Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Ask your internet law question

Blogging is a simple way of publishing articles on the internet but it is also a simple way of keeping the conversation about your brand in a positive light. 

Fresh articles tend to appear very high on search engines very quickly. This means that provided you can write about your experiences in dealing with your customers, you can bring your business very high visibility on the internet without having to spend a fortune on Search Engine Optimisation and without the on-going expenses that this involves.

This also means that your positive articles are pushing any negative content further away from being noticed. Most people don't look past the first page of Google, so if you are consistent with your bright and informative blogs, then this is all people will see when they come online. 

Keeping a good reputation by being committed to blogging educational and interesting articles is a great reputation defender. 

You can start a blog for free by signing up to wordpress.com. There are other free blogs that you could use but word press is the most SEO friendly blogging tool that you can currently find. Blogging works wonders with search engines such as Google.

Once you have signed up with wordpress and started a blog, follow the simple steps below and you will very quickly be able to make your articles visible to your prospective customers on the internet.

It is best that you write an article which is based on a specific question that your customers are likely to ask you. Your blog post in effect will give the answers to these questions. By doing this repeatedly you will start positioning yourself as an expert in your particular field.

You will prove your knowledge, experience and personality through the articles that you write. If your article is focused on one specific question that your customers ask you then there is a good chance that when they search the internet for this question, your article will appear on the top of the search results. The more questions you are able to answer through different blog posts, the more of an expert you will be seen by those who seek answers to the related questions.

If you give out good, valuable information which is based on your experience and your experience with customers, those that visit your blog will assume that your knowledge is far greater than the information you have just given away.

Once you have written an article you can post it on your blog in a way that will enhance the blog post’s visibility. Consistent blogging about subjects that you know about gives your company massive value, in terms of marketing but also, keeping the conversation about you and your business, a good one.

Being committed to blogging regularly, will certainly drown out any bad negative reviews or any social media defamation. 

To learn about easy ways to enhance the visibility of your blog posts, read the following article on social media solicitor.

 
 

A cease and desist letter can easily backfire if it is written without fully understanding the law and the legal liabilities of the parties involved. But more importantly a badly drafted cease and desist letter may have serious consequences in terms of PR, marketing and online reputation management of the organisation.

For example, a cease and desist letter  can tremendously damage the reputation and the marketing efforts of a hotel,  particularly if the recipient decides to publish the cease and desist letter on the internet.

A cease and desist letter

When writing a cease and desist letter you therefore must choose your language carefully and pay extra attention to the style and to the tone of your letter. You also need to select your vocabulary very carefully and always adhere to principles of good customer care, even if you are threatening with legal action.

Customers who find on the internet a cease and desist letter that was sent by a hotel in response to an unfavourable review, might be reluctant to trust and visit that establishment.

A good ceased desist letter, in addition to the legal requirements that it needs to adhere to, might also include details of the efforts made by the hotel to resolve the issue complained of and it might even offer further good will.

By: Yair Cohen

Read more about writing an effective Cease and Desist Letter.

via Cease and Desist Letter.

 
 

Say you’ve been dragged through the mud on the internet. Your reputation is being assaulted with vicious lies, and you don’t even know who’s telling them.

The situation is urgent, but what should you do?

Internet Law Centre

Internet Law Centre

You do a little research but find conflicting advice: Hire an SEO expert! Hire a PR consultant! Talk to someone experienced in e-commerce sales! Get yourself a lawyer!

But whose advice should you follow? And how much is this going to cost you?

Finally, there is a straight answer to these questions !!!

You find the answers in a centre where you can learn, understand and balance all the different issues that affect the management of your organisation’s internet reputation and where you can find case studies, support and plenty of valuable advice on managing your presence on the internet.

Please be my guest at the Internet Law Centre.

Yair Cohen, defamation lawyer

Internet Law Experts Solicitors

TAGS: ,

Yair Cohen

Internet Defamation Expert

Internet Law Experts is a trading name of Cohen Davis Ltd, an internet law specialist law firm which provides comprehensive and discrete online legal services to private individuals, and particularly to those who are in the public eye.

The law firm was established by Yair Cohen..

TAGS:

The simple answer is that, yes, it is possible to remove web content from Google and quickly and here is how to do it.

You do need to bear in mind however, the recent data which was published by Google which shows the type of requests to remove web content that Google is likely to accept.

