Google Gives It Up
The court ruled, Google (Stock Quote: GOOG)
Former Vogue cover girl Liskula Cohen was granted a court order this week forcing Google to reveal the identity of an anonymous blogger who trashed her online. A Manhattan Supreme Court judge ruled that she was entitled to the information and ordered Google, which ran the offending blog, to disclose it.
Not as sorry as Google is going to be now that this identity-revealing precedent is set.
Anne Salisbury, a lawyer for the blogger, argued that the crude attacks on Cohen were merely "youthful, jocular, slangy" terms that are protected by the courts. Justice Joan Madden, however, rejected that view, saying that the blogs "serve as a modern-day forum for conveying personal opinions, including invective and ranting".
That said, the big loser in this unseemly affair is not the thin-skinned supermodel or the jealous blogger but Google. The Web services giant will now be on the hook to divulge the identity of every anonymous poster with an Internet connection and an ax to grind.
Sorry Andrew. But Google has already started down the slippery slope. Get ready to drown in a sea of litigation.
Dumb-o-meter score: 90 -- Somebody Google up the First Amendment.