New York Times web site blocks UK users from terror plot story

The New York Times is blocking access to one of its stories for UK-based internet users over fears that it could be held in contempt of court.

The story, published on the paper's front page on Monday, details the evidence against the suspects being held in Britain over the alleged aircraft terror plot.

Attempting to access the story from a UK-based IP address leads to an error message reading: "On advice of legal counsel, this article is unavailable to readers of nytimes.com in Britain. This arises from the requirement in British law that prohibits publication of prejudicial information about the defendants prior to trial."

According to USA Today, the story was made available to readers in the rest of the world later than usual, and was also omitted from the British circulation of the International Herald Tribune.

Some commentators have recently suggested that the internet is rendering Britain's strict sub judice rules for court reporting unworkable, but the decision by the New York Times shows increasing concern about foreign media being held in contempt by British courts for publishing material that would be legal to publish in their own jurisdictions.

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