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Anorak | Paul Chambers And The Twitter Police: Freedom Of Expression Under Attack

Paul Chambers And The Twitter Police: Freedom Of Expression Under Attack

by | 24th, September 2010

WHEN Paul Chambers told his Twitter followers he was going to blow Robin Hood’s Doncaster airport sky high he never meant it. There was no plot. He had no explosives or car . He had done no research into IEDs. It was an unthinking thought crime.

The 600-odd followers who read Chambers’ tweet in the language of Twitter, he is their leader did not take up arms and besiege Robin Hood airport. They did nothing aside from tweet.

But someone who seems to have searched for it, and who had deemed it a non-credible threat, sent it to the police such is the process. The police, having arrested Chambers, forwarded it to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). There is no bomb but if the CPS can make an example of Chambers by saying he broke a law then the process can continue. We live in dangerous times and bomb hoaxes must be taken seriously.

Five police officers arrest Chambers at his place of work.

Do you have any weapons in your car?” they asked.

“I said I had some golf clubs in the boot,” Chambers told me. “But they didn’t think it was funny. I kept wondering, ‘When are they going to slap my wrists and let me go?’ Instead, they hauled me into a police car while my colleagues watched.”

So. On May 2010, Paul Chambers, 27, a trainee accountant, was found guilty of sending a menacing electronic communication by a district judge at Doncaster Magistrates’ Court.

Having been arrested, charged and found guilty by the system under section 127 of the Communications Act 2003, Paul Chambers was fined £385 fine, ordered to pay

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Posted: 24th, September 2010 | In: Key Posts, News Comments (3) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink