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Tjt Gikii 12
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Tjt Gikii 12

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Reading between & beyond the lines of the Twitter joke trial

Reading between & beyond the lines of the Twitter joke trial

Published in: News & Politics, Technology
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  • What is it about Twitter that makes authorities lose all sense of perspective? What is it about Twitter that makes authorities lose all sense of perspective?
  • The DPP was not the reviewing lawyer in the case of Paul Chambers, but in June he did instruct the team managing it to consider conceding the appeal. This was considered and progressed, however, at a later stage the DPP was advised that, as a matter of law, conceding the appeal would not be possible. This is because it was not possible because the key finding of fact in the case was a finding of the Crown Court, which only the High Court could overturn. The DPP accepted that advice and reluctantly agreed that the appeal had to proceed.
  • Institutional risk aversion (economic externalities aside) Proceduralisation of same Organisational reflex for self preservation at all costs... There is a widespread doctrine amongst zombie bureaucrats that given enough data all conceivable situations can be predicted and all possible organisational responses codified in procedures and micromanaged. Then as long as procedures are followed all will be well.
  • System failed and people in positions of trust with capacity to put it right failed to do so, actively obstructed such efforts and were complicit in or directors of the cover up of those failures
  • Systems built on the premise that, at every stage, the right option is the perceived risky option – for the individual and their employer – will regularly lead to the kind of systemic insanity that led to the persecution, prosecution and unjust conviction of Paul Chambers. The insanity becomes an emergent and defining feature of the system. When it is the criminal justice system, weighed down already by decades of fear induced, hyperactive, unintelligible law making of the political digerati, then we all have reasons to be concerned.
  • Transcript

