served through the use of Twitter to an anonymous user who was impersonating a right-wing blogger, according to articles by the BBC and Reuters. The anonymous user could not be reached via normal methods, so the court order was sent to their Twitter account.

The next time the impersonator logs in to their Twitter account, they will be greeted with the court order sent by Britain's High Court and, according to Andre Walker, "will be told to stop posting, to remove previous posts and to identify themselves to the High Court via a web link form."

The court order was sought by right-wing blogger Donal Blaney, who decided to send a court order to an anonymous Twitter user as opposed to contacting Twitter to have the account closed. According to Channel 4 News, the plan was to send part of the court order to the impersonating account in a direct message, and then log the IP address of the user when they visit the link to the full court order.

It would appear that whoever created the plan failed to realise that the user impersonating Mr Blaney may decide not to click the link, considering all the publicity this has generated. In addition, the user could also use a proxy to prevent his IP address being discovered.

The barrister for the case said "No person can now break the law anonymously on the internet in this country. That means no false Twitter accounts, no false Facebook accounts, and no fake blogs. It's a step in a very special direction."

How correct the barrister's statement is remains to be seen.

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20 Comments

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Heh....I'll laugh when he clicks on the link, and they trace the IP back to the local Starbucks/Whatever coffee joint/cyber cafe free Wi-Fi....lol.

You can be served an injunction in the UK by pretty much any means including e-mail, fax.... so not surprised they've done it via Twitter as that's the target of the injunction.

HDD explode? I thought the whole computer exploded with the secret embedded C4 in all CPU's these days. Didn't you about that? They send the signal then BOOM! Person dies. LOL

As this case seems funny and ridicilous it echos the sad direction in which we are moving.
This again proves that those who make and maintain the law have absolutely no idea what they are doing.
Even more stupid and uncontrolable laws as result in trying to control evil.

Amadeke said,
As this case seems funny and ridicilous it echos the sad direction in which we are moving.
This again proves that those who make and maintain the law have absolutely no idea what they are doing.
Even more stupid and uncontrolable laws as result in trying to control evil.

That's a hell of a leap of logic there.

What new law is this? Why do they have "no idea what they're doing"?

Someone is impersonating another person. They're trying to deal with it in the least expensive and annoying way possible.

Exactly how is that bad?

You don't have to serve the injunction via snail mail in the UK, it can be via email, fax etc this is simply an extension of that.

oh great this old argument of "how do you prove a person is who they say they are at the IP"..... I thought courts have already said it's impossible to prove who a person is based on an IP.... so how is this in ANY way legally binding?

As mentioned this guy could very well be going through a proxy and reside somewhere else other than what his ip address claims. If he happens to be out of their jurisdiction I can see him opening this, giving a small chuckle and continue going on with his life.

um.... they fail because the blogger could be using twitter/facebook/whatever through a proxy or from a net cafe/public wifi spot. Then what are they going to do - Send annoying messages or something?