24 August 2009
Anonymous Blogger -- Outed By the Courts & Google...
This is a follow-up to an earlier post on anonymous blogging and whether one can be truly anonymous when they blog, particularly if they are writing content that offends someone and they decide to take legal action. You can read that post here.
The anonymous blogger is Rosemary Port, a 29-year-old fashion student from New York, and she is so unhappy about Google giving up her identity and breaching her right to privacy that she is allegedly going to sue Google for USD 15 million.
Port's lawyer, Salvatore Strazzullo, seems to think that the case has enough legs to get all the way to the US Supreme Court. The arguments that Strazzullo are going to run with revolve around the fact that Google has "breached its fiduciary duty to protect her [Port] expectation of anonymity".
However, the other likely angles include that Cohen had a hand in publishing the sexually provocative pictures of herself and that the defamation action was nothing more than an attempt drum up some publicity for herself and defame Port into the bargain. Furthermore, Cohen has described herself as a "serial monogamist". Interesting choice of words to accompany the pictures posted of her.
This case would seem to have some ways to go.
A long story short, Port created a blog called "Skanks in NYC" and it seems that the only 'skank' Port focused on was Liskula Cohen. Cohen was offended and felt she had been defamed but was unable to proceed with any claim against the person doing the defaming because the blog was anonymous. Jumping forward, Cohen sues Google to get the identity of the anonymous blogger, the court decides that Google must hand over the identity, Google hands over the identity, and Port is outed.
Strangely enough, Cohen has 'forgiven' Port and pretty much brushed the matter off as Port being "an irrelevant person in my life". It would seem she knew Port, but obviously they were far from being friends. Although, they seem to have known each other well-enough that Cohen was comfortable allegedly trashing Port to Port's ex-boyfriend. Ahhhhh, the lives of models and fashion students.
It will be interesting to see if all the talk of taking this case all the way to the US Supreme Court comes to fruition.