    • 1. Reading between & beyond the lines of the Twitter joke trial Ray Corrigan Open University7-18 September 2012 Gikii 2012
    • 2. 6 January 2010 @pauljchambers7-18 September 2012 Gikii 2012
    • 3. “@ Crazycolours: I was thinking that if it does then I had decided to resort to terrorism”7-18 September 2012 Gikii 2012
    • 4. “@ Crazycolours: That’s the plan! I am sure the pilots will be expecting me to demand a more exotic location than NI”7-18 September 2012 Gikii 2012
    • 5. “Crap! Robin Hood Airport is closed. You’ve got a week and a bit to get your shit together otherwise I am blowing the airport sky high!!”7-18 September 2012 Gikii 2012
    • 6. 11 January 20107-18 September 2012 Gikii 2012
    • 7. Duty manager home Robin Hood Airport search7-18 September 2012 Gikii 2012
    • 8. Procedure – refer up the chain7-18 September 2012 Gikii 2012
    • 9. Credible threats MoD7-18 September 2012 Gikii 2012
    • 10. Non-credible threats Police7-18 September 2012 Gikii 2012
    • 11. Airport police S Yorks police7-18 September 2012 Gikii 2012
    • 12. 7 days post tweet Anti-terror squad – workplace Bomb hoax arrest7-18 September 2012 Gikii 2012
    • 13. “some” people might be concerned? "Yah. Hmm mmm"7-18 September 2012 Gikii 2012
    • 14. 10 February 2010 “no evidence at this stage to suggest that there is anything other than a foolish comment posted on “Twitter” as a joke for only his close friends to see.”7-18 September 2012 Gikii 2012
    • 15. CPS 127 (1)(a) Communications Act 2003 A person is guilty of an offence if he— sends by means of a public electronic communications network a message or other matter that is grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character;7-18 September 2012 Gikii 2012
    • 16. Nobody acts as though theres a threat7-18 September 2012 Gikii 2012
    • 17. No urgency CYA Tick the box7-18 September 2012 Gikii 2012
    • 18. Magistrate convicts Crown Court upholds: "satisfied" that the tweet was "menacing per se" and that "an ordinary person" seeing it "would see it that way and be alarmed. The airport staff did see it and were sufficiently concerned to report it."7-18 September 2012 Gikii 2012
    • 19. "Yah hmm mmm" “satisfied that the appellant was, at the very least, aware that his message was of a menacing character."7-18 September 2012 Gikii 2012
    • 20. Crown Court posed Qs on interpretation of s127(1)(a) s127 & CYA problem7-18 September 2012 Gikii 2012
    • 21. High Court tweeting is sending messages by means of a "public electronic communications network"7-18 September 2012 Gikii 2012
    • 22. paragraph 24 where emphasis is given to "potential recipients of the message" being "the public as a whole" Google? Facebook? WWW Privacy?7-18 September 2012 Gikii 2012
    • 23. High Court s127 ok – update of misuse of phone for menace No “newly minted interference with.. freedom of speech" Interpreting s127 “disappointingly little coherence in English law’s approach to threat offences”7-18 September 2012 Gikii 2012
    • 24. message which does not create fear or apprehension... lacks menace No threat, no menace, no actus reus, no criminal conduct7-18 September 2012 Gikii 2012
    • 25. No attention to simple fact that the tweet lacked any conceivable menace7-18 September 2012 Gikii 2012
    • 26. message which does not create fear or apprehension... lacks menace No threat, no menace, no actus reus, no criminal conduct7-18 September 2012 Gikii 2012
    • 27. High Court para 31 - 34 “In any event, the more one reflects on it, the clearer it becomes that this message did not represent a terrorist threat, or indeed any other form of threat.. ...It was treated and addressed as if it was not a credible threat... no action... no minimal.. protective measures... no urgent response... Police action was not exactly hurried” “proper respect must be paid” to the Crown Court but...7-18 September 2012 Gikii 2012
    • 28. “Cr*p! How this ever get this far? A bunch of CYA clowns couldnt get their sh*t together and we are blowing this case sky high!!”7-18 September 2012 Gikii 2012
    • 29. 56 days jail Liam Stacey – Fabrice Muamba Racially Aggravated s4A Public order Act 1986 @rileyy_69 (aka Reece of Weymouth) – Tom Daley s1 1988 Malicious Communications Act “an indecent, grossly offensive, threatening, or false message with the intent of causing stress or anxiety” s5 Public Order Act 1986 Harassment, alarm or distress... threatening, abusive or insulting7-18 September 2012 Gikii 2012
    • 30. How did it get that far...7-18 September 2012 Gikii 2012
    • 31. Even the CPS wanted to drop it but... “the key finding of fact in the case was a finding of the Crown Court, which only the High Court could overturn.” http://blog.cps.gov.uk/2012/07/clarification-on-decision-making-in-paul-chambers-case.html7-18 September 2012 Gikii 2012
    • 32. Self preservation (CYA) Institutional & individual7-18 September 2012 Gikii 2012
    • 33. No room for acknowledgement/addressing of mistakes7-18 September 2012 Gikii 2012
    • 34. Risky7-18 September 2012 Gikii 2012
    • 35. Paul J Chambers7-18 September 2012 Gikii 2012
    • 36. Shirley McKie7-18 September 2012 Gikii 2012
    • 37. Hillsborough7-18 September 2012 Gikii 2012
    • 38. Bloody Sunday Stephen Lawrence Jean Charles de Menezes Deepcut barracks Multiple asylum seeker cases 300 to Sri Lanka this week David Kelly Birmingham Six Rendition Sally Clark ...7-18 September 2012 Gikii 2012
    • 39. Normalisation of deviance in institutions of state7-18 September 2012 Gikii 2012
    • 40. Diane Vaughan The Challenger Launch Decision7-18 September 2012 Gikii 2012
    • 41. Processes Procedures Management Organisational structures Culture7-18 September 2012 Gikii 2012
    • 42. CYA not public service7-18 September 2012 Gikii 2012
    • 43. Chambers: twitter + threat = dangerous + guilty Football 70s, 80s Football fans = animals to be herded Miners strike S. Yorks – violent criminal anarchists to be fought Orgreave 95 – acquitted – fabricated police evidence Lord Denning – Birmingham Six 1980 “Just consider the course of events if their action were to proceed to trial ... If the six men failed it would mean that much time and money and worry would have been expended by many people to no good purpose. If they won, it would mean that the police were guilty of perjury; that they were guilty of violence and threats; that the confessions were involuntary and improperly admitted in evidence; and that the convictions were erroneous. ... That was such an appalling vista that every sensible person would say, "It cannot be right that these actions should go any further.”7-18 September 2012 Gikii 2012
    • 44. State hostile to claims of injustice Treat people involved with dismissal (contempt) Pull down the shutters Apologise much later for actions of predecessors7-18 September 2012 Gikii 2012
    • 45. Fear of consequences Reputation – loss of public confidence Personal Organisational Economic Media & political Legal7-18 September 2012 Gikii 2012
    • 46. Leads to amoral Battening down the hatches Secrecy Rigid attempts at application of protective procedures Active obstruction & cover up7-18 September 2012 Gikii 2012
    • 47. Public services normalisation of deviance Culprit-counting targets – someone must pay7-18 September 2012 Gikii 2012
    • 48. CDB DEA Data retention7-18 September 2012 Gikii 2012
    • 49. Police, politicians & media Demand for culprit/s OA to rich data mines of everyones lives7-18 September 2012 Gikii 2012
    • 50. Future systemic miscarriages of justice7-18 September 2012 Gikii 2012

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