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.
Hogan Lovells Privacy and Information Management practice leader Chris Wolf has authored an opinion piece on CNN.com entitled “Lessons from Rutgers on Privacy and Hate Speech” in which he draws upon the recent conviction of Rutgers student Dharun Ravi for invasion of privacy and bias intimidation to suggest steps to be taken to address online privacy and hate speech.
The University of Denver Law Review today presented a Syposium on “Cyber Civil Rights: New Challenges for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties in Our Networked Age.” Hogan & Hartson partner (and privacy group co-chair) Christopher Wolf delivered remarks on “Accountability for Online Hate Speech: What Are The Lessons From ‘Unmasking’ Laws?” Chris observed that online anonymity and the privacy it protects can be used as a sword to injure the human dignity of others who are victimized by hate speech. He examined the limitations of legal tools and proposed a self-regulatory scheme for online companies. A copy of his remarks can be obtained through a link on this entry in the Hogan & Hartson Chronicle of Data Protection.