Lord Advocate Launches War on Twitter 420


In what we think is a world first, the Lord Advocate of Scotland is claiming in the contempt of court case against me that I am legally responsible for the content of replies to my tweets.

The claim is founded on an argument that when you tweet, there is a menu which enables you to hide replies. If you do not hide a reply, you are therefore the publisher of that reply. As the Lord Advocate is putting it:

2. That the Twitter account under profile name @CraigMurrayOrg is operated by the Respondent. When the user of such an account publishes a post on Twitter, there is an option for readers to post publicly available comments in relation to each post and to reply to other readers’ comments. Replies to original posts will appear on the timeline of the author of the original post and on the timeline of the author of the reply. The user of the account who published the original cannot delete comments by others but, since November 2019, has the option to hide replies to their original post.

Note this is a very different argument to the accepted principle that if you publish a defamatory or otherwise illegal tweet, you bear a responsibility for people retweeting or passing on the information.

What the Lord Advocate is saying is that you can post a perfectly legal tweet, but you are responsible for any illegal replies. So if you post “Joe’s Fish and Chips are Great”, and somebody replies “But old Joe is a paedophile”, you become the publisher of the reply and liable in law for it (presumably unless you hide it, but that has not been stated in terms). The Lord Advocate is arguing that the reason that this has not previously been the law is that it is a new situation, with the “hide reply” option only being added in November 2019.

The reason this argument is being made is that the Crown is struggling to prove I published anything illegal myself, but believes a reply to one of my tweets is more obviously illegal.

The situation on Twitter is very different to a blog or media website. This website is mine. It is registered to me, I am the publisher and I accept responsibility for its content. Even there, however, the law on comments is much more nuanced than people realise and I am not generally liable for comments unless there was something in the content of my original post that was illegal or encouraged illegality, given that reasonable arrangements for moderation are in place.

But neither you nor I nor any other user is the publisher of Twitter. There is no sensible view in which you are the publisher of replies to your tweets. Twitter is the publisher of tweets and users are responsible for what they tweet.

The Lord Advocate’s approach would have a massive chilling effect on Twitter and fundamentally change its nature. When you tweet there is an option to limit who can reply. People would be loathe to allow replies at all if they were liable in law for what other people might say. Nobody wants to have to be constantly checking replies to their tweets, including to old tweets, in case somebody – who may be somebody you never heard of – tweeted something illegal.

For good or ill, Twitter has become a major medium of social and political debate. That dialogue would be entirely changed if replies are routinely turned off. What troubles me is that, in stretching for a way to convict me, the Lord Advocate appears completely oblivious to the very wide consequences of this argument for free speech. The Lord Advocate is of course not only Scotland’s chief prosecutor, he is also a member of the Scottish Government, appointed by the First Minister.

I cannot help but put this together with the Hate Crime Bill, which was condemned as an attack on free speech by every reputable body you can possibly imagine, and conclude that Scottish Government has no concern whatsoever for the concept of freedom of speech. It simply does not feature in their internal thinking, and is of no concern unless hammered upon them from outside.

The doctrine that Twitter users are the legal publishers of replies to their tweets has massive implications were it to succeed in court. That it should be recklessly resorted to as part of this vindictive attack on me, shows how deep down the rabbit hole we are going.

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420 thoughts on “Lord Advocate Launches War on Twitter

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  • Tom74

    Let’s hope the war on Twitter is successful. Like Facebook and Google, Twitter is a data-stealing and mind-control operation set up and operated by the American intelligence agencies – the same folks who brought you the present fascism under cover of the flu.

    • pretzelattack

      it’s not the flu. people are taking advantage of a real crisis to push their agenda. doesn’t mean the virus is a hoax.

    • giyane

      Doctor K

      Thank you for the link. Both of them, George Galloway and Alex Salmond are greatly increased in my admiration by his words. Looking forward with relish for the battle to begin.

      • N_

        That article hardly says anything. Galloway probably hasn’t been paid as much as Salmond by Russia Today. Galloway understands the SNP well and the nationalist danger, but he sounds as if he wrote that piece while he was looking out of the window. The breakup of Yugoslavia had little in common with the partition of Ireland, and neither of those cases has much in common with Scotland either. Like it or loathe it, the creation of the Irish Free State was a “breakup” of the “UK”. Not exactly Gorgeous’s finest article.

        Scottish independence would mean the end of this blog.

          • giyane

            N_
            Presumably it was a veiled threat. The word Truth would surely fall foul of the new Scottish law on superannuated biblical concepts.

        • Tom Welsh

          “Scottish independence would mean the end of this blog”.

          Oh, I hope not. Surely Mr Murray would have many other fascinating and challening topics to explore. Especially with the MSM so extremely averse to touching anything even potentially controversial.

          I fancy, too, that even after complete Scottish independence, Mr Murray and other independent-minded journalists would still find themselves having just as much trouble with the political and legal establishments as they do now. It seems clear that many of the most unpleasant and determined enemies of openness and freedom are as Scottish as haggis.

  • Usagi

    The following article of October 13, 2020 on Arlene Foster (FM of Northern Ireland) re Twitter my be of interest in this case:

    https://www.irishnews.com/news/northernirelandnews/2020/10/13/news/arlene-foster-says-she-doesn-t-do-twitter–2097279/

    Quote:
    The First Minister has a Twitter account which has some 84,500 followers, but she told MLAs that while she posts on it, she does not look at comments.