And although the data shows that there have only been a handful of cases where Google had agreed to remove web content from Google products, one thing is certain – Google, pretty much guarantee to adhere to court orders which means that an appropriate court order can resolve internet defamation matters fairly quickly. And because these applications for court orders to remove web pages from Google products are becoming more common and are hardly ever being contested by Google, the costs of obtaining them has become much more affordable in recent months and it is likely that the costs will drop further as the process is becoming more and more of a routine.

This is good information to have for anyone who is involved in any sort of business or has been the subject of a recent threat of internet defamation against them. Unfortunately we have now reached the point where almost everyone under this planet is a potential victim to some sort of internet defamation threat, which means we are pretty much all in this together.

Internet defamation expert

I have seen the devastation that online defamation brings from all different angles. From being the subject of it myself and through the experiences of small and independent businesses, as well as of  large organisations including international franchises and PLC companies. I have seen the pain in the eyes of a couple who owned a small family business for almost 15 years just for them to see it all collapsing in front of their own eyes as a consequence of a serious online reputation attack by a disgruntled employee who they had made redundant due to a previous incident of breach of trust.

This is why, some time ago, I made a real commitment to share my unique knowledge and experience in this very niche area of the law – “internet defamation” with as many business people as I can. My blogs are read by thousands of people every month and some of my work has been featured in business publications such as Forbes and Bloomberg Business Week.

In my blogs I have given many case studies covering a variety of businesses and situations and am updating this information all the time. This gives business owners and managers across the country an opportunity to learn from the experiences of similar businesses on the internet, so that they can now prevent and deal effectively with internet defamation. Perhaps one single piece of information that you read in one of these short case studies could one day make the difference for your own business.

I now post all the latest case studies and short tips about internet defamation on Twitter so if you were ever wondering how Twitter can help your business, follow me on @cyberlawexpert and enrich yourself with very useful information on internet defamation.Yair Cohen on Twitter

Best wishes,

 Yair Cohen

By Yair Cohen

 
 
TAGS:

internet_law_expert
Because the internet is a world of extremes, success and failures could literally happen overnight.

The speed by which you can have web pages listed on the first pages of Google could bring immediate and substantial amount of money to your business, literally overnight. The same speed however that leads to this immediate success could cause complete devastation to business owners who find that their reputation has been tarnished almost overnight.

The good news however, is that ‘easy come easy go’ normally works both ways which means it is possible to make negative reviews and defamatory web pages disappear to obscurity, where hardly anyone will ever view them. Speed and strength are keys to success and tasks of removal of negative reviews or defamatory web pages should not be undertaken half-heartedly.

The fact that almost everything on the internet is changeable and movable should be somewhat comforting to victims of online defamation, online reputation attacks and online harassment. Having the knowledge that nothing on the internet is set in stone gives people a real hope that their reputational issues could one day be resolved.

And if you are a victim of online defamation, online reputation attack or online harassment, you can also take comfort with the fact that search engine results are nothing but a function of volume, relevance and popularity – all of which can be created artificially by techniques such as Defensive Manipulation™ which tend to focus on demotion of internet web pages using all available means.

Furthermore, because of the very high volume of information which is posted daily on the internet, what appears to be a big problem today, could be made to disappear tomorrow and today’s hot topics are likely to have very little impact on future internet searchers. In fact, if you carry out an internet search on almost any subject matter, you will struggle to find internet pages which were posted before 2008.

And finally, a last bit of good news to victims of online defamation. Online reputation attacks and internet harassment. It appears that people are getting lazier by the day, when it comes to internet searches. Search results on the first page of Google receive 89% of the clicks, results on the second page receive 4.37 of clicks, results on the third page receive 2.42%, results on the fourth page receive 1.07% and results on the remaining pages receive a total of less than 1% of the clicks.

This means that on 93.3% of occasions, people find results which appear on the third page of the search engine irrelevant to their search, so in future they hardly bother to go that far.

This in fact is good news for anyone who suffers an online reputation attacks because it means that most online reputation attacks could be defeated or at least be pushed down to obscurity.

New Stalking Bill To Stop Internet Stalking, Online Harassment and Social Networking Bullying

The new Stalking Bill might bring some good news to the tens of thousands of good, innocent people who find themselves victims of internet stalking, harassment and bullying every year.

The new Stalking Bill must take account of the fact that internet stalking, harassment and bullying have become such an epidemic in recent months, with some people being driven to committing suicide because they cannot take the pressure and the shame any longer.

The police is almost powerless to help victims of internet stalking, harassment and bullying because of the high costs of such investigations, as well as the costs of the extended legal process which the police is required to undergo prior to even being able to commence a serious investigation.

