There’s a court order which forbids publications of certain facts that are meant for persons or companies that receive the order. It shows that bloggers can publish stories that news agencies won’t be able to publish.
But even though a blogger knows that there’s an order, they can’t find out what the details of the order are, and this means they will risk contempt of court and prison.
This is what the court restricting orders say
This court orders state that there should not be any publication on paternity cases. So the Family Court banned all publishing of DNA test results. This news came after www.mirror.co.uk reported some results some time ago, along with some UK news sites, which most of them removed the publications immediately after the court order was made.
This might generate more problems, but the Ministry of Justice said they have no plans to address the issue.
Here’s what the Ministry of Justice says
When the Ministry of Justice was asked how bloggers were supposed to know whether to publish such stories, they said that it’s the responsibility of the reporting blogger to make sure that no reporting restrictions are applied. Saying that the maximum penalty for contempt of court is about 2 years.
So what will happen when you disobey this order?
There’s a penalty when you breach an order that is clearly stated: Whenever you disobey an order like this, the person might be found guilty of contempt of court, and the person may be fined, sent to prison, or have your assets seized.
Good news for bloggers
Note that bloggers are not bound by this court order except the blogger knows it exists.
Once the blogger knows it exists, they can’t find out exactly what it says. This means that they can’t tell what they are, or aren’t allowed to say.
Note that there’s a logic to this order. Since we are being allowed to publish some specific side of the order, it would enable us to sidestep the ban on what we can report and publish.
As for me, I have been able to amend the screenshots of my previous DNA blog post, which were probably breaching the terms of the court order that was made, and have also hidden some sensitive words.
I also referenced one major newspaper site in the UK that one of their employee bloggers had unknowingly published restricted info in the link text sent to a US website, which they have finally removed.
The truth is that reporting restrictions are vital and must be obeyed by all publishers including bloggers. However, the system currently available hasn’t kept up with recent technology.
There should be a database of reporting restrictions. Though it doesn’t have to show lots of detail that would likely become virtually edited by the news agencies around the World. But I must admit that it’s not good to be allowed to publish the results of a DNA test to the public.
But there are no plans to have such a database. This means that there’s a ridiculous position that online bloggers will be told to examine the reporting restrictions to prevent contempt of court.