UK press watchdog boss calls for new laws to end 'mob rule' on Internet
New laws are required to end "mob rule" on the internet and "trial by Twitter", the head of a UK media watchdog has said.
Sir Brian Leveson, who heads the public inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the British press, said that the prank call to the hospital treating the Duchess of Cambridge this week and topless photos taken of her this summer showed the importance of safeguarding privacy.
He predicted politicians would eventually have to act to curb the "wilder excesses" of what happens online, the Daily Mirror reports.
According to the report, Leveson's remarks come as David Cameron is expected to propose setting up a new press watchdog under royal charter in a bid to end the row over the judge's call for state regulation of newspapers.
Leveson said that unlike newspapers, TV and radio the bloggers and people who use Twitter and other websites are less likely to think or worry about the consequences or what they write.
"In so far as the internet is concerned, there has been, and for many, there remains a perception that actions do not have legal consequences," the report quoted him, as saying.
"There is not only a danger of trial by Twitter, but also of an unending punishment, and no prospect of rehabilitation, by Google," he added.
According to the report, Leveson also pointed out that the web had become a 'global megaphone for gossip' without 'any general standards of behaviour'.