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  Oracle Tips by Burleson

Web Stalkers
Chapter 5 -
All About Cybercrime

Note:  This is a literature review prepared by a non-lawyer and this research may not be construed as legal advice.  If you are seeking legal advice of qualified attorneys, consult your local Bar Association, not these web pages. 

See these pages for more details.

Libel and Defamation on the Web

Peter D. Kennedy, an Attorney with a law firm in Texas whose practice includes the areas of Internet and libel, points out that in cases of cyber-libel, several challenges and factors are different from traditional libel cases. 

  • Identity – One must be able to penetrate the cloak of anonymity to know the true identity of the person.

  • Jurisdiction – One must establish personal jurisdiction for the offender.

  • Other Responsible Parties – One must be able to identify other parties who may conspire to defame them.

Now that some definitions have been presented, the next step is to take a closer look at the legalities concerning libel in cyberspace.

Libel and the Internet

Recent laws have been enacted to limit the liability of Internet providers (i.e. Yahoo forums, etc.), and many people mistakenly conclude that the web is now wide-open for anyone to publish defamatory information about anyone else.

People are still responsible for their words, and the anonymity of the Internet can easily be broken by a court order.  More information on how to identify people who post in a libelous manner is contained in Chapter 1, The Illusion of Anonymity.

The emerging web has now made it possible for anyone to become a publisher.  Sitting in a prison cell, convicted felons can post terrible things about specific people, causing great damage to the reputation of others.

Even if a netizen has never read a book, they can now go to a newsgroup on the Internet and publish content that is almost instantly accessible to millions of people across the globe.

The above text is an excerpt from:

Web Stalkers
Protect yourself from Internet Criminals & Psychopaths
ISBN 0-97-45993-9-5

by Donald K. Burleson, Stephen Andert

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