    “I may post on Twitter but I don’t look at it, and I think I would advise members from right across this chamber that that’s a very good thing to do,” she added.

  • giyane

    Lovely US corporations Ebay and Paypal monitor my purchases. They both seem to have a problem with me buying a 24 volt DC time delay relay and blocked my account. MI5 wilol have recorded another triumph in the War on Terror , except I only want them for my battery off-grid electricity transfer switch.

    Maybe the Lord Wonk gets snippets of trash from MI5 about Craig’s twitter account. ” Look sire, he’s completely clean. The only thing we can find against him is some nutter commenting on his Twitter page.”
    “That’s not much help”
    ” Well Sire, you make the Law Sire. Could you not adapt the law a little bit?”

    My mother appeared at a young age as a witness in a custody case. The barrister asked her how she determined when the children’s underwear needed changing. ” Well I do it by smell , like you do.”

    Every great man is entitled to his h-a-n-d-b-a-g moment.

  • doug scorgie

    Beware the Leopard
    October 13, 2020 at 00:23

    “https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0KtcvSVgf-A”
    ————————————————————–
    Thank you Beware the Leopard.

    That you tube recording confirms my view that Nicola Sturgeon is a despicable liar that has no intention of pushing seriously for Scotland’s independence.
    I will no doubt be accused of being a conspiracy freak for having the view that the security services have a big hand in this whole murky episode.
    That view extends to the “Justice” system in Scotland and that in England regarding Julian Assange.

      • philipat

        For anyone outside the readership base of The Guardian (The London “progressive” Islington echo chamber), Off-Guardian is much more intellectually honest and insightful. how ironic it used to be “The Manchester Guardian”?

        All MSM is hard left. The hard left believes Assange assisted Trump by disclosing the DNC “Russian hack” details (Actually, of course, a leak by Seth Rich – a Dem operative and Bernie Saunders supporter) so will never support him. Irrespective of the facts and irrespective of the fact that the US case against Assange will, if successful, destroy the First Amendment rights of ALL journalists.

        But I suppose that is academic because there are very few real journalists left today, even fewer “working for” MSM. PCR I thing coined the term “Presstitutes”?

        • portside

          Yes all very obviously hard left, except the ones controlled by billionaires, hedge funds and the Conservative Party owned British state.

          • Ron Soak

            Quite. It’s interesting and revealing the number of people who rush headlong, without applying the little grey cells, into accepting at face value the labels some people give themselves as cover for something they are not. As though being of the “left” or from the working class is just another mere identity.

            Presumably this would be the self labeled “hard left” who cheer lead for non stop wars across the globe; who manufacture false narratives; who undermine leaders of political parties and deliberately sabotage elections; who abandon their voter base on the grounds of that base having “nowhere else to go; and so on?

            Sometimes a level of naivety is encountered in which the only presentable reaction is just to stand up for half an hour and applaud.

          • philipat

            They are ALL controlled by Billionaires, especially in the US. The Globalists are very much aligned with the political left but only because they are using them as “useful idiots” until after the NWO “Reset”, then they will dump them.

        • Annie McStravick

          philipat:
          In the beginning I had great hopes for Off-Guardian but they were dashed quite some time ago and I took myself off its mailing list.
          And with regard to Julian, it’s even worse than The Fraudian. It had absolutely nothing to say about the extradition hearings.

        • bevin

          “All MSM is hard left. ” You are obviously an American, nowhere else in the world could a statement of such glaring inanity be made in a comprehensible form. In most of the world idiots cannot express themselves.

          • Piotr Berman

            It could also be a translation from Polish. The ruling party (coalition?) and supporters use the word “lewak” that can be translated as “hard left” for EVERYTHING they do not like — and their tastes are very specific. Fans of Israel may use “hard left” for everyone who doubts that that state is the most admirable on on this planet, and perhaps on all planets. And this usage may spread to other cultural-political groups.

        • Tom Welsh

          I really do wish people would stop using those 18th-century terms “left” and “right”. They have been obsolete for at least a century and probably longer, and merely serve to conceal what is really going on.

          Everyone is right/conservative, and everyone is also left/radical, subversive/progressive. They are right-wing about everything they would prefer to stay the same, and left-wing about everything they would like to change. But different people want different things to stay the same, and different things to change.

          Although Robert Conquest’s First Law of Politics asserts that “Everyone is conservative about what he knows best”. If you mull that over, I believe you will find it to be mostly true.

          • Iain Stewart

            It was Machiavelli who pointed out that there will always be two political parties. One which thinks the poor should pay for the rich, the other that the rich should pay for the poor. This remains the basic definition of right and left.

        • Stewart

          When are we going to discard this false and meaningless right/left dichotomy?
          If you go far enough left or far enough right you end up in the same place – total government control of the people
          and governments, like the media and academia, are totally controlled by the rich elites
          while left and right, black and white, gay and straight etc etc are busy blaming each other, the invisible rich further entrench their kakistocracy.
          As we are herded into the new totalitarianism, our only hope lies in rejecting these tired tropes and resisting the elites TOGETHER.

          • squirrel

            hear hear

            It is like a casino. The house don’t really care whether you bet on red or black, as long as you don’t spot the true issue of the wheel being biased in their favour.

