Feeds

@UnSteveDorkland Twitter satirist faces 4 charges in US court

Daily Mail group heads to Cali to pin down exec parody

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

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. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

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
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
In the next four weeks, 100 people will decide the future of the web
While America tucks into Thanksgiving turkey, the world will be taking over the net
Microsoft EU warns: If you have ties to the US, Feds can get your data
European corps can't afford to get complacent while American Big Biz battles Uncle Sam
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
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.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.