Monday, 22 October 2007

Anonymous Blogger Beware

Someone needs to be worried. Using the cloak of anonymity does not protect you from the full fury of libel law.

You IP identity can be revealed even if you post anonymously.


Tristan said...

Of course, if you're being sensible you can use an anonymising proxy to make it far more difficult to track you down.

Then again, if someone is not willing to put their name behind statements, it doesn't engender trust in the statement.

Joe Taylor said...

I'm a regular on Owlstalk so I'm well aware of this case!

In this particular case the alleged libellous comments were no more than the football-related banter you'd hear in the pub after a match, and in my opinion the club is being enormously petty trying to sue over them.

In the vast majority of cases the judge agreed, saying: "It seems to me that some of the postings which concern the Claimants border on the trivial, and I do not think that it would be right to make an order for the disclosure of the identities of users who have posted messages which are barely defamatory or little more than abusive or likely to be understood as jokes."

But as a general point people should bear in mind that, yes, your identity can be revealed by your ISP if you libel someone on the internet.

Mountjoy said...

In future, then, libellers should use an internet café to avoid it being tracked to their home or work PC!

Toby Philpott said...

It's sad that someone can be so foolish. I am a great believer in freedom of speech but when someone trashes your personal reputation which can have an impact on your personal and business life then you really can't take it lying down.

In this unfortunate case someone has left their reason behind and probably didn't realise that it isn't that hard to identify who they are.