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Thread: Cybercrime Solutions

  1. #1

    Cybercrime Solutions

    Have you been a victim of online crime?

    Top Ten Tips if You Have Been Defamed on the Internet

    Defamation on the Internet or Cyber-libel, as it is sometimes called, is when someone has posted or emailed something that is untrue and damaging about you on the internet. The internet has created the easy ability for almost anybody to communicate with almost anyone. This ability has a dark side – the average person’s reputation or a small business’s hard-earned goodwill can be harmed in a serious way.

    Unfortunately, cyber-libel is becoming more common. In the past, only famous people had libel and slander issues. Today, it is the common person who must deal with this issue. For example, a disgruntled consumer, an angry ex-spouse, a competitor, or a peddler of gossip can now “vent” their frustrations about their victim cheaply, easily, and seemingly anonymously.A Google search of the victim’s name usually reveals the poisonous words for anyone that is interested.

    The harm to reputation and character is real. A malicious customer review by a competitor could destroy a small business. A false accusation of adultery on a social networking site could destroy a marriage. An allegation that someone is a “crook” could be read by a potential employer or business partner.

    I have seen many internet defamation cases during my career as an internet lawyer. I have decided to list my Top Ten Tips for dealing with this growing problem. Please do not take this as legal advice. Each person’s case is different and different laws apply to each jurisdiction. Some tips may work for some situations and may be harmful in others. The tips are meant to give you ideas for consideration and cannot be a substitute for sound legal advice based on your own particular situation.

    1. Act Fast
    One must act fast in dealing with the defamatory statements. Mark Twain said “a lie can travel around the world while the truth is putting its shoes on”. This statement is more true today than it ever was. A person’s reputation can be destroyed if remedial steps are not taken promptly. With defamation on the internet, the defamatory postings usually persist for many years and potentially forever.

    Believing that the posting will simply “go away” or be forgotten is, in most cases, unrealistic. The longer the posting is online, the greater the harm. If fast action is taken it may be possible to have the defamation removed before it is picked up by the search engines.

    Putting out the fire before it spreads is crucial. There are also important legal deadlines that have to be met (called a limitation period) if a case can proceed in court.

    2. Get Expert Help
    It is important to get expert advice from a qualified lawyer. Internet libel law is a complicated area of the law. There are tricky limitation periods, multi-jurisdictional issues, technological pitfalls with the way search engines work, and technical and legal issues surrounding anonymity. Moreover, not everything that is insulting or hurtful will constitute defamation. An experienced defamation attorney will be able to quickly advise you if you have a case and the best way of proceeding. A public relations expert can help you with managing the damage.

    A competent search engine optimizer can help you determine the scope of the damage and ways of potentially burying the defamation. A brief meeting with an experienced defamation lawyer from the outset can avoid many problems, limit the damage, and save money in the long run.

    3. Determine the Parties.
    With internet defamation there are usually many different parties that play a role in the dissemination of the libellous speech. There is the poster – the person who actually wrote the defamatory words. There is the internet service provider that hosts the defamation. There may be other parties to the dissemination such as search engines and other pages that link to the posting. Identifying the proper parties is crucial to attacking the problem. Free online tools such as can help identify the parties.

    4. Determine the Scope of the Defamation.
    Another crucial item to determine is the scope of the defamation. How wide is the defamation? Is it something that is available to a few people such as an ephemeral ‘status update’ on Facebook, or is it something that is available on a public website where anyone who ‘Googles’ your name can find it?

    A few searches with the major search engines can usually determine how wide the defamation is. At the very least, search for how many hyperlinks there are to the posting (i.e. Also, try to determine the site’s link popularity (i.e. Pagerank). A search using the exact defamatory words should also be done to determine if the defamatory words are repeated on different internet sites.

    How long the defamation has been online is also important to determine the extent of the damage. As a general rule, the shorter something is online, the less damage it has caused. In many cases it is easy to determine the length that a posting has been online from the posting itself – i.e. the posting itself has a date on it.

    In other cases it is not so easy. Fortunately there are independent ways of determining if something was online at a particular date.
    For example: a search of Google’s cache can reveal whether the defamatory content was online several weeks ago.
    Doing a Google search for “Toronto Internet Lawyer” resulted in the below result with a link to “Cached”.

    Clicking on the “Cached” link reveals a copy of a page that Google copied a few days to a few weeks prior to the live search.

