Feeds

@UnSteveDorkland Twitter satirist faces 4 charges in US court

Daily Mail group heads to Cali to pin down exec parody

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

The anonymous satirist behind spoof Twitter account @UnSteveDorkland faces four criminal charges in a Californian court for making fun of a Daily Mail group executive.

@UnSteveDorkland has been charged for computer fraud and abuse, data access and fraud and for defamation and online impersonation - all for a series of tweets that joke about the working practices of Steve Auckland, the CEO at Northcliffe Media, the Daily Mail and General Trust's local paper wing.

Northcliffe took the case to California because Twitter is based there, and the media firm is demanding a jury trial. The charges follow a subpoena two weeks ago to unmask the identity of the spoofer.

The nine-page complaint filed today alleges simultaneously that the tweets contain information that is false, and information that is private and thus could only be accessed by computer hacking.

The Not Steve Dorkland twitter account, screengrab

The case claims that the tweets revealed private information that could only have come from unauthorised access to a computer system.

The complaint argues for damages due to the injury to the plaintiff's reputation and further punitive damages due to the "malice, oppression and fraud" in the nature of the tweets.

The case also claims that the plaintiff's employees mentioned in the tweets were caused to fear for their safety as the tweets made them feel like they were under surveillance.

Beyond the reputational damage, the document argues that there were costs associated with the computer fraud charges - with $5,000 for example spent on repatching the system that the defendant had allegedly breached.

@UnSteveDorkland has until tomorrow to object to a motion from Northcliffe demanding that Twitter unmask the anonymous account.

The case has raised hackles about the status of satire and spoof accounts on Twitter – of which there are many:

@LizJonesSomalia, for example, takes off another employee of DMGT, Daily Mail columnist and professional moaning minnie Liz Jones. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
ONE EMAIL costs mining company $300 MEEELION
Environmental activist walks free after hoax sent share price over a cliff
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
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.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.