by CIO Staff

Delaware Court Defends Anonymity of Blogger

Oct 06, 20051 min
InternetIT Leadership

The Delaware Surpreme Court has ruled that a public official cannot sue to reveal the identity of a blogger who allegedly defamed him. TheNew York Times reports that the ruling stated that it “will more appropriately protect against the chilling effect on anonymous First Amendment Internet speech that can arise when plaintiffs bring trivial defamation lawsuits primarily to harass or unmask their critics.”

The Times reports that the lawsuit was filed last year by Patrick Cahill, a councilman in Smyrna, Delaware who claimed that he needed the identity of a blogger who in a September 2004 posting praised the mayor but said Mr. Cahill was divisive and had “an obvious mental deterioration.” Cahill used a court order to learn that the Web address of the blogger belonged to a customer of Comcast. When Mr. Cahill demanded the person’s identity, Comcast notified the blogger, as required by law. The blogger filed for a protective order. A lower court judge denied the request, and the blogger appealed. Read more in the New York Times.

A. Jahnke