On June 12, a French Court of Appeals upheld a decision ordering Twitter to divulge the identities of the authors of anti-Semitic tweets, which are illegal under French law. In a detailed analysis of the court’s order for the IAPP Privacy Perspectives blog, Winston Maxwell and Christopher Wolf describe how the order, issued directly by the French court to California-based Twitter, which does not have a French establishment, implicates jurisdictional issues and calls into question the use of anonymity as a privacy shield to post hate speech online.
Anonymity can provide internet users with benefits but can also facilitate the publishing of hurtful or hateful comments online, reports Hogan Lovells privacy leader Chris Wolf in a recent post on the blog of the International Association of Privacy Professionals, Privacy Perspectives. The post discusses Chris’ new book investigating online hate speech, Viral Hate: Containing its Spread on the Internet, with a focus on the tension between online anonymity and the prevention of hate speech.
In a recent article Christopher Wolf looks back at the e-G8 conference and pleads for better transatlantic cooperation on privacy matters, explaining the tension between U.S. First Amendment traditions, and certain European proposals including the right to be forgotten.
The Supreme Court has ruled in Doe v. Reed that the names of people who signed petitions in an attempt to overturn a law providing expanded rights for same-sex couples in the State of Washington must be made public. In this 7-1 decision, in which the Chief Justice delivered the opinion of the Court, with Justice Thomas dissenting, the Court rejected the Petitioners’ First Amendment argument that signing petitions to obtain a referendum is constitutionally protected political speech which requires anonymity.
Thanks to Eric Bukstein in the Hogan Lovells privacy group for providing this report. On May 3, 2010, in Arista Records v. Doe 3, a Second Circuit panel issued an opinion finding that an Internet user’s right to remain anonymous is not sufficient to prevent an ISP from revealing his identity in a copyright infringement dispute. The court held […]