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Now you can be sued for posting on a forum

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posted on Apr, 23 2008 @ 10:47 AM
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Originally posted by Rockpuck
Depends on the information "whistle blower" was talking about. Information owned by the corporation, or outing the fact that there are crazy drug parties with prostitutes on the 15th floor of the office building?

The difference is one kind of information is protected by law, the other can be prosecuted by law. They each effect a different party..


You're thinking purely in terms of absolutes. What about grey areas, such as information a company owns about their product, that if released to the public might cause a backlash from customers?

For example, let's say a seed company that genetically engineers corn to produce more ears per stalk has research showing a link between their modified corn and serious health problems or birth defects. This info may or may not have been released to the FDA; if it was, it could have been suppressed through judicious use of bribes or blackmail so that the product would pass the approval process. Everything the public has access to in deciding whether to buy the product appears "above board" and it seems perfectly innocent and harmless; the dangers of the product effectively are covered up and remain secret.

Now let's say someone who works for that company stumbles upon this information. What do they do? Going to the FDA about it is risky; if they know already and helped the cover-up then the person is in danger of losing their job and other retribution. If they don't know already there's still dangers because whistleblower protections in this country are weak and hard to enforce. So he goes to the Internet.


The anonymity of the internet is nothing more then Cowardice.


The right to privacy is not Cowardice. The desire to say something without fear of reprisal is also not Cowardice. That's a pretty harsh thing to say, especially coming from someone who himself is not using his real name on this very forum. Pot, meet Kettle.


So many whistle blowers are nothing more then frauds.


Yes, many are, but the fact that many are not is all the more reason to resist this. Our justice system is (theoretically) based on the concept that it is better to let ten guilty men go free than to punish one innocent. Allowing companies broad leeway to sue anyone who challenges them on the Net, regardless of the truth, is to give them too much power to cover up wrongdoing.


And besides, even without a name, a company could still track down a poster.. its rather easy to do.


Sometimes, yes. But if it was always that easy they wouldn't need this now, would they?




posted on Apr, 23 2008 @ 10:49 AM
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Originally posted by Rockpuck
Only its all anonymous .. which imo is wrong, our names should be public information, taking accountability for our words.


Feel free to post your name and address Rockpuck.


Frankly- there are too many whackadoos online. There have even been a few float through ATS (now banned) that have had extreme attitudes that were worrisome.

I'd never post my name or address. Too many nutz out there.



posted on Apr, 23 2008 @ 10:54 AM
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reply to post by FlyersFan
 


Yup. Eventually someone would end up getting killed over an online political debate or something.

Plus, they don't really need names, they just need IPs. IP addresses do the same job for law enforcement as names (they just have to work for it).



posted on Apr, 23 2008 @ 03:40 PM
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Unless I missed something, this article refers to a civil subpoena that is 'on hold' right now. This is a far cry from a lawsuit.

The only reason to compel the identification of those critical to the company is to provide the company with a 'target' at which to direct it's wrath, I suppose; or they could be telegraphing that they suspect someone in that blogger community is an employee of theirs (or some person who could be held legally liable for revealing information specific to that company's business.)

How they convinced a judge to issue the subpoena is what really interests me. It can't be just about 'Hey they are saying mean things' or 'they are making false claims about us.' That's not actionable in civil law unless both intent and effect are proven to the judge. I wonder if we will ever know? Other than on their own website, have there been other developments reported?

[edit on 23-4-2008 by Maxmars]



posted on Apr, 23 2008 @ 03:50 PM
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reply to post by FlyersFan
 


LOL.. well anyone who reads my posts know that I

1. Live in Ohio.
2. Live "outside" of Dayton.
3. Liver around WPAFB
4. Am a licensed financial advisor

And yall know my IP.

Soooo .. its not impossible to find me.

But those who would come looking for me.. I carry a 45 on my ankle, have a quick draw and a heavy finger..

Damn, now all those that despise me will come and take me out by the ankles!


Oh, and if you read my posts, you also know the name, number, address and district of my Masonic Lodge, where its located and what time of day we meet (and you can find all the other information on the lodge website)

And on the ATS Member photo thread you can see my picture. And on twitter.com...


I don't really care much about hiding my identity.. If I where a 13 year old girl, sure, but I am a 21 year old guy.