Ask any police officer who has got some experience in such matters and they will tell you that identification of the suspects of internet stalking, harassment and bullying constitutes a major stumbling block in even commencing an investigation. It is very difficult to investigate anything on the internet without knowing who you are investigating and without having a right to even basic access to the evidence, or, in many cases with very restricted access to the ‘crime scene’.

The new Stalking Bill should make access to identifying details of internet users who are engaged in online stalking, harassment and bullying much easier than it is at the moment.

At present, the state of the internet is one of complete anarchy. Social networking sites, blogs, forums and discussion groups are attracting ‘online rioters’ of the worst kind who (quite rightly) believe that there are no consequences to their actions.
They hide behind a veil of anonymity knowing that it will be almost impossible (especially to a vulnerable victim) to ever smoke them out. Anarchy spreads fast, so it is not surprising that we are now seeing an increase in the number of victims of internet stalking , harassment and bullying.

The new Stalking Bill is a golden opportunity for the Government to start controlling and to possibly, dramatically reduce the number of incidents of internet stalking, harassment and bullying that are devastating the lives of innocent people and their families every single day. The new Stalking Bill is an opportunity for the government to introduce ‘Online Social Responsibility’, by making access to details of those who commit these terrible acts of internet stalking, harassment and bullying, easier.

Just as with the case of the London Rioters, once the internet anarchists realise that there are in fact consequences to their antisocial behaviour and that they can be smoked out and brought in shame to justice, the number of victims of internet stalking, harassment and bullying will be reduced dramatically.

In fact, many victims of internet stalking, harassment and bullying will be hoping that the government will go even further with the future Stalking Bill to make access to personal details of online stalkers easier, quicker and cheaper, not just for the police but also for regular members of the public who are victims of internet stalking, harassment and bullying. The Stalking Bill should help to create a system for obtaining Identification Orders which will help victims resolve their matters through the civil courts without the need to pay expensive legal fees and without taking valuable resources away from the police.

Yair Cohen

 
 

MARY CAROLAN
Irishtimes.com

The owners of the Ballymascanlon House Hotel in Co Louth have taken a legal action for damages against internet giant Google alleging defamation of the hotel’s business and reputation via Google’s web search service.
It is alleged Google had permitted, since about March 14th 2011, the term “receivership” to automatically appear after the hotel’s trading name when a search is carried out in the autocomplete suggestions in the search bar. This suggested the hotel was in receivership or financial difficulty when it was not, the plaintiffs claim.

INTERNET giant Google has lost a landmark legal battle that is expected to open the floodgates to online litigation against anonymous online commentators.

The Supreme Court in Australia ordered Google Australia to reveal details of the owner of a website which named an entrepreneur and self-help guru Jamie McIntyre a “thieving scumbag”, the Courier-Mail reported.

It is understood the website was not one of Google’s Blogs and that Google had obtained personal details of the owner of website through its advertising program.
 
Travis Burch, a private detective who was hired by Mr McIntyre to smoke out the website’s author so he could sue for defamation, said yesterday that it was “a good day for people who don’t frankly want to be defamed on the internet”. “We’ve done a lot of work in this area and identifying and pushing trying to expose people and tracking them down through records that they leave on the Internet,” Mr Burch said. “Having a win in courts just means we’re a couple of steps closer to bringing the person to a form of justice.” He added,“the content that appeared on that website and (has) been promoted through the website is blatantly defamatory.”
 
Australian Barrister John Bryson said he believed this was the first time legal action of this kind against Google had been successful in Australia. “People need to know that they can take on the big companies, the major players, and get a win,” Mr Bryson said.

Reported in the CourierMail.com, leading communications law academic Professor Michael Fraser of the University of Technology, Sydney, said “The internet is a mainstream channel of communication now so it can’t just be like the wild west outside of the rule of law.” He added, “people can’t … be allowed to hide behind a cloak of anonymity…”

In a statement which is encouraging to victims of online defamation around the world, including UK victims of online defamation, Google Inc confirmed that it will always comply with the laws of the jurisdiction they operate in and so if a court requires them to provide the information, they will.
 
UK leading Internet law expert Yair Cohen of the Internet Law Centre  said today that “although English courts are not obliged to bind themselves by decisions of Supreme Courts in other jurisdictions, decisions such as this could still be influential on our judges, who have very little local precedents available to them to help them come to the right decision in such cases of online defamation by individuals who choose to remain anonymous.
 

