Unmasked blogger plans to sue Google: report

By AFP

June 18, 2010 Updated Aug 24, 2009 at 2:31 PM EDT

An anonymous blogger who was unmasked by Google on the orders of a New York judge says she plans to sue the Internet giant for revealing her identity.

Rosemary Port, a 29-year-old student at the Fashion Institute of Technology, told the New York Daily News on Monday that she plans to file a 15-million-dollar lawsuit against the Mountain View, California-based company.

The move comes after a New York Supreme Court justice ruled last week that Google must hand over identifying information about the author of an anonymous blog who posted derogatory comments about a Canadian model, Liskula Cohen.

Port was subsequently identified as the author of the anonymous blog, which was created using Google's Blogger.com program and which described Cohen, 36, as a "ho" and a "psychotic, lying, whoring... skank."

Port, in comments published in the Daily News, blamed Cohen for the publicity surrounding her blog.

"This has become a public spectacle and a circus that is not my doing," she said. "Before her suit, there were probably two hits on my website: one from me looking at it, and one from her looking at it.

"That was before it became a spectacle. I feel my right to privacy has been violated," Port said.

Salvatore Strazzullo, Port's attorney, said Google, which fought the effort to identify Port but eventually complied with the court order, had breached its duty to "protect her expectation of anonymity.

"Inherent in the First Amendment is the right to speak anonymously," he told the newspaper. "Shouldn't that right extend to the new public square of the Internet?"

Cohen has described Port as "an irrelevant person in my life" and decided not to pursue a defamation case against her.

Following last week's court ruling, Google said that while the company does not tolerate "cyber bullying" it is also respectful of privacy.

"We sympathize with anyone who may be the victim of cyber bullying," said Andrew Pederson, a Google spokesman.

"We also take great care to respect privacy concerns and will only provide information about a user in response to a subpoena or other court order."




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