Feeds

Commentard to lose mask for teasing politico's son

Free speech cum libel suit

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

A suburban Illinois politician will be told the name of a man who allegedly made disparaging remarks about her teenaged son on a newspaper website's comment section, a local judge has ruled.

During a bitterly contested election in Buffalo Grove, Illinois, an online flamewar erupted on the website of the local rag, the Daily Herald, about a candidate for Village Trustee, Lisa Stone.

In the user comments section, Stone's 15-year-old son became upset over posts by a person using the screen name Hipcheck16 and entered into a back-and-forth argument, the Chicago Tribune reports.

During the course of the row, Hipcheck16 allegedly made "deeply disturbing," comments towards Stone's son. The paper says that at one point, Stone's son challenged to him to debate the issues in person - in which Hipcheck16 responded "Seems like you're very willing to invite a man you only know from the Internet over to your house - have you done it before, or do they usually invite you to their house?"

Stone said the comment crosses the line, and petitioned to Cook County Circuit Judge Jeffrey Lawrence by way of a pre-suit subpoena that the Daily Herald should reveal the identity of Hipcheck16. She claims the comment was directed to a minor and was defamatory.

The newspaper was only able to supply the reader's IP address, leading mama Stone to include Comcast in the filing.

In a six-page written ruling, Judge Lawrence said the poster's name and address can be turned over to Stone, her attorneys and staff, and law enforcement so she can take legal action.

Her attorney tells the Tribune that First Amendment free speech protections are only designed to protect anonymous political debate, but not what he defines as sexual insinuations about children.

The attorney who is representing Hipcheck16, known in court documents as "John Doe," said his client has not decided whether to appeal, arguing the comments were innocent and are being "mischaracterized" by Stone.

The article's comment thread still exists, although the relevant posts at the end have been removed for violating the newspaper website's terms of service. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Big Content outs piracy hotbeds: São Paulo, Beijing ... TORONTO?
MPAA calls Canadians a bunch of bootlegging movie thieves
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET
Cupertino revenue hit by cheapo downloads, says report
Hungary's internet tax cannot be allowed to set a precedent, says EC
More protests planned against giga-tariff for Tuesday evening
US court SHUTS DOWN 'scammers posing as Microsoft, Facebook support staff'
Netizens allegedly duped into paying for bogus tech advice
ISPs handbagged: BLOCK knock-off sites, rules beak
Historic trademark victory, but sunset clause applies to future blocks
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.