Keeping up with information law

Another legal topic that has developed hand in hand with the internet is information law – a small but perfectly formed area of law where there is a great deal of online update, comment and other activity, not just from qualified lawyers, but from journalists and rights activists. Here is a selection of key blogs to follow.

Links to all sites mentioned are in the infolaw Lawfinder Blogs section.

We’ll start with Panopticon, a blog by the 11KBW Information Law Practice Group, as it provides a helpful definition: Information law is about the right to know and the right to keep private – and it is also about the ever-shifting boundary between those rights. It encompasses areas such as data protection, freedom of information, the protection of private information under article 8 of the ECHR, breach of confidence and the regulation of surveillance. It is a fascinating and fast-moving area of the law.

Inforrm’s Blog is from the International Forum for Responsible Media who believe in an independent, strong, free and responsible mass media; but that with those privileges go responsibilities. The media’s right to freedom of expression must be properly balanced against the rights to privacy and reputation which are an essential part of human dignity. The extensive blogroll lists many other blogs and sites both UK and worldwide.

Meeja Law is by Judith Townend, a freelance journalist and researcher, currently a PhD research student at City University London’s Centre for Law, Justice and Journalism, looking at legal restraints on the media, particularly the pre-publication process; also concerned with “open justice”.

Datonomy by Solicitors at Olswang LLP discusses data protection law, practice and problems.

IT Law in Ireland by TJ McIntyre, solicitor and lecturer in the School of Law, University College Dublin is on information technology law issues with a focus on freedom of expression, privacy and other fundamental rights.

The anonymous Media Beak provides media law news, views, analysis and gossip.

The RPC Privacy Law Blog by specialist lawyers at RPC covers developments in UK privacy law; it is intended to keep RPC’s Privacy Law Handbook up to date but also as a useful source of current information to others.

Stewart Room, solicitor at Field Fisher Waterhouse, blogs on his specialism in privacy, data protection and data security law.

The UK Freedom of Information Blog comes from the Campaign for Freedom of Information, providing news, views and updates on the UK Freedom of Information Act, worldwide FoI and open government. This is the current incarnation of one of the oldest UK law blogs. Props to Steve Wood, who established it in May 2003 and ran it until the end of February 2007 when he took up the post of Assistant Commissioner at the Information Commissioner’s Office.

Another long-standing information rights blog is from Heather Brooke, who’s Your Right to Know blog started in 2004. She is an investigative journalist and information rights campaigner and no stranger to the inside of a courtroom.

Nick Holmes is joint editor of the Newsletter.