            How many people out of a thousand for instance realise that the nature of our monetary system is that we are renting our means of exchange, created out of thin air, from private banks? So they get to skim the entire economy, for really providing little more than admin work.

    • Penguin

      That depends where you are.
      In the USA 99% of the media is covering up murders, rapes, bombings, arson and general cuntiness by BLM/Antifa. I think that counts as supporting the hard left.

      • Johny Conspiranoid

        “In the USA 99% of the media is covering up murders, rapes, bombings, arson and general cuntiness by BLM/Antifa. I think that counts as supporting the hard left.”

        Unless the BLM/Antifa activity is a colour revolution style stunt by non hard left actors.

  • Father O'Blivion

    Alex Massie on scintillating form in the Spectator. Edit to the highlights.

    “…For no ministry [that’s Boris he’s referring to] that actually cared about the United Kingdom’s long-term integrity would behave as this ministry has done. The recklessness would be breathtaking if it were not for the suspicion that it is, in fact, a product of scandalous indifference. Time and again, I have been told that the government ‘gets it’, that henceforth it will be paying attention, and every time this is revealed as a worthless commitment that doesn’t even rise to the level of a promise. …
    … No wonder it is now possible to find Scottish Tory politicians who will sigh as they pour themselves a late-night Laphroaig and confess that, miserably, it’s all over. …
    … Flag-waving is not the answer. …
    … For this is a three-legged crisis for Unionism. Covid is one leg and Johnson is another but the third, and most significant, leg is Brexit. …
    … Once Brexit was pursued, and especially once it was decided to pursue it at all or any cost, some of this crisis became inevitable. For Brexit must happen even though two parts of the United Kingdom — Scotland and Northern Ireland — voted against it. But the manner in which Brexit is happening, with little regard for those who rejected it and still less interest in the privileges enjoyed by the devolved administrations, is placing the Union under renewed strain. …
    … Even now, most politicians at Westminster — and especially most so-called Conservative ones — do not get it. You might think the survival of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland should be considered a modestly important issue but plainly very few Tories at Westminster really think it is. …
    … There is something melancholy about all of this and a keening sense of Scottish Unionists being, as I have observed before, abandoned by the people they mistakenly considered their co-religionists. Verily, what do they know of the United Kingdom, who only England know? …
    … Boris, Brexit and Covid is a combination of potent toxicity. Any two of those would have been dangerous; adding the third ingredient may prove lethal. If the United Kingdom dies, it may not do so on Boris Johnson’s watch but the conditions for its demise will have been created during his hapless spell at the helm.”

    Massie’s thesis is an Independent Scotland will not so much be the birth of a Nation as a C-section administered by Boris Johnson.

    • Cubby

      Massies flag of choice now seems to be the white flag rathet than his usual Union flag. Oh well couldn’t happen to a nicer chap – unlike some of the dimmer Britnats in Scotland and N. Ireland he knows that Westminster does not really see them as brothers in arms but instead as useful colonial cannon fodder.

      • Wikikettle

        Cubby, lot of as you say “Britnats” in Scotland, as I see SNP is led by “Britnats”, and Scots living in England are they also in your terms Britnats ? I see myself as British not English, being from the colonies and not white and with non English name. I fear an independent England won’t be a nice place for the likes of me with Englishnats.

        • Cubby

          Wikikettle

          You seem to confuse stuff. It is up to you to sort out who you are not me. If you want to call yourself British fine but it is an empire construct. Not a true nation.

          As for Scots living in England it is up to them as to how they see themselves and whether they favour the UK as their country. It is nothing to do with where they live but what they believe. So by calling them Scots they are Scots. If not I would call them British if they believe in the British imperial construct (which is only a convenience for English imperialism).

          If English nats are blood and soil nationalist then it may not be great for you. That is not the case in Scotland.

      • Republicofscotland

        I’m a bit dismayed at a Glaswegian lad , Ken McCallum is head of MI5, a Scot in charge if suppressing and spying on fellow Scots, prior to this he worked for the security service in Northern Ireland no doubt spying on them as well.

        I’ll be well glad to be shot of the union and so called Scots like him.

        • lysias

          After McCallum as Deputy Director of MI5 headed the MI5 response to the Skripal business, he was promoted to Director. Reward for a job well done?

          • giyane

            Creative treachery and resolute support for liars May and Johnson have propelled Mr McCallum to high office. A unique talent for what Arabs know about the English.
            Lie and lie and keep on lying until we convince the rest we have been telling the truth

            A uniquely stupid national disposition.

        • Tom Welsh

          That is the sort of epiphany that led many of us to stop talking about the “British Empire” and start referring to it as the “Scottish Empire”. (While blaming its evils on the English. Neat, eh?)

    • giyane

      Father O’ Blivion

      I don’t know. Is there enough space on Ascension Island to accommodate the entire Westminster criminal bubble until the technology is invented to beam them into outer space.

      Callous indifference sounds to me like a not of am understatement.

  • kashmiri

    Hold on, remind me since when Twitter is located in the UK? If Assange can be prosecuted for breaking into computers located in the US under US law, even though physically residing in Australia, certainly the same US law only applies to Craig Murray modifying the content of Twitter computers or the content of his Amsterdam-based blog?

    My view is that no offence has been committed on UK soil and, per consequentiam, under UK laws.

