The arguments both in favour and against introducing a privacy law have been predictably emotive, the Guardian mentioning the allegations of foul play leveled against Kate and Gerry McCann as a reason why such a law is needed, while the Daily Mail have referenced the case of Dominique Strauss-Kahn as grounds for why Britain should "never" impose privacy legislation.
Angus McBride in The Guardian, arguing in favour of a privacy law, argues:
"It is said that only the rich and famous have access to the law. But it is generally the rich and famous that are of interest to the prurient press, so are more likely to require the protection of the courts. And is there really a public interest in the private lives of footballers or entertainers? What right do we have to pry behind their bedroom doors?
"In any case, is not the real scandal that ordinary members of the public without access to football-sized wage packets do not have protection against the power of the press? Legal aid should be available to those without the means to hire expensive lawyers.
"...I am reminded reading Kate McCann's deeply moving book that on their return from Portugal, having been declared suspects in their daughter's disappearance, Gerry and Kate McCann asked me to visit newspaper editors to explain that there was no truth in any of the allegations made in the more scurrilous parts of the Portuguese press, and that the material was the product of vindictive leaks. I explained to each editor that uncorroborated evidence from a sniffer dog and inconclusive DNA (which could have been attributable to any member of the family) found in the boot of a hire car driven by the McCanns created not even a prima facie case... Bile-infested internet comment on the McCanns was fuelled by this early reporting, and continues to this day."
In contrast, the Daily Mail's Stephen Glover says:
"The super-injunctions issued on behalf of footballers do not in themselves greatly concern me. The question is where they are leading. We should be concerned by the orders being handed out by judges to shield more significant public figures. If this process continues, in a few years’ time we will find ourselves with the kind of privacy law that has protected Mr Strauss-Kahn.
"Where there is evidence of sexual impropriety, it is usually a safe bet that evidence of other impropriety will follow. It does not at all surprise me that Mr Strauss-Kahn was once forced to resign from the Socialist Party over a financial scandal, though he was later acquitted.
"I don’t want people like him thriving in British public life, doing virtually what they please in the knowledge that they cannot be written about in the Press."
Big Brother Watch supporters are unlikely to have a united position on this issue. Do post a comment letting us know what you think.