Tell us what you think!

IF YOU POST ONLINE WHAT IS CONSIDERED BY THE SUBJECT OF YOUR COMMENTS TO BE A DEFAMATORY COMMENT – WOULD YOU BE HAPPY FOR YOUR IDENTITY TO BE REVEALED?
SHOULD FACEBOOK, GOOGLE AND OTHER OPERATORS OF SOCIAL NETWORKING BE COMPLETED TO PROVIDE PERSONAL DETAILS OF THEIR USERS SO THAT THE COURT CAN DECIDE WHETHER OR NOT YOUR COMMENTS WERE DEFAMATORY?
IS IT RIGHT OR WRONG TO POST ANONYMOUS ONLINE REVIEWS ABOUT ORGANISATIONS AND BUSINESSES?

Write Your Comment Now!

 
 
 
 
TAGS:

Yair Cohen Social Media LawyerBy Kit Chellel Sept. 30 (Bloomberg) — People who use fake names to post critical comments about companies on websites may not be as anonymous as they think, as firms use the courts to unmask online accusers. MoneySavingExpert, a British personal finance site with 5 million readers, was forced to hand over personal details about three users calling themselves Againstjpc, GomerPyle and Ladybirds, following a London court ruling in August. The three wrote comments on the website accusing JPC Group Sales Ltd., an affiliate of a U.K. publishing company, of being a “criminal enterprise” and “a scam,” the company said in court filings.  Read More

TAGS:

In a first case of its kind, Magistrates’ have jailed a man who posted abusive images to online memorials dedicated to dead children. The man was jailed for 18 weeks and was banned from participating in social networking for a period of five years.

At Court, Sean Duffy, 25 from Reading, admitted to posting images on Facebook and YouTube, making a mockery of the deaths of four children, including 15-year-old Natasha MacBryde who committed suicide.

Sean Duffy online harassment conviction came after Mr Duffy admitted to the court that he had posted a video on YouTube called Tasha the Tank Engine shortly after the teenager was found dead on a railway line near her home in Worcestershire.

Paul Warren, the Chairman of the bench which sentenced Duffy, said: “This case serves to illustrate the harm and damage done by the malicious misuse of social networking sites.”

The court heard that Duffy, has been suffering from alcohol problems and has Asperger syndrome.

This prosecution, says harassment lawyer, Yair Cohen,  was brought under section 127 of the Malicious Communications Act 2003 which made it an offence for a person to use public electronic communications networks, such as telephone and internet to send or communicate grossly offensive material to others, as well as to send or communicate material which is offensive, indecent or obscene.

This law (section 127 of the Malicious Communications Act 2003) is unique in the sense that the offence is committed upon the act of communication and a person would be committing the offense even in the event that the communication was not received by the intended recipient or was intercepted prior to anyone actually taking offence to the subject matter.

This latest prosecution of Sean Duffy at Reading Magistrates’ Court may signal the beginning of a new line of prosecution by the police of internet related offences,  which will be great news to tens of thousands of UK victims of internet defamation and abuse, and in particular to those vulnerable victims who are not in a financial position to be able to afford expensive civil proceedings.

Can a criminal court judge force a defendant to remove harassing and defamatory internet posts? The answer to this question might be surprising. Read Removing harassment from the internet

Cohen Davis facilicate another online harassment conviction

Yair Cohen, Internet  Law Expert

Author: Yair Cohen

 
 

bains cohen solicitorsIf at the moment the battlefield where you fight for your good reputation is based online and those on the other side, appear to have a reasonably good understanding of the battleground and of the basic tools and ammunitions which are required to cause you maximum damage, you might want to seriously consider moving the battlefield elsewhere where it will be harder for your reputational enemies to fight back.

In other words, so long as the battle is fought online, your reputational enemies feel that they have almost supernatural powers to orchestrate deadly reputational attacks against you. Remember, the online battlefield is a magical world, where single individuals can replicate themselves continuously and where cowards may turn fearless over-night, just by staring at a computer screen.
Instead, if you turn the light on your reputational enemies, you will at once strip them of all their supernatural powers.

By simply declaring that you have decided to move the reputational battlefield offline, to the real earthy world, you will be able to get rid of almost all your reputational menaces.

By Yair Cohen

TAGS:

bains cohen solicitorsThere is an old saying that “the first step to getting out of a hole is to stop digging”. If you discover that your online reputation has been tarnished on a rough website and that bad results are appearing against your name upon every Google search, do yourself a favour and overcome the natural tendency of constantly clicking on the link to the bad result.

