by Mike Masnick
Tue, Nov 27th 2007 9:11am
Someone who prefers to remain anonymous writes in to let us know that: "An Israeli court has ordered Google to reveal the identity of a blogger that uses Google's own blogging platform, Blogger. The blogger accused a Shaarei Tikva comity member of illegal acts all through his blog posts. Google objected to the request claiming freedom of speech, however the court sided with the plaintiff and said that since the plaintiff is a public figure running for reelection, he is allowed to confront his accuser and clear his name." Google did, apparently, try to reach the blogger in question who did not respond, and the company only needs to hand over an IP address -- which isn't necessarily the blogger's "identity," though it could lead to it. There's nothing wrong with a court requiring a service provider to cough up identifying information on someone who has broken the law -- but it gets into very tricky territory when it comes to things like libel. We recently covered a number of similar cases in the UK where the results were the same -- but a case in the US had the judge determine that the anonymous speech was protected and the person shouldn't be revealed. It seems likely that we're only going to see more of these cases over time -- and questions about jurisdiction are only going to make them more confusing. What if the blogger in this case actually resides in the US, for example?
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