Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
defamation, free speech, libel

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.

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