A defamatory remark on the internet is similar to a toothache – we feel almost a compulsive need to touch and feel the pain – in case it has already gone without us noticing it.

Sadly, with defamatory remarks on the internet, the more you click the more powerful they become. Google gives priority to popularity. So every click makes the bad comment more dominant and in Google’s view also more important, which means that the defamatory remark will constantly be climbing up the search engine results with more people seeing it.

When people see a link to a defamatory page against them, they tend to tell friends and family about it with the result that the link to the bad comment becomes very popular. The more people who click on the link to see what is being said about their friend/family, the more likely it is that the link will remain at the top of the search engine. So remember that the first step to getting out of a hole is to stop digging.

An internet law expert will use special tools to examine the link and the defamatory page regularly without actually adding to its popularity. So if you are unfortunate enough to have enemies who have taken upon themselves to defame your character online – make sure you don’t tell the world about it and take legal advice from an internet law expert as soon as possible. ”

By: Yair Cohen

 

TAGS:

There is a big difference between traditional defamation law solicitors and the modern online defamation lawyers. Defamation law and online defamation law are arguably two very distinct areas of law.

This is why, with all the best intentions, old- fashioned defamation advice in relation to online defamation can sometimes backfire, in the sense that even if the case is won at court, the defamation still remains online and can even increase in volume.

Internet law and online defamation law are not subjects which are taught at law schools. They can only be mastered by constant usage and by plenty of practical experience.

Read More on Choosing an Online Defamation Solicitor

 
 

Online Defamation Defence Tools

Creating a basic blog, with information about the services and products that your business offers, can help you create defence shields all around your business reputation.

You can start your own business blog in minutes using WordPress or Blogger and turn it into a very powerful weapon in your fight against online defamation.

If you post information about changes, updates or offers, which relate to your business or your particular industry, you will have an endless amount of information to write about, without the need to be super creative yourself. With every post that you dispatch on the internet your reputational defence shields become harder to penetrate. Post regularly and your blog will be established by the internet search engines as a source of fresh and relevant information, which means the content of your choice will be prominently viewed by your target market.

If however, you decide to take no action, this prominence within the search engines is likely to be given to posts about your business, which had been despatched by others, possibly by your enemies.

Internet defamation solicitor

By: Yair Cohen

TAGS:
internet defamation

you start to find that more and more defamatory material is mushrooming on the internet without fear. At this stage you know that you have become a live target.

Disgruntled employees are in fact, responsible for much of the online defamation postings. Not surprisingly at all, the more inflammatory the internet postings about your business are, the quicker they tend to spread – by blogs, web links, twitter, Facebook, emails and other electronic means.
You see, some of your employees are likely to possess impressive amounts of knowledge about you, your business, your practices, your procedures, your errors, mistakes and regrets, as well as about your true feelings about things that matter to your customers. And if the above was not enough to unsettle you, following your initial shock of being defamed online, you start to find that more and more defamatory material is mushrooming on the internet without fear.

At this stage you know that you have become a live target. You get hit left, right and centre and with very little opportunity to defend yourself. A close friend or one of your customers, who for some reason decided to remain loyal to you then tells you, rather embarrassingly that your customers are being sent emails with links to websites which contain terribly unpleasant allegations about you and that often, these allegations are ‘backed’ with some ‘insider facts’, which are aimed to damage you and your business as much as possible.

These ‘insider facts’ are beginning to add strong elements of reliability to the largely defamatory posts about you on the internet. Then, all of a sudden the phone stops ringing and the bookings dry out. Your instincts are now telling you without a shadow of a doubt, that if this carries on for another short while, you will need to start thinking very seriously about making some redundancies in your company due to the sudden drop in business.

In the meantime, the online defamation attacks are starting to increase. Links are being shared between people and more defamatory material is now being posted by people you did not even know or ever heard of, as well as by past customers who having read the original defamatory posts, are starting to feel aggrieved themselves about their own experience with you or with your company. What a nightmare. Former employees can initiate some very powerful and effective online reputation attacks. The level of detail that they give about your business in their defamatory posts, gives their campaigns the level of credibility that normal negative online reviews don’t get.
But the worst is yet to come. The internet defamation campaign then catches momentum almost at once, at the moment where your former employees decide to release their well crafted Google Bomb.

They use stolen confidential data, which contains your complete mailing lists, of possibly thousands of contacts, leads, customers and past customers and they simultaneously email them internet links to take them to the defamatory posts about you and about your business.

