A U.S. federal court in the state of Georgia has ruled that Rule 53 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure prohibits “tweeting” from the courtroom:
“The immediate result of the court’s decision is to reject a request from a reporter for the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer that he be allowed to use his BlackBerry during the Shellnutt criminal case in order to send updates to his newspaper’s Twitter feed.”
This is exactly what Ottawa Citizen reporter Glen McGregor did during this year’s bribery trial of Ottawa mayor Larry O’Brien.
This whole area of discussion (the impact of social networking media and Google in the courtroom) will be the topic of a panel at next year’s annual conference of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL) in Windsor, Ontario.
I explained a bit more in an October 22, 2009 Library Boy post entitled Impartiality of Juries Threatened by Web?.