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.