Come and get me!



posted on Apr, 23 2008 @ 05:48 PM
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Dear doritoes your company sucks your nacho goodness chip makes my finger yellow and then i stain my shirt. so you suck doritos and your chips suck so bad. they taste like cheesy crap.

come sue me doritos



posted on Apr, 23 2008 @ 05:50 PM
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reply to post by Rockpuck
 


21 yr old guy financial advisor and u keep a gun on you and your a freemason . god damn dude.



posted on Apr, 23 2008 @ 05:56 PM
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reply to post by NWOmaskedman
 


Yeah, real live badass right here man.. (this is sarcasm I am arrogant, not THAT arrogant lol)

I am 21, I can't help that.

I am a financial advisors because God graced me with the ability to tell other people they cannot handle their own finances.

I am a Freemason because I love history.

And I do carry a gun on me because when your driving a nice car, wearing a suit, and your white, AND your in the absolute worst part of town visiting a client ..... it is at the minimum comforting the know I won't just drop into the fetal position is I get mugged or shot or stabbed or what ever.. I had one client notice it before.. old guy, and with the most straightest face imaginable and in a very solemn tone, with a nod, said "I know working for the banks can be real, real messy sometimes..."

I still to this day have no idea if he was being serious or not.


Man..

I got NWO written all over me...



posted on Apr, 23 2008 @ 06:19 PM
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reply to post by Rockpuck
 


So your father was a freemason then i take it.



posted on Apr, 23 2008 @ 06:20 PM
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Some fun answers!
I do have to give a shout out to the one poster that said "voting" was a privilege.
Just some quick stuff. Some speech is not protected "obsenity,fighting words and incitement" Some speech can be regulated "erotic/adult, commerical and ("LIBEL of private persons")
You can look up the elements required to have a prima facia case for libel or defamation. (I don't know where my torts book is from last year)
---------
You can be sued for anything! It doesn't mean much however if it is without merit since it will get killed by summary judgment or if it is really frivilous rule 11 will spank some attorney.
-----
Some one also said, correctly, that there is no first amendment issue here if there is no government action. Private citizens can't go screaming that Billy Bob next store is violating my first amendment rights.
-----
Some of you seem concerned that you could be sued for libel or defamation or for masterbating......The touchstone, in my opinion, for all of this and "in my opinion" "in my opinion"....is to ask the question...
"Do I "intend", "malice" in what I am saying, and I "knowingly" am saying something "false"
-----
Did anyone say, "the truth shall set you free"....well if not, I'm saying it.

---there is going to be one guy out there that is not going to get my humor about my "voting" comment. (it is a right, not a privilege) I was being sardonic.



posted on Apr, 23 2008 @ 06:44 PM
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reply to post by NWOmaskedman
 


No. Actually he was not, I am curious as to why you would assume such?



posted on Apr, 23 2008 @ 07:10 PM
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I (along with just about everyone else on this board?) will not change the way I post, and most of us are generaly fairly careful about what we post anyway.

No change for me, they cant lock us all up!



posted on Apr, 23 2008 @ 07:28 PM
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Originally posted by Shere Khaan
Freedom of speach is a privilege and should be treated as such.


Wait No.


Why does this guy have 6 stars... were there realy 6 people that thought... "Hey, we should stop people from saying things". That restricting the rights of free speach is not only a good thing but should be expected to comply...

Mabye That is Australia...

The RIGHT to Free speach is the First and Foremost "guideline" of the American world...

I mean ITS the First thing in the Constituion... even if you just read a few sentences, you should get that much...



posted on Apr, 23 2008 @ 07:54 PM
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Originally posted by Shere Khaan
It depends if what you posted is true.

I had to sue my own [SNIP] brother 10 years ago for posting true things about me on the internet (full name, birthdate, birthplace, home address, phone number, SSN, place of employment, financial stuff, etc.). Apparently he was (unjustly) upset with me (and a few others) about something and I guess he felt what he was doing was in his best interests. Ha, what a dope. It was sure funny listening to the judge berate the little idiot.

Intent is probably what matters here. I'm not sure we can even always sue someone for telling a lie about us, since that could be construed as an opinion, and we are entitled to our opinions. Right? I mean, can we sue churches for false advertising, if they can't prove their claims? These superstitious gangs proclaim I'm a heathen sinner and threaten I'm destined to spend eternity in hell because I don't play their version of foolish nonsense, but how far world I get in court suing ALL of THEM?

