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In Britain we are subjects rather than citizens, we don't have First Amendment rights to do with freedom of speech and we journalists aren't protected like those in the US. Despite all this, a recent California court ruling against Apple must have some resonance across the Atlantic in this new age of the blog.

Apple's ghastly lawyers were demanding names and particulars of the sources for a bunch of stories about forthcoming Apple products.

Naturally their PR people had been having hissy fits. The case was brought because the bloggers were not, Apple said, accredited journalists.

The judge basically said, so what? He was hip to the fact that web-based citizen journalism is a rising tide, however much people in my trade are bound to think it a really bad idea - and, very occasionally, envy its freedom from all constraint.

Think of the e-shouts from Injection (with the AJ a couple of weeks ago) and Norman Blogster's http: // partiv. blogspot. com. On this site, click on 'Discharge of conditions' in the righthand column. It leads to an apparently authentic email from a planner to an architect. When the day comes, this is one planner who should be spared.

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