Watching nature take its course, from the top of a hill in northern England




Standing alone

I chose to blog as Uphilldowndale, I prefer to remain anonymous,  I’ve family and friends who visit here and know an awful lot more about me and my world than I would wish to put into cyberspace and there are those who can make a stab at where I live and who I am from my posts and photographs, for me its not a big deal, but I prefer it the way it is.  But for many blogger’s to remain anonymous is crucial.

So Yesterdays court ruling is a bit of a blow

Thousands of blogger’s who operate behind the cloak of anonymity have no right to keep their identities secret, the High Court ruled yesterday.

In a landmark decision, Mr Justice Eady refused to grant an order to protect the anonymity of a police officer who is the author of the NightJack blog.

For the bigger picture, go and read Tom Reynolds, Random Acts of Reality blog. I can’t help but think the press have shot themselves in the foot by pushing this, so that it ended up the courts, just where have the press been looking for the inside story on so many topics? The blogs, not  blogs like this, that’s no more than  a walk in the country, but the ones that tell it like it is, that give snap shots of society, and all  for the sake of a one day scoop, the Times have closed the door to so much more.


Author: uphilldowndale

Watching the rhythm of rural life, from the top of a hill in northern England. Having spent most of my life avoiding writing, I now need to do it! I am no domestic goddess, but if I were expecting visitors to my home, I would whisk round with the duster and plump up the cushions and generally make the place look presentable. I hope that by putting my words where others may see them it will encourage me to ‘tidy up and push the Hoover around’ my writing. On the other hand I may just be adding to the compost heap. Only time will tell! Pull up a chair, sit yourself down, I’ll put the kettle on.

16 thoughts on “Anon

  1. Wuff! This got my morning off to an Interesting Start. I’ve been following links and reading what everyone has to say and I have a lot to think about.

    Your blog is far more than “a walk in the country,” which is why I read it every day. Of course, a walk in the country is far more than it sounds like. Anyway, I absolutely believe that individuals who write blogs like yours have every right to remain anonymous, and the blogosphere would be very much poorer if you were discouraged from writing.

    The NightJack case is interesting because it was not a matter of the court forcing an ISP or webhost to reveal who’s behind a “nom de blog” but rather the court refusing to block publication of an identity that was discovered by the simple expedient of investigative digging. I don’t have a problem with the court ruling. I do think the Times was wrong. No public purpose was served by revealing NightJack’s identity, and the Times was shortsighted and foolish to do so, showing off like adolescents rather than using serious journalistic judgment.

  2. I’ve been following this story as well.
    I think that this will cause most anonymous bloggers who are in the police, fire brigade and NHS a lot of concern.
    It’s typical of the media to do something like this which as you and Gerry rightly say does them no favors whatsoever. xx

  3. Anonymity is crucial for the sake of safety. A few years ago, I joined a chatroom to discuss a favorite television show. I would have left within a couple of weeks because the atmosphere on the site was quite juvenile and poisonous except, someone started writing in sonnets and haikus and I was intrigued. This guy encouraged everyone to try communicating in poetry form. Personally, I found it to be one of the most challenging and fun creative outlets I had ever explored. And I like to play with a lot of creative stuff. Anyways, to make a long story short, everything went to hell. From that site, somehow I managed to attract a number of stalkers. They tracked me to where I lived in a very, very small town, stalked my every move, put spyware on my computer, interfered with my personal relationships, wrecked and stole my car, interfered with my jobs. and just generally caused havoc in my life. I’ve moved six times in 7 years and haven’t really worked for the past year. It has been a nightmare of preposterous proportions. I’ve always used pseudonyms and never agreed to meet anyone. Now, I rarely make any comments on the internet.

  4. It’s a delicate balance, isn’t it? On one hand, ordinary people have the right to go about their lives without assault or interference but on the other, we cannot allow malicious people to operate safely behind a mask.

    Anyone who believes that his or her online anonymity cannot be breached is naive. The police can always find out who and where you are, and if they can do it, so can other, sometimes less salubrious, agencies.

    “SilverTiger” is more than a pseudonym for me, and I have done my best to put a firebreak between this identity and my “civilian” persona but I am fully aware that anyone really desirous of finding me could do so if they had the knowledge and the necessary access to data. It isn’t all that difficult.

    I think those members of organizations who think they can write critical blogs without their disguise ever being penetrated are showing an astonishing degree of naivety – surely rather worrying in the case of police officers whose job involves, among other things, investigation of online crime!

    The court judgement hasn’t changed anything, it has merely reminded us of the reality of the situation and taken in the right spirit, that is a useful warning.

    By the way, on a different topic, I have added your blog to my blog list and hope that’s OK.

  5. Hello:

    Keep up the good work with the photos on this site.

    I live and work in Northern Ireland and enormously enjoyed Belfast Peeler and that Nightjack fella until exposure bit their arse.

    I expect we will hear fom both of you again.


  6. Yes, indeed, it is a delicate balance but I wasn’t writing a critical blog, nor have I ever been involved in a questionable organization, unless you’re including the Girl Guides. And yes, I was very naive about the dangers of the internet seven years ago. I try to be more careful now, although… I’m still baffled as to the why of the whole thing.

  7. A great shame when one’s job/career is put at risk simply for telling the truth. I have to add that none of the police/public service bloggers who I follow have ever written anything that may have been construed as ‘unacceptable’!

  8. I wrote about this on my blog too and completely agree that “for many blogger’s to remain anonymous is crucial.” If potential whistleblowers don’t feel they can safely expose wrong-doings, I think that so much that should be exposed won’t be now. And I’m sure a lot of excellent – and quite important – blogs are going to suddenly disappear now.

  9. I share the sadness of you and your commenters, UHDD, about Nightjack. I really feel for him as it must be difficult for him at work just now.

    I know folk can lie in blogs but there’s not much motivation for so doing and in many ways I think we get a better picture of the truth of an area of life – such as the police – from reading blogs than we’re ever likely to get from newspaper journalese.

  10. I Don’t think it’s fair to make people give there identities away… because…well it wouldn’t be a blog then

  11. I live in Spain and don’t know if the same law will eventually affect us but I wouldn’t like everybody to know my name and address. What if I happened to say: I’m going to Greece next week! Would it be like an invitation for all kind of criminals to come to my house during my absence?

  12. I think there is some unpleasant jealous malice in the Times’ actions. Blogging brings in many folk who no longer read the daily papers and there are some in the traditional media who really don’t like this. Very sad, who really wins as a result of an action like this?

    • I think blogs such as Night Jacks give insight in to aspects of our society that the majority of us (the public) can’t start to visualise; I don’t want (or get) identifiable detail of people or incidents in the public service blogs that I read, but what I do get is a feel for and an appreciation of, the difficulties faced at the sharp end, not the dressed up sanitised spiel that is fed to us from other sources…..
      I really just can’t start to imagine what the Times thought they stood to gain from this action

  13. Pingback: El anonimato de los blogueros « Capricho de hoy

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