Bloggers could fall foul of new press laws

Press freedom lobby Index on Censorship warns that the definition of 'relevant publisher' is too loose

Press freedom lobby Index on Censorship warns that the definition of 'relevant publisher' is too loose

Bloggers could face fines under new libel laws with exemplary damages imposed if they don't sign up to the new regulator.

Speaking to the Guardian, Kirsty Hughes, the chief executive of Index on Censorship said it was a "sad day" for British democracy. "This will undoubtably have a chilling effect on everyday people's web use," she added.

The Index on Censorship is an organisation that campaigns for press freedoms around the world.

Hughes said "Bloggers could find themselves subject to exemplary damages, due to the fact that they were not part of the regulator that was not intended for them in the first place."

She added that she feared small and medium sized blogs, where a number of people voluntarily write for them, could fall under the "relevant publisher" definition.

Though details are still sketchy about potential fines amounts, what is known is that exemplary fines will be imposed on those who remain outside of the regulator in situations where the new law had been broken.