Defamation against a company often comes with a huge price tag. Experience tells us that if the company defamed is listed on the stock market, defamation on investors’ forums could influence shares prices and the ability of the board to raise investment. There is also evidence…Legal advice defamation against a company.
Chris Grayling’s announcement of 2 years jail term for internet trolls is inconsistent with the ministry of justice’ reluctance to prosecute internet trolls. In 2013 the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) published clear guidance to prosecutors under which communications that are grossly offensive, indecent, obscene or false but deficient in detail (as most tweets are) will be unlikely to be prosecuted. This means that offences involving twitter in particular are subject to a high threshold and that in many cases a prosecution is unlikely to be in the public interest. Whenever prosecution is not in the public interest, police is unlikely to waste time investigating the offence in the first place. On the ground, it is clear that unless the police is given direction and resources to enable it to start investigate anti-social behaviour on social media, the imposition of longer maximum jail terms to internet troll pays nothing but a lip service to the increasing number of victims of online anti-social behaviour.
In reality, almost half of the calls made to the police in the UK relate to alleged offences committed via social media. Only a tiny number of those calls will result in a crime being recorded and a handful will actually be investigated, let alone prosecuted. Out of those prosecuted, only numerous will relate to social media offences committed against normal members of the public and the vast majority of prosecutions will related to famous people, members of Parliament and celebrities.
2 years maximum jail term for internet trolls will make no difference to a single internet trolling victim until the police is directed and given the resources to investigate social media offences.
In a somewhat bizarre case, a couple who posted a review on the notorious American website RipOff Report against a company they felt provided a disappointed service, had been awarded damages by a court in the USA for having received unfair demands by the company to remove their review.
The company sued the couple for an alleged breach of A Non-Disparagement clause, which is a common clause in the USA that restricts individuals from taking any action that negatively impacts an organisation, its reputation, products, services, management or employees.
The court found that this clause was not part of the engagement agreement between the parties at the time of their engagement, which meant that the company had not been justified in taking legal action against the couple.
The Federal court awarded damages of $300,000 (£176,000) without ruling on whether non-disparagement clauses are legal in consumer matters.
Fake reviews plague consumer websites
Consumer website reviews should give you the truth about goods and services – unless they’ve been written to order.
Many of the fake reviews uncovered by Money were written by computer science specialists in countries such as Bangladesh, India and Indonesia, who, for a relatively low fee, will write and send false reviews using scores of aliases and fake addresses. Read more
Mike Deri Smith
The Guardian, Saturday 26 January 2013
The Australian Law Reform Commission says people should have the right to have embarrassing photos they posted online removed from the web.
Cyberattack in Israel “shuts down” road for hours
A major road artery in Israel was paralyzed for hours by a cyberattack this September, according to a security expert speaking to Associated Press.
Attackers used a Trojan program to target a security camera system in the Carmel Tunnels toll road in Haifa, shutting down the road for hours, and causing “hundreds of thousands of dollars” in damage, according to Associated Press.
A source, speaking anonymously to Associated Press, said that Israeli experts thought that the attack was the work of a rogue group, rather than a government, due to the level of expertise involved.
A warning for Gmail corporate users
Gmail users have no “reasonable expectation” that their communications (both ways) are confidential says Google in a motion to dismiss a rapidly developing important legal challenge to its practice of reading Gmail users’ emails.
A USA law suit is claiming that Google reads private email messages that are sent to Gmail users without the consent of the senders.
A Court document claims that Google is scanning emails so that the company can target ads to users. – a key component of the company’s business model.
In the law suit papers, documents have been disclosed from an earlier court case where Google claimed in its defence that:
“Just as a sender of a letter to a business colleague cannot be surprised that the recipient’s assistant opens the letter, people who use web-based email today cannot be surprised if their communications are processed by the recipient’s ECS [electronic communication service] provider in the course of delivery,”
Non Gmail users should be alarmed by this latest revelation because
while Gmail users may have consented to having their emails scanned by Google by agreeing to the company’s terms of service, non-Gmail users have not provided consent.
