by Mike Masnick
Thu, Mar 26th 2009 6:55pm
We've noted, thankfully, that US courts have been quite good about protecting the anonymity of online posters, arguing that anonymous speech is a part of free speech. Other countries haven't been nearly as good about this, with courts often being quick to demand info on anonymous commenters. It appears that at least one court in Canada falls into that camp as well. Michael Geist highlights how a court has ordered a website to turn over info on anonymous posters. Geist notes that Canadian laws and court rulings normally do support a strong anonymity right as part of privacy rights -- but suggests that the court in this case simply wanted to side with the guy suing, perhaps based more on emotional reasons (the anonymous commenters are accused of hate speech) rather than on any true legal basis. As Geist notes, anonymity is not an absolute right, but the bar should be pretty high before a court orders any information to be revealed about anonymous commenters. Unfortunately, that doesn't appear to be the case here.
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