Google Turns in a Blogger

Dennis Faas's picture

Have you been charged with libel for what you've posted on your blog? If you have, don't expect Google to protect your identity.

On Wednesday, the search giant agreed to hand over the Internet Protocol (IP) address of a Blogger user accused of posting defamatory comments against three members of the Israeli Shaarei Tikva council  currently bidding for re-election. (Source:

Shaarei Tikva, which means 'Gates of Hope' in Hebrew, is an Israeli settlement located in the West Bank. The anonymous blogger accused the council members of receiving bribes, committing tax fraud, and associating with organized crime. (Source:

In a statement to Techcrunch, Google asserted that they only provide "information to third parties when they have been through the proper legal process. This ensures that we are able both to protect the privacy of our users and act responsibly where people may have used Google's products to break the law."

Google initially turned down requests to supply the user identity in an effort to give the accused blogger an opportunity to defend his anonymity before the court. Once the blogger failed to respond to legal notices, "the court ordered that the IP address (which it was holding) be provided to the members of the council."

Identity and its role online is a hot topic these days. Andrew Keen, author of 'The Cult of the Amateur' argues that the anonymity facilitated by online identities is self-destructive. "It is only when anonymous bloggers are made legally liable for their views that the Internet will become a civilized medium for responsible adults." (Source:

Although a little prude, I would have to agree with Mr. Keen's stance. However, it would be interesting to see if our anonymous blogger turns out to have proof to back up his allegations. If that's the case, then this story may be just getting started.

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