Anonymous blogging? Forget it

Important legal judgment.

Blogging is a public activity with no right to anonymity, the high court ruled today in a decision expected to have far-reaching repercussions for thousands of bloggers who keep their identities secret.

Richard Horton had obtained a temporary injunction against the Times after a reporter discovered he was the officer behind the NightJack blog, which attracted hundreds of thousands of followers to its behind-the-scenes commentary on policing.

Horton, a detective constable with the Lancashire constabulary, prevented the Times from revealing his identity after arguing the paper would be putting him at risk of disciplinary action for disclosing confidential information about prosecutions within the force.

However, in a landmark judgment Mr Justice Eady overturned the injunction, stating that Horton, whose blog at one time had around 500,000 readers a week, had "no reasonable expectation of privacy".

"I do not accept that it is part of the court's function to protect police officers who are, or think they may be, acting in breach of police disciplinary regulations from coming to the attention of their superiors," Eady added…