Originally Posted by guage
Maybe so, maybe not
LIDA RODRIGUEZ-TASEFF, PRESIDENT OF ACLU MIAMI
Let's go to Pennsylvania now. The Supreme Court is going to consider a lawsuit or a request to consider compelling the John Doe, if you will, an anonymous person on the Internet who is accused of slander. So, basically Michael, going back to you again. Now can you slander someone on the Internet? We don't know who you are.
SMERCONISH: There is an ACLU angle to this one.
RODRIGUEZ-TASEFF: Thank God!
SMERCONISH: The quick facts are that a judge was accused of an ethical impropriety on a web site anonymously. And so she's trying to unmask her accuser. And it's not some obscure legal point Arthel, because you know --there are message-posting boards in our communities, in our workplaces, in our schools. The issue is should you be able to learn the identity of somebody who slams you in a defamatory way on the Internet?
And I think you should because you can ruin a person's reputation with one touch of a computer key and it remains in cyberspace forever. So I think that in the Internet you need to learn the identity of a person who defames you.
NEVILLE: Lida, does Michael have a point?
RODRIGUEZ-TASEFF: Well, the point to be made here is that anonymous speech is part of our First Amendment tradition. The Federalist Papers are the best example of anonymous speech. We need to protect anonymous speech on the Internet. And we need to protect it for a whole host of reasons, including some of the ones, which Michael has already named; but also because anonymous speech ads to the ability of people to really fully express themselves in the marketplace of ideas.
NEVILLE: Yes. But is it fair for someone to use this anonymous speech to harm someone?
RODRIGUEZ-TASEFF: Well, the test here has to be if you were really harmed and if you actually have a basis for a lawsuit, then you can use the legal process to learn the identity of somebody.
NEVILLE: But you know, Lida, that sometimes it's hard to undo that sort of damage.
RODRIGUEZ-TASEFF: Well, that's why you have to demonstrate that there is damage in the first place before identifying the speaker. One of the interesting things about this lawsuit is that AOL, the Internet giant, filed an amicus brief, a friend of the court brief, in this case and the reason they did so is because every day they get subpoenas for this sort of information. This is intended to chill speech.
I think you missed the point guage. The issue is you cannot be slandered on this board because YOU are the ANONYMOUS one, not the one you presume to be doing the slandering. On this board, guage is a person impersonating a porn starlet, named Guage, thus an anonymous person. Even if you 'fess up to being a pornstarlet who routinely gets air tight in films, you don't have a case. I doubt anyone would consider what was said here to be capable of inflicting damage to your name and character as a pornstarlet, given what evidence would be dragged into the court about your carrying-ons for the camera, and, since you have not 'fessed up yet, it is likely to be ruled the name guage was reasonably assumed by other board readers and posters to not really your own.
Anyway, if you are Guage, the pornstarlet, that could be the subject of another thread. Jim