 


Edited censor circumvention



[edit on 23/4/08 by masqua]



posted on Apr, 23 2008 @ 09:23 PM
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Originally posted by The Nighthawk

Actually, NO, Free Speech is a right spelled out in the First Amendment to the Constitution. "Privilege"? Where'd you get that?


Seriously, don't give me quotes from the constitution about Freedom of speech being a right. I would have thought in a forum such as abovetopsecret.com you might have seen enough infringements on freedom of speach to realise that it is not so easy to come by as an inate right.

If you have true freedom of speech then you are indeed privileged as many of the worlds population don't have it. You do know that many people have died to give people in the US freedom of speech? How can you sit there and tell me that something that was worth fighting wars over is a right and not a privilege. Personally I feel privileged being able to type this post, and treating it as a privilege makes people more aware of how precious it can be.

And finally if you say something that is true, no western court will convict you of libel. If they are taking the drastic step to sue posters on a website forum then I tend to think that there is more to the story than simply innocent posters being victimised by a heartless evil corporation.



posted on Apr, 23 2008 @ 09:37 PM
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Originally posted by Divinorumus
Intent is probably what matters here. I'm not sure we can even always sue someone for telling a lie about us, since that could be construed as an opinion, and we are entitled to our opinions. Right? I mean, can we sue churches for false advertising, if they can't prove their claims? These superstitious gangs proclaim I'm a heathen sinner and threaten I'm destined to spend eternity in hell because I don't play their version of foolish nonsense, but how far world I get in court suing ALL of THEM?
[edit on 23/4/08 by masqua]


Sorry about the brother thing, family disputes can get sooo messy.

You are entitled to an opinion, but if you broadcast that opinion without some basis of fact then it opens you up to claims of libel or defamation. One recent case in Australia was a reporter took a media outlet to court over a Nicole Kidman newspiece that painted this reporter as a criminal stalker. In the end the Media outlet won as they proved that indeed the reporter had stalked and illegally bugged her.

The point is you can (here in Australia anyway) broadcast your opinion if it is based on fact. If they couldn't prove that he was a criminal stalker then he should be able to receive redress from the courts as his reputation has been publicly tarnished, and it will affect his life negatively.

The tricky point with this whole article is that the company in question is seeking details of the users who posted comments about the company on a public forum. It becomes a very tricky question of whether a forum is a private means of communication or whether it is public due to the open nature of the internet. If this ever went to court I imagine it would be a massive case with many vested interests. A successful ruling would affect the nature of posting on the internet forever.



posted on Apr, 23 2008 @ 10:49 PM
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reply to post by Harlequin
 


Checked out the Eclipse website, those look like nice private jets & wish I could have one of my own. If those 29 bloggers are current employees of the company who have signed non-disclosure agreements then I don't know what side to take on this issue. Why didn't they go through the proper channels in escalating their issues? If mgmt & HR turned a blind eye I would find some other place to work at before I started blogging. Have not read their blogs and I suppose it's worth looking into, just for kicks. If you feel that your employer is involved in improper behavior, find another job first and then blow the whistle if going through the proper channels was a waste of breath.



posted on Apr, 23 2008 @ 11:38 PM
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reply to post by TKainZero
 




The RIGHT to Free speach is the First and Foremost "guideline" of the American world...

I mean ITS the First thing in the Constituion... even if you just read a few sentences, you should get that much...


Are you serious? Have you read the constitution?

Here is the first few sentences:


We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
Source


Nothing about free speech in there....

How about the next few sentences:



posted on Apr, 23 2008 @ 11:41 PM
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reply to post by Conspiracy Theorist
 


I think he means the first thing in the Amendments...

It doesn't matter, though. Free speech does not guard against libel.

[edit on 23-4-2008 by Sublime620]



posted on Apr, 24 2008 @ 12:12 AM
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Originally posted by Shere Khaan
It depends if what you posted is true. The internet has been a haven for cowards spouting lies hiding behind a veil of anonymity for decades. I hope they win and people take a measure of responsibility on what they post and say. Libel and slander laws exist for a reason, and simply because you post on the net should not make you exempt from them.

Freedom of speach is a privilege and should be treated as such.


Wrong. Freedom of speech is NOT a privilege. It is in fact a right. It isthe First Amendment to the Constitution of These United States.

I understand slander laws however. If the poster is publicly defaming a person or corporation without proof, or just outright lying is NOT legal and it is certainly not a right. And if there are lies involved, IF, then the company is entitled to have it end.



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