Anonymous Speech: Literature, Law and Politics

Anonymous Speech: Literature, Law and Politics

by Eric Barendt


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Anonymous Speech: Literature, Law and Politics by Eric Barendt

Anonymous Speech: Literature, Law and Politics discusses the different contexts in which people write anonymously or with the use of a pseudonym: novels and literary reviews, newspapers and political periodicals, graffiti, and now on the Internet. The book criticises the arguments made for a strong constitutional right to anonymous speech, though it agrees that there is a good case for anonymity in some circumstances, notably for whistle-blowing. One chapter examines the general treatment of anonymous speech and writing in English law, while another is devoted to the protection of journalists' sources, where the law upholds a freedom to communicate anonymously through the media. A separate chapter looks at anonymous Internet communication, particularly on the social media, and analyses the difficulties faced by the victims of threats and defamatory allegations on the Net when the speaker has used a pseudonym. In its final chapter the book compares the universally accepted argument for the secret ballot with the more controversial case for anonymous speech. This is the first comprehensive study of anonymous speech to examine critically the arguments for and against anonymity. These arguments were vigorously canvassed in the nineteenth century - largely in the context of literary reviewing - and are now of enormous importance for communication on the Internet. [Subject: Administrative Law, Constitutional Law, Human RIghts Law]

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781849466134
Publisher: Hart Publishing
Publication date: 09/01/2016
Pages: 194
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.90(d)

Table of Contents

Preface v

Note on Abbreviations ix

Table of Cases xi

Table of Statutes and Constitutional Provisions xv

1 Introduction 1

I The Problem of Anonymity 1

II Virtues and Vices of Anonymity 4

III The Death of the Author? 8

IV Pseudonyms 10

V Anonymity and Privacy 12

2 The Varieties of Anonymous Writing 14

I Introduction 14

II Novels and Poetry 15

III Literary Journals and Reviewing 23

A Change to Signed Reviewing in the Nineteenth Century 23

B Anonymity Arguments 25

C Times Literary Supplement (TLS) 28

IV Newspapers and Periodicals 31

A Newspapers 31

B Periodicals 33

V Political Writing 35

VI Religious and Philosophical Writing 40

VII Art and Graffiti 47

VIII Peer Review of Academic Articles 51

IX Concluding Reflections 53

3 Anonymity and Freedom of Speech 56

I Introduction 56

II McIntyre v Ohio Elections Commission 57

III A Speaker's Right to Anonymity? 61

IV Interests of Readers and Audiences 66

A Interest in Credible Speech 66

B Interest in More (Radical) Speech 68

C Readers' Interest in their Own Anonymity 70

V Categories of Speech 72

A General Discussion 72

B Whistle-blowing 75

VI Conclusions 78

4 Anonymous Speech in English Law 81

I Introduction 81

II A Legal History of Anonymity Restraints 82

III Legal Position Today 89

IV Anonymous Whistle-bio wing in English Law 93

5 The Protection of Anonymous Sources 98

I Introduction 98

II Law on Journalists' Privilege 100

A UK Law 100

B Law in the United States and Canada 104

C Conclusions 109

III Arguments of Principle Concerning Source Anonymity 109

A In Favour of Source Anonymity 109

B Reservations Concerning Source Anonymity 112

C The Media as Responsible Intermediaries 115

IV Who can Claim the Privilege? 119

6 Anonymity on the Internet 122

I Culture of Anonymity 122

A Introduction 122

B Justifications for Anonymity 127

II Anonymity in the Social Media 132

III Defamation Law and Anonymity on the Internet 137

A General 137

B Anonymity and Interpretation 139

C Identification of Anonymous Internet Authors 142

D Responsibility of Internet Intermediaries 145

IV The Spickmick Case in Germany 152

7 Anonymous Speech, the Secret Ballot and Campaign Contributions 155

I Introduction 155

II Secret Ballot and Related Questions 156

A Secret Ballot 156

B Anonymity in Other Election Contexts 160

III Anonymity and Donations to Political Parties 163

Index 171

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