  • Penguin

    You should be worried. The Lordy! Lordy! Advocate had the whole of Twatter shut down today. Respect his awsomeness or be punished.

    • nevermind

      Hope that everyone is complaining about it, I mean, what a twatter shambles, they now all have to talk to their neighbours….:)

    • giyane

      Penguin

      Can he be prosecuted for advertising where alphabet names could be found?
      Maybe the next new law in Scotland will be that all social media, blogs and private emails will have to be scrutinised for approval by GCHQ before being sent.

      Wonks Law. If you’re in a hole and havimg difficilties why not consider next time just having a wank? The problem is that the government now thinks , with universal spying , that it has total control and can manipulate public opinion whatever way it likes. It can’t. The Lord Advocate will be found behind the oak panelling with a sock in his mouth if he tries to win this case.

  • Father O'Blivion

    Not that it’s any of our business, but someone has commissioned YouGov to survey Scottish opinions re. the US Presidential election.
    https://docs.cdn.yougov.com/5h5kwe25ze/Internal_USElectionSCOT_201009_W.pdf
    Useful only in what it tells us about ourselves.
    Labour, LibDem & SNP voters share much the same opinion, Scottish Conservatives inhabit a world view all of their own.

    Who do you THINK will win : Con Trump by 10%, others Biden by c. 36%
    Who do you WANT to win : Con Biden by 14%, others Biden by c. 80%
    Has Trump run a honest campaign : Con -36%, others c. -80%
    Has Biden run a honest campaign : Con 13%, others c. 45%

    For the record, I’ve spent quite a bit of time trying to read the tea leaves and I’ve absolutely NO idea who will win.

    • giyane

      Father

      Trump is like a 200 year old catfish that has just woken up to find his swamp is full of neocons. He is far to the right of them back into the bad old days of white supremacy. Biden is just a neocon.

    • Stevie Boy

      Trump/Biden – Johnson/Starmer – Rock/Hard Place – Fire/Frying Pan. Decisions, decisions, doesn’t matter who you vote for the Government will win, nothing will change, Assange will still be persecuted.

    • Tom Welsh

      “Not that it’s any of our business, but someone has commissioned YouGov to survey Scottish opinions re. the US Presidential election”.

      Foreign interference!
      Foreign interference!

      Watch out for incoming cruise missiles… until we can buy some decent Russian ECM kit to make them forget who they are dive into the sea.

  • Kate

    I’m sorry… I’ve gotten a bit lost here. Why is the Lord Advocate discussing WHO is responsible for TWITTER – either original comment or replies? I thought it was something in one of your blog articles that was considered to have been breaking the Court’s gagging rule. NOT something you tweeted or one of the replies.

    But in the matter of twitter, surely if it’s a response to a comment on Twitter, it is the person who responded who should be tried In Contempt for it? Soooo… If it wasn’t an blog article you wrote, but is a Twitter ‘response’ that has been considered Contempt of Court, has the person responsible for the contemptible response been charged too?

    Obviously I’m losing the thread of the whole Court argument here… :O

  • 6033624

    I know I’m a bit late to the party but didn’t something similar happen a year or two ago with blogs (not unlike this one) in regard to comment sections? Now they have to be ‘moderated’ etc

    In practise though you could (and I do) look at the comments section in Guido Fawkes for example and see instances of death threats, racism and every other kind of vile written material some of which IS illegal – and left for all to see by a blog run by a full team! Likewise the Facebook pages and Twitter accounts of many politicians contain things that are at the very least – questionable..

  • Slave2PaperWithInkOn

    Does the ”Honorable” JUDGE HOFFMAN in ‘The Trial of the Chicago 7’ remind you of anyone ? [on Netflix NOW]

  • Jack

    Speaking on freedom of speech and Twitter, Facebook:

    Biden’s dealing in Ukraine was the other day leaked but MSM didnt report about it it…

    “Glenn Greenwald: Facebook and Twitter Cross a Line Far More Dangerous Than What They Censor
    Just weeks before the election, the tech giants unite to block access to incriminating reporting about their preferred candidate.”
    https://theintercept.com/2020/10/15/facebook-and-twitter-cross-a-line-far-more-dangerous-than-what-they-censor/

    Incriminating leaks against Trump is fine apparently and prove what kind of bias these social media sites have.

    • Tatyana

      Thanks for bringing it here, Jack. It’s all over russian news. They say Hunter Biden brought his laptop to repairs and the serviceman leaked the info. That’s why we here should get ready for new sanctions, they say, Russia will be appointed of blame for the leak.
      They revealed some Hunter’s e-mails, exposing … well, that is why they ban the New Yourk Post itself and I don’t want them to ban this blog too.
      Get your Google translator to read this
      https://ria.ru/20201016/kompromat-1579993811.html

      • Susan

        Just to be quite clear: The emails were NOT leaked and were NOT hacked. When Hunter’s laptop was not picked up from the repair shop, the laptop became the legal property of the repair shop (per the repair contract).

        The repair shop handed over the laptop to the FBI, and provided a copy of the hard drive to Rudy Giuliani. So, when Twitter claims that it did not publish the New York Post’s article because the contents contravened its “hacked materials” policy, this is a lie.
        https://www.rt.com/op-ed/503734-hack-censorship-twitter-hunter-biden/

        So, Twitter’s

        • Tatyana

          Who cares if it was legal?
          I’m sure that if the word ‘Russia’ appeared in this story, that would be enough. Hillary’s case has already shown this.

