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Dr bags $675k in Net libel case

First judgement based on anonymous message

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A US doctor has won an Internet libel case, which his lawyers believe is the first judgement based on an anonymous Net message.

Dr Sam Graham was awarded $675,000 last week.

Graham used to work at the Emory University School of Medicine. In February 1999 he discovered a posting on a Yahoo! message board which reckoned he had taken kicks backs in his old job when he gave his department's business to a urology company.

The posting was made by 'fbiinformant'. This turned out to be Dr Jonathan Oppenheimer who had worked at the urology company.

The judge called the Internet messages "about as despicable as any course of conduct that one could engage in." ®

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