A gag order is a legal order passed by a court or government that prevents anyone from making comment on a certain subject or distributing information about it to a third party or the public.
Gag orders have been used extensively for the protection of sensitive data and to prevent the widespread dispersal of information that is not intended for public knowledge. Gag orders are particularly used in business and industry to protect trade secrets, and also in criminal investigations to protect the witnesses and victims involved. Gag orders could also be used to prevent insensitive media being broadcast like acts of terrorism. Examples of high profile gag orders include the 2008 Mumbai attacks, and controversially in the UK, gag orders have been issued to protect the identities of convicted criminals.
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