          Nobody cares that Hillary or Biden are corrupt, what is important is that the revealing of their crimes plays into the hands of Russia – this is how your media will present it. And I’m sure that this will resonate with a large part of Americans, because, well, you may know the saying “yes, he IS a son of a bitch, but he is OUR son of a bitch.” Because Hillary and Biden are Democrats, thus it is another Russian attack on your western democracy!

          The poor serviceman will get a good scratch and they will discover some Russian prostitute with whom he had an affair some 30 years ago. Giuliani will be called Putin’s agent, and they will say FBI is all impregnated with Russian spies, and all the blame will be placed on Trump and Russia.

          Another series of dull unfunny show. Perhaps this time they will hire a more highly skilled screenwriter to combine a corrupt presidential candidate with evil Russia’s Novichok, or evil Russia’s Nord Stream 2? Although unlikely, now evil Russian hackers are in trend again.
          Although, wait …Biden-Ukraine-Turkish ambassadors-Erdogan-the war in Karabakh has now resumed… so my bet is that we will most likely get a series about Crimea.

          • Ian

            Yes, the ‘repair shop’ story is so believable, isn’t it?? And the Post, such a bastion of journalism, not at all influenced by its proprietor. We can have absolute faith that the story is completely true, what a coincidence it was published now, just before the election.

          • Susan

            I thought the issue was about Twitter censorship, and their practice of shadow banning content (or outright banning, in the case of the Post article)…

            On the issue of the outrageous vilification of Russia, I am in complete sympathy with you, Tatyana.

            On the issue that the Post is a low-life rag that is probably deserving of our disdain, I have no argument with you, Ian. Maybe the report was fake, and I was suckered by that (although given the response of Twitter I am inclined to think it is true). However, whatever the truth, it is irrelevant to the ‘issue’ of Twitter censorship.

            Twitter was more than willing to freely allow and promote the publication and sharing of false, fabricated, unsubstantiated stories about Russiagate without any restrictions whatsoever. Lies are not a problem, when they suit Twitter’s agenda. The truth (Craig’s reporting) is a problem when it doesn’t suit their agenda.

          • Tatyana

            Ian, Susan,
            There’s a good method to know if a story is fake or true – learn what the person themselves says about it. In the case of Hillary and e-mails, she didn’t deny the fact, just shifting the focus to the russian interference. The same I expect with Biden.
            As to believable or not, well, look, I know who I am, but still some people would say I’m a russian state agent 🙂 Believable or not depends, it’s personal assessment and has little relation to the real facts

          • Ian

            Aside from the fact that there is nothing in the story that is particularly new, and of course it ignores Trump’s attempts to interfere in Ukraine for his own benefit, the source of this particular version, complete with implausible repair shop story, is enough to make its veracity untenable. And of course the timing. It is always amusing to see people who denounce conspiracy theories readily adopt one when it suits their agenda.

          • Tatyana

            yes, absolutely right, this is my position. I think that Biden will neither confirm nor deny until he is convinced that Ukraine will support his statement.

            This is comparable to the situation that your boyfriend sees you with another man and asks “Who is this?” And you would really like to say “This is my brother!”, but you are not sure that the man is ready to confirm your family ties 🙂
            That’s why you start talking “Oh, honey, I didn’t expect to meet you here … everything is not as you may think …” etc etc , while you’re trying to navigate the situation 🙂

  • Julia Gibb

    Governments do not like any form of communication outwith their control.
    They all seek a return to Pathè News type of state controlled presentation. The Official News, read by Official spokespersons, etc etc.

    They all seek to put the Genie back in the bottle.

  • karel

    Craig, I have not read all the comments, hence apology if someone has already said it, but why to use Twitter or Facebook or whatever other shitty outlets that offer the temptation to say something?

    • Ken Kenn

      That’s a good point.

      There are many good blogs out there ( this is one) and I don’t have a Facebook account or Twitter for the simple reason I don’t want to constantly tell anyone about how wonderful I am and how I’ve had a good/crap day – with pictures/emojis.

      Why would ‘ The world ‘ need to know my story?

      Twitter is utilised by Trump and Katie Hopkins types and just that for me it’s a good reason for not being near it.

      Condensing bullshit or blarney in 150 words is not really a discussion – more like shouting things across the school playground.

      Twitter reminds me of a global advertising agency where everyone wants come up with a catchy slogan.

      Trump uses it a lot.

      The Tories and Labour use it a lot and the media use it / believe in it a lot as a form of education.

      It isn’t it’s just needy and greedy.

      Instant crap

  • M.J.

    Wait a mo, this could be brilliant. Just suppose a Scottish court buys this nonsense and decrees that, henceforth, the author of a tweet is responsible for all replies to it, but the respondents themselves are not. Then someone could flee to Russia, say, blog “2+2=4” and people could reply with anything they liked that might be libellous or otherwise illegal, and the courts couldn’t do anything about it. But I’m not a lawyer, and I have a sneaking suspicion that this wouldn’t work somehow.

  • SA

    The good thing about these new blanket laws is that you can use them selectively as in this case and in the case of Assange and the espionage act as well as the jigsaw identification act. After all you really cannot apply these laws universally otherwise the system will come to a halt.

