Feeds

Lycos loses Dutch ID disclosure case

Bad day for whistleblowers too?

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

After almost three years of long-lasting legal procedures, the Dutch Supreme Court ruled today that Dutch ISP Lycos must reveal the name of an anonymous website owner who ridiculed a part-time stamp trader. However, there is little Lycos can disclose other than a fake address that the website owner once provided.

Dutch citizen Bernard Pessers traded postage stamps through eBay and was accused of fraud by an anonymous Lycos member on his home page. Pessers demanded the closure of the site and told Lycos that he also wanted to know the identity of its member. When Lycos refused, Pessers took the ISP to court.

After the initial verdict, Lycos handed over the data, but when the address turned out to be wrong, Pessers started another procedure to force Lycos to find the correct information. That demand was turned down in court, but this was in turn overruled by the Dutch Appeals Court. Lycos then took the case to the Dutch Supreme Court. The so-called Lycos-Pessers defence, which has dragged on for years, has attracted attention from legal experts worldwide.

The Supreme Court today for the most part followed the opinion of the Dutch Advocate General, who earlier this year argued that ISPs in some cases can indeed be sued over the identity of their members to pursue a civil action against someone who's anonymous.

Dutch anti piracy organisation BREIN, which paid the legal bill of Pessers, is delighted with the verdict. It believes the ruling will be beneficial to its case against ISPs who refuse to identify illegal file swappers.

Legal experts, however, fear the ruling can also have consequences for anonymous whistleblowers who want to put up a website and speak out without reprisal. Earlier this month Dutch citizen Ruud Rietveld went to jail over his refusal to remove a website where what he claims are unscrupulous businessmen in the camping site business are "exposed". Despite his detention his site is still up and running.

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
Kaspersky backpedals on 'done nothing wrong, nothing to fear' blather
Founder (and internet passport fan) now says privacy is precious
TROLL SLAYER Google grabs $1.3 MEEELLION in patent counter-suit
Chocolate Factory hits back at firm for suing customers
Facebook, Google and Instagram 'worse than drugs' says Miley Cyrus
Italian boffins agree with popette's theory that haters are the real wrecking balls
Mozilla's 'Tiles' ads debut in new Firefox nightlies
You can try turning them off and on again
Sit tight, fanbois. Apple's '$400' wearable release slips into early 2015
Sources: time to put in plenty of clock-watching for' iWatch
Facebook to let stalkers unearth buried posts with mobe search
Prepare to HAUNT your pal's back catalogue
Ex-IBM CEO John Akers dies at 79
An era disrupted by the advent of the PC
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.