Feeds

@UnSteveDorkland Twitter satirist faces 4 charges in US court

Daily Mail group heads to Cali to pin down exec parody

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

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. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
Spies, avert eyes! Tim Berners-Lee demands a UK digital bill of rights
Lobbies tetchy MPs 'to end indiscriminate online surveillance'
Scrapping the Human Rights Act: What about privacy and freedom of expression?
Justice minister's attack to destroy ability to challenge state
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
EU to accuse Ireland of giving Apple an overly peachy tax deal – report
Probe expected to say single-digit rate was unlawful
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.