Anonymity on the Internet: Part 2

While digging for followup material for my previous post regarding on the matter, I came across this article today in the Washington Post:

The Maryland Court of Appeals reversed a lower court ruling and ordered that NewsZap.com, an online forum run by Independent Newspapers, does not have to disclose the identities of forum participants who engaged in an online exchange about the cleanliness of a Dunkin’ Donuts shop in 2006.

But wait — it’s not quite the news you may have been hoping for, you PennLive troll you.  It seems the appellate court’s ruling was based on a lack of identifying information and/or a too-vague subpoena:

Continue reading Anonymity on the Internet: Part 2

Your Comments Aren’t Anonymous

UPDATED 2/27/09; read the bottom of the post for more details.

I just found this interesting post over on Topix Chambersburg:

http://www.topix.net/forum/source/chambersburg-public-opinion/TCB69SLLD4383GT6N

Quoting from the article:

The company that owns and operates the York Daily Record/Sunday News readers’ comment posting Web site will release the identities of people who anonymously posted comments to a story about the stabbing death of Andrew Wright, according to sworn statements Friday in county court.

Prosecutor Timothy Barker informed Judge Thomas H. Kelley on Friday that an attorney for Topix LLC said the Internet Protocol addresses and personal information of the posters “has been preserved” and will be turned over when the company is served with a subpoena by the York County District Attorney’s Office.

This isn’t really news, but it might be a wakeup call to people who post comments — especially the trolls on PennLive.  When you post a comment, photo, video — really, anything — on a website, your IP address is logged.  What this means for the non-technical crowd is that someone with valid legal tools (such as a subpoena) can find out what you posted, even if you use a fake name and throwaway email address.

Continue reading Your Comments Aren’t Anonymous