At this point in time, the damage to the  reputation is very often beyond repair. To minimise the possibility of you being a victim to a devastating online reputation attack, you must tackle any issue of potential or actual online defamation by an employee or a former employee with a great deal of decisiveness. Don’t allow yourself to be held to ransom. Appeasement does not normally work.

But there are a few simple steps you could take from the outset to reduce your exposure to online defamation by employees.

First, always remember that even some of your most trusted employees could one day turn against you so choose very carefully who you invite to work in your organisation. Often, though not always, ‘troublemakers’ can be identified very early on in their employment days. Always look for signals of disgruntlement by employees and deal with these signals appropriately.

Second, share sensitive information with care. If sensitive information about your business, your customers or the way you handle them finds its way online, then you could be in serious trouble for obvious reasons.

Third, restrict access to sensitive data, particularly to your customer’s mailing lists. Keep these lists in a safe place, preferably password protected. Don’t make your full mailing lists freely available to your employees and certainly not in a downloadable form.

Fourth, make sure that your organisation fully complies with all the requirements of the Data Protection Act 1998. If you neglect your legal obligations to protect your mailing lists from being stolen, you could find yourself liable to criminal prosecution. This is the last thing that you or your business organisation will need to deal with.

Fifth, make sure that your employees are aware of the fact that you take an uncompromising approach towards breaches of Data Protection laws.

Sixth, place a contractual requirement for your employees to comply with Data Protection laws and spell out in their contracts the fact that breaches of Data Protection laws could constitute a criminal offence.

Seventh, if you have evidence that an employee had been downloading sensitive business information for their own use, deal with the issue immediately. Challenge them and remind them of their contractual as well as statutory obligations.

Read more about Defamation by employees

TAGS:

How To Destroy A Reputation In 5 Minutes. Don’t Repeat At Home!!!

Everyone has got their own soft spot. Depending on your profession, being called by a particular name in public, could cause you a lot of damage and harm your career. For a doctor, being commonly described as ‘negligent’, for a solicitor, being described as ‘incompetent’, for a builder, being described as ‘a cowboy’ or for a teacher, being described as ‘stupid’, would be regarded by any of these people as a personal attack on their reputation and integrity.

But not all insults are as harmful as the insult suffered by a top civil servant who worked as a social worker for the Children’s Service at a District Council in the North of the country. Having specialised for many years in children with learning difficulties and having achieved a tremendous professional respectability within his County Council and beyond, Stuart Granville (not his real name) was surprised to find out from a colleague that upon searching his name on the internet, the top three results that came out were news stories about social workers who had been jailed having been convicted of offences involving child pornography.

The news stories were not about Stuart Granville at all, but for one reason or another, they appeared at the top of the search pages against the search term ‘Stuart Granville’. The implications of this, as you can imagine were very serious for Stuart. The association of his name, as someone who has been working with children, with articles about convicted child molesters were damaging to him beyond comprehension.

Stuart immediately became concerned about his career and later on about his personal reputation and it was not long before he started to fear for his personal safety as well as for the well-being of his family. Stuart did not have his own website, in fact he was not allowed to have one because of the delicate position that he held within the Children’s Service, which meant that the vacuum which was on the internet against his name, was filled by someone who wanted to harm his career and who had the know-how on how to associate a name with an article.

So who did this and how was it possible for one individual to cause so much devastation to an innocent and a very respectable member of the public? We will come back to the question of who did this in a moment. But first, let me show you the incredibly simple technique that was used to inflict such damage on Mr Granville and his family. The technique that was used in this instance to attempt and trash Stuart Granville’s reputation is incredible in its simplicity and is one which any individual or company should be aware of.

The trick that was used here is called Tagging. Think of tagging as a description of an item. The purpose of tagging is to make it easy for internet search engines to associate an article or a product with certain keywords.

The best way to understand tagging is to forget for a moment about the internet and think instead about a can of Coca Cola. If you were asked to tag a can of Coca Cola with the most relevant words that come to mind, most people will say ‘red’‘fizzy’ ‘cold’ ‘can’ ‘drink’ ‘refreshing’ and so on.

Now, think about this article that you are currently reading. How would you tag it? Or in other words, what would be the best way to describe it in simple short words? I would say, the first words that come to mind are ‘internet law’ ‘tagging’ ‘social worker’ ‘online reputation’ ‘reputation attack’ and so on.

