Websites that allow Internet users to post statements anonymously by using pseudonyms traceable only through the website hosts or their Internet service providers have proliferated over the past few years. As use of this anonymous Internet speech has increased, so too have legal actions seeking to discover the true identity of users who posted allegedly defamatory material or other statements that purportedly injured a company or individual.
Please join Mayer Brown partners Reginald Goeke and Charles Harris to discuss the steps that your company should take when faced with a legal action seeking the identity of an anonymous Internet poster, or when you are the aggrieved party seeking to identify the anonymous poster. Discussion topics will include:
- Why your company may have an incentive to protect the identity of an anonymous Internet poster or why your company might want to seek the identity of a poster
- The approaches that courts have employed in deciding whether to reveal the identity of an anonymous Internet poster
- Considering the nature of the challenged speech in determining whether to unmask any anonymous Internet poster
- Whether anonymous speech posted on the Internet is more or less protected than anonymous speech elsewhere
Reginald R. Goeke
Charles E. Harris, II
Presentation Slides (PDF)
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