Internet OK for Some Courts (In Some Cases)

Australian Court Allows Twittering

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Update: According to FOX News, the Federal Court in Australia will leave it up to individual judges to decide if court cases can be covered live on Twitter.

Original Article: A California court is making jurors sign a declaration that they will not use the Internet to look up details about facts related to cases. This comes apparently at the request of a San Diego lawyer.

According to Greg Moran
of the San Diego Union Tribune, "In the latest sign of the collision between the courts and new communication technologies, jurors will have to sign declarations attesting that they will not use ‘personal electronic and media devices’ to research or communicate about any aspect of the case. That includes computers, cell phones and laptops. Jurors will have to sign the declarations, made under penalty of perjury, both before and after they serve."

Jurors must not use Google Though this is reportedly the first time such a thing has happened in California, this is certainly not the first time that such an issue has been brought up. Not too long ago, we were hearing tales of Twitter (and social media in general) causing mistrials. The talk has mostly been related to discussing the case, however, which has always been a no-no.

This latest example appears to be more about doing research though. The question is, can this really be enforced?

"My guess is that many will ignore the signed promise as well — in fact, as some behavioral research has shown, just telling them not to do it, may make them even more likely to do so," says Michael Mansick at TechDirt. "At some point, the courts are going to have to realize that you simply can’t prevent people from looking up more info, and will have to come up with ways to adapt."

It is interesting to see that practices of the American Judicial system are still being affected by something as simple as using the Internet, or Google to look things up. It will also be interesting to see if this becomes more of a common practice across the country.

Internet OK for Some Courts (In Some Cases)
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