In the internet world the tagging helps the search engines to associate a word, or a phrase with a product or an article. A tag can be added to any article which is posted on the internet by its publisher and sometimes also by third parties, if they are given permission to do so by the publisher. So tagging is simply a series of keywords, which aim to describe an online item, whether a product, a service, a news story or an educational material.

The publisher of the webpages, which contained news articles about a social worker who had been convicted of sexual offences involving children, had tagged each of these articles with a ‘Stuart Granville’ tag and from this point onwards, whenever an internet search was being carried out (particularly using Bing and Yahoo), the search engine made an association between Stuart Granville and the news articles which were tagged with his name.

This process of copying a news article and publishing it on the internet with damaging tags could be done in less than 5 minutes. It can however devastate people’s careers, families and reputation permanently.

Simple? Yes. Powerful? Most certainly. In any event, tagging is something to be aware of and to keep at the back of your mind at all times.

As for the perpetrator of this reputation attack on Stuart, Stuart believed beyond doubt that this was a parent who had had her children taken away from her by Social Services following a serious allegation of abuse. At the time, she promised Stuart, who had been in charge of the Social Services Team which intervened and took the child away from his abusive mother, that he will live to regret the event. Stuart however, has never been able to prove who this person actually was. To be fair, he never even seriously attempted to do so because once the problem was taken care of by specialist internet lawyers, and in fact disappeared within days, Stuart, very understandably just wanted to get on with his life, which is exactly what he did.

Yair Cohen

TAGS:

via Web Host Liable for Contributory Infringement.
A South Carolina jury’s recent $770,750 verdict against Bright Builders Inc. marks the first time a Web-hosting company has been found liable for contributory infringement without actual notice that a customer’s website lists fake products for sale.

South Carolina District Judge Margaret Seymour’s March 14 judgment in Roger Cleveland Golf Company Inc. v. Prince followed the jury’s March 10 verdict.

TAGS:

In the rapidly evolving world of the internet, laws are written that have unintended and unexpected consequences which means that laws which are made by Judges who passed their Bar exams a decade before the personal computer was invented and commercialised, could have an extra damaging effect on the internet savvy public.

Was this elite, led by the top lawyers in the country so naïve so as to believe that information published on websites which are based abroad cannot be viewed in England?

Between the political parties’ unelected and unaccountable  bureaucrat elite, which sits in Brussels, our own well intended, yet somewhat socially alienated  judicial elite and a small group of celebrity elite, we end up with ridiculous Super-Injunctions which only serve to demonstrate how wide the gap is between the new style law makers and those who have to live with the consequences of such laws. It is perhaps not a coincidence that those who have been seeking Super-Injunctions are also part of an elite group; a financial elite which has perhaps little to do with the intellectual elite which has imposed on us these Super-Injunctions but still, these political, judicial and financial elites somewhat managed to get together and conspire to ensure that those who can afford it are able to prevent their innocent victims from telling the truth about the ‘well-off’s’ misdemeanour.

In a way, one cannot help feeling a bit sorry for all those who took part in this shameful attempt to conceal the truth. Did they not realise that these Super-Injunctions would not possibly last forever? Did they really believe that the whole world will slavishly adhere to court orders which are created with the sole purpose of suppressing the truth? Did it not occur to them that the internet also exists in the USA,Canada, Africa or the Middle East? Did they honestly believe that they can force an American based website to refrain from publishing the truth about corrupt celebrities, in particular as injunctions granted overseas are hardly enforceable in any of the American States?

One can perhaps understand how an anxious footballer, who perhaps might not be well versed with the ins and outs of the internet, could get carried away, and be willing to spend tens of thousands of pounds on worthless international gagging orders. But didn’t the lawyers bother to explain to their clients how the internet works? Did they forget to explain that it was inevitable that these ‘permanent’ worldwide injunctions could not have possibly lasted for long because of the way the internet works? Perhaps it is just that our elite is not as intellectual as it would like us to think it is.

TAGS:

Scottish experts have warned gagging orders are ineffective following the naming of Ryan Giggs and former banker Sir Fred Goodwin in the House of Commons.

Critics believe the UK government is to blame for not reacting quickly enough to the incorporation of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) into UK law in October 2000. Prime Minister David Cameron has expressed concerns about privacy laws being developed in courts rather than in Parliament.

However, Dr Gillian Black, lecturer in law and privacy specialist at Edinburgh University, said successive governments had “ducked the issue” and must now introduce new laws as a matter of urgency.

