Live Tweets Allowed From Court for First Time #twitter #wikileaks

It’s another tech landmark and proof that Twitter and other web 2.0 sites are not only places for casual chit-chat but are becoming news and media hubs.

Julian Assange, head honcho of WikiLeaks (you may have heard of him), has helped make legal history as his bail hearing has become the first case to allow live updates to be sent from the courtroom via microblogging site Twitter.

Mobile phones are not covered by any specific rule although handsets have generally been outlawed using the same legal reasoning that prevents TV cameras and recording equipment to be allowed in the court room.

Forward thinking Howard Riddle, Chief Magistrate presiding over Assange’s bail hearing, agreed to allow reporters to tweet directly from the courtroom as long as they did it “quietly” and “did not disturb” the court.

Riddle’s decision follows recent remarks from the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Judge who asked: “If it is possible to file a story via email from a laptop in court, then why is Twitter any different?” – which is a rather good point don’t you think? 😉

Needless to say that a bunch of journos pounced on the opportunity with Alexi Mostrous from The Times tweeting out “judge just gave me explicit permission to tweet proceedings if it’s quiet and doesn’t disturb anything. #wikileaks”.

So – a good thing? Personally I reckon live micro-blogging as it happens is a great way to receive breaking news in 140 characters or less.

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