EXPERTS: NO CLOAK FOR 'NET DAGGERS

Joel Reidenberg in New York Post, August 19, 2009

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Bloggers beware: You're not as anonymous as you might think.
Legal eagles said yesterday that a Manhattan judge had no choice but to order Google to out "Skanks of NYC" blogger Rosemary Port, who is in hot water for using epithets to describe a model.

 
"The First Amendment protection for anonymous speech does not shield an individual from making false accusations or defamatory statements," said Fordham professor Joel Reidenberg, who teaches privacy law. "The balance is that everyone has their day in court."

Model Liskula Cohen is claiming she was viciously trashed by Port.
Columbia law professor Eben Moglen blamed huge tech companies like Microsoft, Apple and Internet service providers for pushing their products without clueing in consumers that their identities won't be kept secret.


"Writing an e-mail is like a postcard. Blogging is a public activity -- the problem is too many people don't know this," said Moglen, who specializes in Internet law.
Google didn't appeal Justice Joan Madden's order to out Port -- hardly a surprise, according to Moglen.


"Once you've decided to put your identity into Google's hands, then you have to assume your identity is only protected as long as Google's willing to pay its lawyers to protect it," Moglen said.