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Boy arrested over TalkTalk web hack settles Twitter case

By Alan Erwin

Published 30/01/2016

No charges were ever brought against the boy over the attack
No charges were ever brought against the boy over the attack

A Co Antrim schoolboy arrested over the cyber attack on TalkTalk has settled his claim for damages against Twitter.

The 15-year-old's privacy action was resolved on confidential terms, with no admission of liability by the social networking service.

Meanwhile, his lawyers are seeking High Court permission to serve proceedings on Google at its headquarters in the United States.

The internet giant is resisting the move, which is believed to involve a world-first attempt to sue it for negligence.

An application for leave to issue a writ out of the jurisdiction has been adjourned until March.

Separate lawsuits are also continuing against three national newspapers over the publicity surrounding the teenager's arrest.

He was questioned in October last year by police investigating a major hack into the phone and broadband provider's database.

The boy was among a number of suspects to be detained in connection with the TalkTalk probe.

He was interviewed on suspicion of offences under the Computer Misuse Act before being released on bail. No charges were brought.

Since then his lawyers have issued writs claiming negligence, misuse of private information, defamation, breach of confidence and data protection.

The three newspapers defending the action, The Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail and The Sun, have all given undertakings aimed at protecting his identity pending the outcome of the case.

Legal steps were also taken to secure the removal of material published online about the boy and where he lived. The court was told that the boy's family has had to move home following the publicity surrounding his arrest.

His lawyers claimed he could be identified from newspaper articles and partially blacked out photographs which appeared at the time.

Barristers Ronan Lavery QC and Sean Mullan contended that the content contributed to their client being "stigmatised" within his community.

During one of a number of hearings in the case, a lawyer for the Daily Mail rejected claims that it had revealed his identity.

Belfast Telegraph

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