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Someone, somewhere did not like Liskula Cohen, a model in her 30s who lives in New York. A blog was launched from Google's Blogger platform, apparently devoted to maligning her, complete with uncomplimentary photos. To be sure, such online attacks are hardly rare; indeed, Cohen's story diverges from most such incidents because she fought back -- and it appears she has been, to some degree, successful. Cohen complained to Google, according to media accounts, and requested the name of the poster.
There are two issues are:
1) Should the net operate on the belief that a masked or false ID is ethical or even legal? One cannot have these in real life? Why on the net?
2)Should the First Amendment protect someone who is using a fake or masked ID?
- I agree with Cohen that she should know who is talking about her. The EFF and others have argued against this. I think EFF is very wrong about protecting the identities of anyone on the net even if a crime is committed in the case of the suicide inducing mother. One cannot run around with masked and false IDs in real world, why is anyone allowed to do so legally on the web? There are many reasons to force people to use their real names and not hide. If you want to say something you should say it and not hide behind the net masks!
- I also agree with the First Amendment proponents that one has the right to say anything protected by the Constitution. However the constitution does not allow for false and hidden IDs in person. Therefore the same rules should apply here.
So either way, IMHO, this is a good thing for the First Amendment and also getting rid of the false sense of lawlessness on the web! just like the wild West, the web needs to mature to be a tool
for commerce and information processing, NOT scams and phonies!
BTW, in keeping with the First Amendment protection, IMHO, anyone practicing Family Law must be made to look within themselves on how much misery they create for a few dollars! Family Law in this country is out of date and misery causing tool that discriminates against fathers! Child Support and Visitations should be equal opportunity.
This story has sparked a huge debate over free speech. I think the real debate should be over how much privacy I can expect when I sign up for "private accounts". When a site's EULA says "information will not be shared" I expect that to mean they will at least put up a small resistance to the first peon judge waving a subpoena.
Google has already capitulated to China in a similar matter and the person involved has not been seen since. How long before this power is unleashed on us?
I have question for you. Do you go around in real life with that name? The right to privacy is an illusion. You have the right to privacy as long as you don't do anything illegal or unethical. Are you protected if you steal, disparage or hurt someone in the real world? Why should you get such right in the virtual world where you have a much wider audience?
I think it is rather naive argument using EULA to say you should get protection when you only quote a small part of the EULA. The rest says that if you do something wrong, you can expect to be revealed.
Fascinating story. Too bad this Judge didn't have jurisdiction over Heidemarie Schnitzer, the Austrian national who stalked and threatened to murder actor David Caruso and his family members. Before her arrest, Schnitzer maintained four hate blogs which she used to promote an internet hate campaign against the actor. For the time being, Schnitzer is cooling her heals in an Austrian jail cell after being convicted earlier this year of stalking and mailing death threats.