Judge Allows Critical Blogger To Remain Anonymous

from the free-speech,-yo dept

Just as we were noting that it was becoming increasingly common for people in the UK to file libel lawsuits to unmask anonymous online critics, it looks like US courts are being much more protective of an individual's right to privacy. In yet another lawsuit involving a school and an anonymous blogger (why do we keep seeing similar stories?), a judge has ruled that an anonymous blogger can remain anonymous as the comments on her blog were protected free speech and not defamatory, as a member of the local school board charged. Of course, the key here is that the speech in question was not defamatory, but merely protected opinion. This doesn't mean that bloggers can freely libel people -- but that a simple libel charge doesn't automatically allow the unmasking of an anonymous blogger.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Edmond Woychowsky, Nov 14th, 2007 @ 12:17pm


    Interesting article, the judge stated that without evidence of wrong doing and individual cannot be unmasked. Intriguing, I wonder where else this statement could be applied.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Advocate, Nov 14th, 2007 @ 12:32pm

    Re: Hmm...

    Sounds like superman and batman are safe for another day.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. Thanks Judge

    Another win for annonymous posters (like me)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Shmilda, Nov 15th, 2007 @ 10:00am

    This was an open and shut case. The plaintiff was theoretically seeking disclosure as a prelude to filing a suit for defamation. Since it was clear that the plaintiff would lose such a suit (defendant didn't say what was claimed, nearly impossible for an elected official to win, etc.) there were no grounds whatsoever. Unfortunately, the opinion is not well written and thus will likely not be quoted all that much.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Grantland, Nov 15th, 2007 @ 8:31pm

    The day that fear shuts up the anonymous is the day that joy leaves the web.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Hemidemi, Nov 26th, 2007 @ 8:16am


    The founding fathers used annonymous speech in much that they did. The courts have ruled that annonymous speech is protected under the first amendment.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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