Anonymous, Really?

A defamation lawsuit has been brought against some defendants who posted on anonymous sites. The plaintiff’s lawyers are now requesting the logs of the sites that were mentioned to see if there is a match in IP address to finger the culprits!

The Xoxo Reader writes “A new filing in the Autoadmit Internet defamation lawsuit (previously discussed here on two occasions) reveals how the plaintiffs’ lawyers have attempted to discover the identities of the defendants, who posted under pseudonyms on a message board without IP logging.

The defendants had posted links and excerpts of several Web pages that mention the plaintiffs, including a Washington Post article, a college scholarship announcement, and a federal court opinion. Now the plaintiffs are asking those Web sites for logs of everybody who accessed those articles in the hours before the allegedly defamatory content was posted. (All the more reason to read the web through Google cache!)

The plantiff’s motion for expedited discovery includes copies of the lawyers’ letters to hosting providers, ISPs, and others. It also includes replies from the recipients, many of whom point out that the lawyers’ requests are technically impossible to fulfill. No matter; the plaintiffs are asking the court to issue subpoenas anyway.