  • SA

    Thinking about it, one of the principles of the law and legislation ( as I understand it, I am not a lawyer) is universal applicability, a law cannot be seen to selectively be biased against individuals or groups of people. Nor should a ruling based on law. This could apply as a defence against the Jigsaw identification, this Twitter ruling and even Assange’s attempted extradition under the espionage act. Apart from discrimination, a law or ruling should also be challenged if its universal applicability is not possible. Craig’s case could lead to change of law.

  • Mary

    ‘Stella Moris Retweeted

    @StellaMoris1
    ·
    Oct 16
    I spoke to Julian just now. For the past week his section of the prison has had no heating. Julian is trying to insulate his cell by boarding up the opaque ‘window’ (which has bars) with books people have sent in as gifts. But it’s cold and he’s cold.’

    What evil you are overseeing, Mrs Baraitser. If Julian dies, his death will be on your hands.

    • Marmite

      That’s very sad Mary. I suppose the sick logic of the state has it that his death of ‘natural causes’ on English soil would mean it could free itself from any guilt of the slow murder that extradition would ensure. What it doesn’t realise is that there are some people that are paying attention, and that we will forever hold their murderous actions to account, and ensure that historians tell this saga accurately.

    • bj

      Baraitser and Gordo Kromberg have this “hands across the water” romance.
      Both are love-blinded, not seeing anything but the other.

        • bj

          Although interesting and factual, the trouble I have with stories like this, is that, since power elites will always consist of a relatively small number of people, you are always going to have judge so-and-so being 2 or 3 steps removed from weapons-manufacturer whatshisname.

          In short, this sort of indictment focuses on an aspect of a set of enabling circumstances that supersede it and that are more fundamental and systemic, and that in themselves deserve (an even stronger) indictment and focus.

        • bj

          Come to think of it — there’s a direct parallel here to Stella Morris’ lament (which is heartbreaking): by focusing on the aspect of the heating of cells, it’s almost as if we have implicitly already accepted the existence of a dungeon like Belmarsh, and have accepted that Julian Assange is in there. We are focused on and outraged by the circumstances of the prison’s heating, and are losing sight of the larger, fundamental and systemic outrage.

          With apologies to Stella Morris, and my sincerest empathy.

        • Dredd

          You’re a bit late to the party, RoS. The same article was posted here over 2 weeks ago by Stevie Boy, in a thread relating to the Assange hearing: https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2020/10/assange-hearing/comment-page-1/#comment-958983

          There has already been some discussion about the issues – e.g by Jarek Carnelian, Ingwe, Jurgen Wullenwever (an academic psychologist) and Geoff Reynolds.

          As mentioned in the Curtis article (and raised here by Grace) another member of the KCMHR team is Prof Sir Simon Wessely. Wessely claimed that the Gulf War Syndrome was a psychological disorder rather than a physiological reaction to biochemicals, and wrote a book about Shell Shock that conflated PTSD with malingering. He’s popular with MoD chiefs because his work gets the army off the hook for compensation claims, but he’s hardly flavour of the month with ex-army veterans. When I visited his team at the Maudsley Hospital a few years ago I learned he was under police protection due to credible death threats from ex-soldiers. I’m not sure whether Blackwood was targeted too.

          • squirrel

            I am alas familiar with Simon Wessely. He pulled a similar trick with chronic fatigue patients, his PACE trial has been thoroughly discredited but alas still forms the basis for CFS treatment. The establishment doesn’t want to know the truth about CFS. He is a corrupt ‘scientist’

          • Mary

            Married to Clare Gerada, also at the top of her medical tree and prominent in the media.

            ‘Wessely’s father Rudi came to the UK in August 1939, one of the children rescued by Nicky (Sir Nicholas) Winton. Nearly all of Rudi’s family, including his parents, were murdered during the Holocaust. His father was the first of the “children” to meet Winton nearly 40 years later.He has spoken passionately about issues affecting refugees supporting Alf Dubs legislation.

            Wessely is married to Clare Gerada; they have two sons. His interests include skiing and history, and he cycled annually from London to Paris between 2006 and 2012, to raise money for veterans’ charities.’

            She was chair of the College of General Practitioners.
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clare_Gerada

          • Geoff Reynolds

            Prof Sir Simon Wessely is the personification of evil.

            Lord David Freud (the minister who suckholes to the private health insurance industry and described the disabled as ‘STOCK’) used Wessely’s evidence to rob those having mental and phsical impairments of their benefit entitlements.

            I should know because I was one of them.

            For the last eight and a half years I have been living on just £36 per week … nothing else since a nurse name Emma Brodrick submitted a falsified medical report on me while working for ATOS.

            This week I have written to the DWP and told them i want to bring about a private prosecution against the Decision Maker who rubber stamped that I was fit for work. More peculiar is the fact that I was given a Lifetime Disability Award at a tribunal consisting of the DWP’s own doctors who all said I would never be able to work again!

            So far the DWP have taken over £100,000 in benefits, driven me to near suicide and caused me a nervous breakdown after they contacted my GP to inform him never to write me another sick note.

            Thousands have died and many more will follow.

