Judge rules against anonymity for “Night Jack” police blogger

The High Court has refused to preserve the anonymity of an award-winning policeman who has blogged about the force and government ministers.

Mr Justice Eady refused an injunction to prevent the Times identifying serving officer “Night Jack”, winner of an Orwell prize for blogging.

The judge said said blogging was “essentially a public rather than a private activity“.

Night Jack’s lawyer said preserving his anonymity was in the public interest.

Hugh Tomlinson QC said the thousands who communicated via the internet under a cloak of anonymity would be “horrified” to think the law would do nothing to protect their identities if someone carried out the necessary detective work to unmask them.

But the judge ruled any right of privacy on the part of the blogger would be likely to be
outweighed by a countervailing public interest in revealing that a particular police officer had been making such contributions.

In his blog “Night Jack – An English Detective” the unnamed officer chronicled his working life in an unnamed UK town: descriptions of local criminals and his struggle with police bureaucracy.

Like most bloggers, I disagree with the Judge’s decision. The quality of anonymity is what draws many to speaking out, identifying and discussing what they feel needs examination within their nation and society.

This decision lays a blanket of suffocating bureaucratic oversight on the process.

Oh, the photo? That’s some Lancashire copper named Richard Horton.

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5 comments

  1. Eric Scott

    It is hard to imagine how many criminals will continue on or be enabled due to this judge’s decision. Perhaps if the Judge was a permanent victim he would understand the value to society that Night Jack provides. Cutting Night Jack off at the knees may ultimately put the Judge and the judicial in the victim catagory, it certainly has done so for the judicial’s constituencies.

    Tools against crime should not be put out to rust, exposed to the elements, or be given to criminals.

  2. Eric Scott

    Here’s a question or two. Does this Judge advertise the location of his home? Is his license plate posted on a community bulletin board? Would he be opposed to those two measures or is his security far too valuable?

    Lastly, has this Judge ever put someone in prison and how does he feel about his private information being released worldwide, say on the internet?

    Not really funny, is it “Judge”?

  3. Eric Scott

    Still wondering with no answers…

    Did this Judge just shoot himself in the foot or did he just make a crimefighter the future victim by shooting him? This reminds me of the time Dick Cheney shot someone in the face without a proper hunting licensing after a day of drinking. But lets keep that event(s) anonomous…

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