In my opinion a worrying precedent has been set by the decision of the High Court to allow The Times to 'out' the previously anonymous police blogger known as NightJack.
According to the judgement in The Author of a Blog v Times Newspapers Ltd (BAILII link), "because blogging is essentially a public rather than a private activity" no anonymity can be given to NightJack and by extension the true identity of many a pseudonymous blogger can be revealed in England and Wales.
In the case in point The Times took it upon itself to try and find the identity of the revealing and award-winning blogger, ostensibly it seems by following the many trails left online (although it would be interesting to know all the methods used).
Although their lawyers advanced public interest for disclosure it is little more than a trashy expose, He took great care not to mention live cases and has not to my knowledge broken the Contempt of Court Act 1981 or any other law in his writing. There is also little glory or financial reward, he did not accept his Orwell Prize and donated the prize money to the Police Benevolent Fund.
Defenders of his unmasking will point to freedom of information and accountability. As this Gawker article does, splendidly missing the point that it will have the opposite effect in, as this case shows, stopping someone from writing openly about the inner workings of public institutions and further discouraging whistle-blowers already put off by recent stories. There is also an element of hypocrisy given the use of anonymous police sources in several stories within the Times. Should they be subject to the Times' new high minded approach?
Thankfully although his career may be ruined, he will be free. Given the situation in Iran it is important to state that many writers are risking their lives, which is why in many cases, anonymity is vitally important, sadly it would be possible for people to cite this ruling as justification to reveal their identity.
Whether it is a matter of life and death I would defend the rights of those who wish to preserve their anonymity or privacy from scuzzy acts of so-called journalism.