    • ET

      That is simply outrageous. They can’t or won’t move him to a wing that has heating? It can only mean they are doing it deliberately. Surely someone in the chain of decision making has a conscience about this that keeps them awake at night. This is happening in the UK?

    • Ort

      Perhaps as a humanitarian gesture, Assange’s captors will refurbish a cozy hut on sunny Devil’s Island and transfer him there.

      Since France, like England, is a passionate champion and defender of justice and the rule of law, I’m sure the French authorities will eagerly cooperate.

  • Jon

    To me, that the Scottish government are using this line of attack is good news – this is obvious massive over-reach, and thus shows their strategy is desperate.

    There are also powerful people with a voice who, while they might not care to defend Craig in particular, would essentially have to abandon their corporate Twitter accounts if this legal principle became generally accepted. Mainstream Scottish journalists come mind in that category.

    • ET

      I am wondering what the process is. Does the court rule that the argument can be addressed in court and if they rule that it can then the defence makes their argument against it or does the court make its ruling after the defence has made its arguments?

  • Tomas Payne

    I would think that Twitter Corp now has a legal reason to file a brief in this case opposing this interpretation?
    After all, it would destroy Twitter’s business. So, lets hope the power of Big Tech’s lawyers comes down on the Ambassador’s side. 🙂
    ————-
    My lawyer’s are now insisting that I add a note here that I am not responsible for any replies to this comment.

  • Susan

    Under US law, Twitter is protected from any liability for content published on their platforms, including defamatory material or other legally proscribed communications, under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.

    Over the years, when prohibited material has been published on Twitter or FB, the ‘backlash’ is usually against the social media company – for not removing it, or not removing it quickly enough. I am not aware of any time the ‘poster’ (and certainly not a ‘commenter’ or ‘re-tweeter’) has been charged. Twitter and FB have their censorship “rules” (to which “hacked materials”, “leaked materials”, “un-fact-checked materials” have now be added!). The current and past practice of the social media companies is that have taken responsibility for upholding the “rules” (despite the waiver of s.230).

    I cannot imagine how the Lord Advocate’s suggestion that a ‘poster’ on Twitter is responsible for the comments would fit with the current business model of Twitter or FB. However, with the recent banning of the NY Post article, I quite expect the current business model of Twitter and Facebook to be up for a serious review in the next few weeks, IF there is any independent authority still remaining in the US.

    Glenn Greenwald has written an excellent piece about the threats of censorship and authoritarianism in the US.
    https://theintercept.com/2020/10/15/facebook-and-twitter-cross-a-line-far-more-dangerous-than-what-they-censor/

    • Ian

      Oh what a coincidence. That is exactly what Trump and his mafia friends want. They have used the threat of reform of Facebook’s immunity in order to bully it, and now they want to change the law so they can ensure they can continue to spout lies, spread disinformation and harassment – like Qanon. Utterly laughable that these gangsters think social media is biased against their alt-right manipulations, when FB is already engaged in downgrading and silencing leftwing content.

    • vin_ot

      Good piece by Greenwald. Those NY Post stories have been slammed by the elite media and the sharing of them absurdly blocked by Facebook and Twitter. But we all know that the allegations of nepotism, incompetence and Hunter’s trading on his father’s position as VP ring true. There are photos, emails, texts, recordings. Gerald Sussman charted the Bidens’ ransacking of Ukraine for CounterPunch back in August, try sharing that on Twitter and Facebook.

      https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/08/10/bidens-ukrainegate-problem/

  • Josh R

    ok, barely relevant post here, but….

    watched “Trial of the Chicago 7” movie last night and loved it, really enjoyed it.
    Like all movies “based” on true events, I’m sure it’s taken plenty of poetic license with the dramatisation of events but I still thought it was brilliant.

    After following this obscene PR stunt at the Ol’ Bailey, through Murray’s eyes, this film rang so many bells it was quite chilling.

    Perhaps what most resonated with the Baraitser sh!t show, was the subject of “political prosecution” that the defence attempted to pursue, as one US administration decided not to prosecute whilst the succeeding administration decided to go for it.

    A timely reminder that fk all changes, reaffirming Mr Benn’s words:

    “Every generation must fight the same battles again & again, there’s no final victory and there’s no final defeat.”

  • Geoff Reynolds

    I am the disabled person with the heart condition that is featured in this video on Youtube.

    Today I am summoned to appear before Scarborough Magistrates Court to answer charges lodged against me for not giving my name, when asked, and also resisting arrest.

    This seems a little preposterous for the new crime of wishing to stand up in a pub during lockdown simply because my disability prohibits me from sitting.

    800 persons have now viewed this video that Craig allowed me to put on this blog and everything you see and read is perfectly true. Nothing has been adulterated or changed.

    Just as Craig is being punished for reporting the truth for contempt of court, I now stand to be charged for the same offence simply because I have dared to expose the system.
    Nevertheless, the magistrates could argue that I have tried to influence the outcome of a trial.

    When you appear in a court in the UK there is an assumption that the Crown has entered you into a contract at birth when your parents signed your birth certificate. In other words, it is a contract so binding that the Crown has attorney over your estate?

    Did you realise that you had entered into a contract with the Crown when you were just a few days old and neither you or your parents had any idea about the aforesaid contract?

    Under British/UK law a contract can only be binding when both parties have had full disclosure of the contents. How can this be the case when nobody even knows of the evidence of such a contract?