“It is incumbent on Parliament to do so,” she said. “The media is very unhappy about the courts doing this (writing privacy laws], but they are only doing so because Parliament has ducked the issue.

“The article eight right to privacy (in the European Convention on Human Rights] has been here since October 2000, so Parliament has had long enough to go away and think about these things.”

However, she believes governments have long viewed more stringent privacy laws as a vote loser, with the press and public putting a high value on freedom of speech. Dr Black said: “They’ve not simply missed it. It’s a well accepted fact in the academic world of privacy that the government has not been willing to legislate because it’s not going to be popular.”

She said enshrining privacy laws in legislation would go some way to encouraging people to respect it.

“One concern is that the courts make this up as they go along,” she said. “What we need is a statutory right to privacy – a privacy bill.

“The government would not have to do much more than set down what judges have already done, but it would clear up what the media can and can’t do.

“The one thing they can address is the remedy. Super-injunctions are a failed remedy.”

Super-injunctions have become highly controversial as a court order that not only bans the media from publishing information, but also from revealing that the order even exists.

Former Royal Bank of Scotland chief executive Sir Fred Goodwin obtained one to try to hide details of an alleged affair with a colleague, although the order had to be altered after a peer revealed details in the House of Lords.

BBC journalist Andrew Marr also obtained a super-injunction to try to hide an affair with a colleague – he later abandoned it and admitted he was “embarrassed”. Since the UK became compliant with the ECHR, judges have had to balance the two competing rights within it of freedom of speech and privacy – such as when Mr Justice Eady ruled in favour of Manchester United footballer Giggs’ right to privacy – over Imogen Thomas’ desire to name him when speaking publicly about their alleged affair.

However, Frank Johnstone, convener of the privacy committee of the Law Society of Scotland, said it is not judges’ privacy laws that have been the problem, but the way they have tried to enforce them.

“I don’t take the view that the law on privacy has been broken,” he said. “The law was interpreted by a judge and he granted a remedy – the super-injunction. The remedy has proven to be ineffective, that does not mean the law was wrong.

“Rights are important but rather meaningless if you cannot translate it in effective remedy.”

He suggested tighter security might be imposed around the court proceedings, limiting the chance of the information getting out.

“What would be interesting to know is how did it get out in the first place, someone must have breached it initially, and it is that person that made it an ineffective remedy,” he added.

However, Maurice Frankel, director of the Campaign for Freedom of Information, warned free speech must be enshrined in any new legislation.

“My concern would be in cases where there’s genuine, or substantial, public interest that that (freedom of speech] should not be over-ridden.

“Freedom of expression is very important. It’s not an automatic trump card over everything else, but neither should it be set aside.”

Yair Cohen, a leading internet lawyer, said people should be given stronger powers to challenge inaccurate or defamatory stories before publication, as an alternative to super-injunctions.

However, he also warned that celebrities who cheat on their wives, husbands or partners, may have to accept the blame for hurting them if their antics later appear in the press.

Mr Cohen said: “The families of, let’s say a footballer, who is guilty of indiscretions might have to bear the consequences of this change in the same way that families of criminals have to live with the consequences of an unlawful act by one of their members.

“And the family member who committed the indiscretion will have to take some responsibility for his actions, including the effect of his actions on members of his family.”

He added: “Any change in the law of privacy should cement this principle but should also give an opportunity to aggrieved parties to challenge any publication in advance in the event that the information which is about to be printed is incorrect or defamatory.”

Meanwhile, French President Nicolas Sarkozy yesterday opened the first ever e-G8 forum in Paris. The event brings together leading figures from the technology industry to discuss the impact of the internet.

News Corp chief executive Rupert Murdoch and BBC director general Mark Thompson were due to speak at the event.

via Yair Cohen\’s Business Talks.

Super-Injunctions: Former Sun editor tight-lipped in super-injunction case – Surrey Herald.

NATIONAL newspaper columist and Weybridge resident Kelvin MacKenzie says he will not reveal his emails or text messages to a defence lawyer in a super-injunction case.

The former Sun editor got dragged into the super-injunction case between the affair of a footballer, who cannot be named, and reality television star Imogen Thomas, after revealing on BBC Radio 4’s Today show he received emails and texts from readers asking to tell them the names of celebrities using injunctions to protect their privacy.

Read full story on Super Injunctions

UK Internet Law News

US Internet Law News

Online Crime News

Data Protection News

Privacy Law News

Pages Removed

Articles Removed

Dedication

Years of Internet Law Experience