The lawsuit against Google, which was filed in May 2013, alleges that the company “unlawfully opens up, reads, and acquires the content of people’s private email messages.”
Read the full Motion to Dismiss that contains what appears to be an admission by Google for breach of privacy sent and received through Gmail.
- Judge Says Gmail Might Be Breaking The Law (webpronews.com)
- UK law has no power over us, says Google: Outrage at search giant’s arrogance in snooping case (dailymail.co.uk)
- Blackmail on the internet UK
In what is believed to be a legal first in Canada — and a potential landmark case that could help to define the limits of free speech in cyberspace — a hotel is suing a former guest for $95,000 in damages over a review he wrote on the travel site TripAdvisor.
It also wants the negative review, which is still online, taken down.
Research published last year exploring dating site scams, which have typically persuaded victims to send money, shows scammers are now focusing more on social networking sites – blackmailing victims with photos, videos and records of explicit or incriminating chats.
- Naked web-scam victim reveals ordeal (stuff.co.nz)
- Suicide of teenager Daniel Perry from bridge ‘after being blackmailed on Skype’ (standard.co.uk)
- Blackmail of Children on the Internet (internetlawexpert.co.uk)
Last October, a Canadian teenager named Amanda Todd took her own life at her home in Port Coquitlam, British Columbia. Five weeks before committing suicide, Amanda posted a video to YouTube detailing years of harassment she’d undergone after being coaxed into flashing an anonymous guy via webcam. In the video, she describes how this man continually blackmailed her into performing live-streamed strip shows. He used the topless images he had of Amanda as leverage, threatening to send them to her friends and family if she didn’t comply.
- Police probe suicide of Daniel Perry amid claims he was ensnared by internet blackmailers (independent.co.uk)
- Blackmail of Children on the Internet (internetlawexpert.co.uk)
“Children duped into undressing by chat-room blackmailers” was the headline that caught my attention in The Times, 9 August 2013.Blackmail and extortion on the internet was the topic of a blog post that I wrote back in 2011 following a spate of cases where adult victims were induced on internet chat rooms to part with private information, then to perform a sexual act which was secretly being recorded. Shortly after, the victim would receive an email with a link to a public video, displaying their faces and private parts.
The title of the video will refer to the victim as a paedophile, at the least, and will include their full name, their residential or work address, their occupation and in one case the names of their kids. The cost to remove the videos would vary depending on the occupation of the victim and on their public standing.
Among those who have fallen for this scum were school teachers, doctors, government employees and respectable accountants. Each for their own reason, mainly in pursuit of friendship, ended up very quickly in places they never intended to go.
They were naïve and lonely or were just looking for a bit of momentary excitement in their lives. For a critical moment they let off their guards not realising the horrendous consequences that could follow, for them, for their children and for their friends and families. The bad thing about this scum is that it is fast – very fast. You can read the blog post here .
These victims of blackmail on the internet were all intelligent men and women, some with immense life experience. As calm, thinking adults they managed to deal with the situation effectively and to my knowledge, have all moved on with their lives.
The Times article talks about a website that I am very familiar with, “Chatroulette”. The site randomly pairs users who can chat by text or by video. According to the Times, the site is widely used by teenagers some of whom have fallen victim to the scum.
Having witnessed the utter despair experienced by adult victims of sexual blackmail on the internet, I can barely imagine what sort of thoughts will be going in the mind of a child who faces a similar situation, just without the life experience to help them deal with the event effectively.
By: Yair Cohen
- Teenage girl made to give £15,000 to Facebook blackmailer (internetlawexpert.co.uk)
- Blackmail of men on the internet
- Blackmail of men on the internet update
- Children duped into undressing by chat-room blackmailers (thetimes.co.uk)
- Naked web-scam victim relives ordeal (stuff.co.nz)
- Cyber attack blackmail charges (bbc.co.uk)
Those low in self-esteem have greater motivation for self-enhancement, and therefore will particularly seek downward comparisons with those they consider below them. Psychological research confirms that those who experience a recent threat to self-esteem have a greater need to restore their self-worth. This is where more schadenfreude following another’s misfortune comes in.