    The creation of this, so called, contract is produced by the State under the guise of Maritime Law that presumes you are dead or missing at sea.

    Even stranger is the fact that the courts can only deal with a dead person or a fiction that they created without your express knowledge. When you attend the court, like I will this afternoon at 3pm the Judge will ask me if I am MR GEOFFREY CHARLES REYNOLDS, this is the dead entity that the State created……..

    It appears on all your documents like credit cards, driving licence, passport etc.

    To challenge the authority of the court I have registered my birth certificate using the Common Law Court which is available via the internet.

    What I have done is made my claim to my identity and removed it from the Crown. Therefore, I am the legal owner of my identity.

    When the judge addresses me today and asks me if I am MR GEOFFREY CHARLES REYNOLDS, I will tell him that I am a LIVING MAN that goes by the name of geoffrey charles of the reynolds family.

    Immediately, this throws a spanner in the workings of the Court as the Judge is only allowed to deal with a dead entity or fiction of the State.

    I will further add that I am claiming COMMON LAW JURISDICTION and will hand a piece of paper to the Prosecution requesting that all parts of the STATE CONTRACT be made with full disclosure within 10 days or the case against me be dropped.

    There will never be full disclosure as the State wishes this to be hidden from the public…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zysp_-tQ1F4

    • Mary

      Excellent Geoff for standing up to the fascists.

      I am encountering the views of some friends who are Tory. Little do they know that there would not have been an NHS if Bevin and co had not governed the country in the post war years.

      I had written to the local Tory MP, shoed into the seat last December, telling her that treatment for my newly diagnosed cancer does not exist at present die to the Covid spread. I pointed out that I had worked at the local DGH until I retired and that it was damned hard work for poor pay and that my older brother had worked in the NHS as an orthopaedic surgeon for 40 years +. She sent back a patronising anodyne but useless response.

      One of these Tory friends has even suggested that I should be prepared to pay! I estimate that the scans, surgery and post operative Rx would cost approx £40k.

      PS That friend had surgery and post operative treatment for breast cancer by the local NHS some years back. Another one who votes Tory has similar views yet she herself was sent to a larger hospital 60 miles distant for her treatment. These hypocrites will NEVER acknowledge the fact that the NHS was a Socialist initiative for which we should so thankful unlike in the US where a large proportion of personal bankruptcies are due to inability to pay medical bills.

      • Brianfujisan

        Hi Mary

        I trust you are doing a wee bit better now.. Your tales of Tory friends being saved by the NHS… is mind boggling..

        I recently had VERY Good reason to be Mighty thankful to the NHS ( Scot ) …As I was rushed with blue lights to Inverclyde Royal Hospital – IRH – with a Perforated Gallbladder. They took my Two girls into a room and told them my chances were less than 50% as they could not operate due to my bad chest – Bronchiectasis -.. So I got Two Drains in.. 12 days I was in IRH.. the saved my life.. Even one of my Best friends ( Gwen – Dances in Moonlight ) was a part of the opp to insert the Tube into my Gallbladder … I Love them All

        Stay Safe oot there Mary

    • nevermind

      That was a sickening and appalling treatment Geoffrey. You told them twice that you are registered disabled and all they could do is stand between you and your son.
      They should have delivered you straight to hospital, but not one of these so called public servants was listening to you. Wetherspoons thugs. How can anyone trust the police after such a disgusting display of their public service.
      Do let us know how you want to respond and what, if anything at all, the judge had to say on their conduct.

      • Geoff Reynolds

        Attended the magistrates court in Scarborough yesterday at 3pm…

        Beforehand at 2.20pm I delivered a letter to the prosecutor asking for full disclosure on the contract that our Crown holds over us regarding my parents signing of my birth certificate that allows the State to presume a legal entitlement to my estate using a dead person’s fiction.

        I STATED THAT I WAS A LIVING PERSON AND CLAIMED COMMON LAW RIGHTS.

        Each time the magistrates asked me a question I replied,

        ” With all due respect your honour, are you trying to enter me into a contract?’ ‘ … ‘ ‘ if so, could I have full disclosure”

        The magistrate/magistrates seemed a bit taken back by my actions but I remained polite.

        They asked how I pleaded to the charges of not giving my name to the police and I cited a legal precedent RICE v CONNOLLY 1996.

        The prosecutor then informed the magistrates that I did not have to give my name to the police!

        A question arose between the magistrates of what I was being arrested for in the first instance?

        To cut a long story short, I did not make a comment on either charge but they recorded my silence as ”NOT GUILTY PLEAS” and entered it into the court records…

        I was informed that the police had video evidence of me resisting arrest and I told them I had video footage of the officers surrounding me and dropping me to the concrete ground. which Wetherspoons pub provided.

        I was informed the case against me for standing would be held next March at the same courthouse.

        Before I left I informed the magistrates that the case against me was biased as NORTH YORKSHIRE POLICE have still not provided me with the film footage of me being placed in a cell while being unconscious, police webcam disclosure of the whole incident and all files the police hold on me.

        I informed the magistrates that over two months had elapsed since my request and that I was being sent around the houses by the police by moving the request to different officers.

        One of the magistrates said to the other two that this was ”Typical”

        As I left the court I reminded the prosecutor that he had ten days to provide me with full disclosure of what I had asked earlier or drop the case against me.

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