The Nova Scotia Supreme Court has ordered a newspaper to disclose the identities and IP addresses of six users alleged to have posted anonymous defamatory comments under a story about fire department racism.
Two firefighters in Halifax, Fire Chief Bill Mosher and Deputy Chief Stephen Thurber, are considering whether to launch a lawsuit against the individuals who posted comments personally criticizing them on the web site of The Coast
, a weekly newspaper, and against the author of potentially defamatory e-mails sent from a Gmail account. The writers posted under aliases such as "scandalous2010," ''The truth," and "LessTalkMoreAction" between April 2009 and March 2010.
In ordering the release of the information, Justice Heather Robertson referred to an Ontario Court decision, Re York University and Bell Canada Enterprises et al
, previously reported in E-TIPS® (“ISPs Ordered to Identify Customers Linked to Anonymous E-Mail Communications
” September 23, 2009, Vol 8, No 7), in which Justice George Strathy ordered Bell and Rogers to disclose customer information connected to defamatory anonymous e-mails and a web-posting.
The Order requires The Coast
disclose all the information the users provided when they established their accounts on the website; all email addresses associated with the account, log-in information including IP addresses, and information about account activity. Google, furthermore, must provide the identifying information of the person who distributed the alleged defamatory letter from their Gmail account.
For news reports see:
For the report about fire department racism in The Coast
Summary by: Lea Epstein
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