We were just pointing out how common it is for people to be total jerks online -- but didn't touch on the bad reaction some people have to being targeted in online attacks. Since flame wars tend to escalate to ridiculous levels, it's not uncommon for some to resort to the law to help them out when they feel victimized. Over in Israel, apparently a provider of alternative medical treatments got so upset by posts on a message board attacking him that he demanded an ISP reveal the anonymous commenter. However, an Israeli court has turned down the request, noting that (as in the US), the ISP shouldn't be liable for the statements and has not obligation to turn over such information. There's a great quote from the judge summarizing the case: "The proper balance between freedom of expression on the Internet and the uniqueness of the Internet as an institution for democracy does not justify the exposure of surfers' details."
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