    If the defamatory content does not appear on the page when Google copied it into its cache then it is safe to assume that the defamatory content is relatively recent.

    Another excellent snapshot tool is the Wayback Machine ( This tool will crawl the web and maintain copies of how different sites looked at different intervals of time. The tool is not exhaustive and does have some limitations but it is worth searching.

    Understanding the scope of the defamation is crucial to determining the best course of action.

    5. Preserve the Evidence
    Proving that the defamation occurred is very important. Unfortunately this is often overlooked. The defamation may be removed but you may still be entitled to sue for damages that you have suffered.

    It is highly recommended that an independent person print all the postings, search engine results, and any other pages that could be relevant, including evidence that confirms the identity of the poster. If you are unsure if it is relevant then it does not hurt to include it. The same pages should also be saved in electronic form, as sometimes the printout is different from the screen display. Ideally, the independent party should then swear an affidavit/statutory declaration that he printed and saved the evidence. A copy of the printouts and a disk of the electronic evidence should be attached to the affidavit. A video of the evidence is also helpful.

    Where an affidavit or an independent person is not immediately possible then the victim should printout and download the evidence until a proper affidavit can be made.

    6. Consider Ignoring It
    After getting legal advice about the strength of your case, and understanding the scope of the defamation the best approach in some situations may be to simply ignore the defamation. In some cases responding to the defamation may actually amplify the defamation. Truth is always a defence to defamation and in a case where the person who made the libellous comments strongly believes that they are true, it may be wise to let the fire die out. Threatening to sue someone who honestly believes that they are telling the truth may backfire. A lawsuit or the threat of a lawsuit will give the person a new opportunity to repeat the defamatory words.

    Ignoring it usually the best choice when the scope of the libel is very limited – i.e. very few people could actually read the libel. This is often the case where a large business has been defamed by a blogger.

    Ignoring the defamation should be done only after a thorough understanding of the scope of the defamation and the relative strength of your case. In many cases, ignoring the defamation will only allow the lies to spread and increase the damage. If the posting is on a popular website then it is likely that the problem will only grow and the defamation will persist online for many years. Nonetheless, in some unique situations ignoring the defamation may be the best approach. The judgment of an experienced internet lawyer can be of assistance.

    7. Consider a Refutation
    In many cases the best way to combat bad speech is with good speech. This may involve creating a website to compete with the defamatory website and posting your version of the facts. A refutation must be done wisely. A refutation done improperly could lead to “flame wars” or could even raise the search engine rankings of the defamatory page.

    In some cases, it may be wise to submit a comment in the same forum where the defamation was posted. A refutation posted on the same page as the original defamation should never repeat the victim’s name on that same page. Doing so will make that page rank a little bit better in the search engines for a search of the victim’s name and have the opposite of the desired effect. A well written refutation could neutralize the sting of a libellous internet posting.

    CAUTION: If you are considering writing a response to an online posting. Be aware that by posting on the same website that publishes the defamatory content, you may be binding yourself to that website’s terms of use. Most term’s of use agreements have a limitation of liability clause that prevent users of the site from suing the website for defamation.

    8. Consider Burying It
    If the page cannot be found in the first page of the major search engines when your name (and variations thereof) is searched, then the defamatory posting’s sting is usually limited. In some cases it may be worthwhile to simply create or promote websites in such a way that rank higher when your name is searched than the defamatory content. This approach makes especially good sense for businesses as the new pages could be used to market the business and improve the businesses on-line reputation. For individuals creating profiles on sites such as Facebook, My Space, Twitter, Blogger, and WordPress could cause the offending site to drop dramatically in the search engines.

    In some cases, where the defamatory content appears on a popular site then it may be very difficult and expensive to outrank that site. A competent search engine optimizer (SEO) should be consulted. There are a growing number of companies that specialize in “Online Reputation Management”. People should do their due diligence before hiring a reputation management company.

    9. Cease and Desist Notice
    A cease and desist letter sent to all relevant parties often has the effect of having the posting removed and obtaining valuable information about the scope of the defamation. Many website owners do not want to spend thousands of dollars defending a lawsuit because of one of their users. Some simply opt to remove the content promptly upon receipt of a demand letter from a defamation lawyer. Others choose to fight. The location of the website’s operator is also relevant. Certain internet service providers enjoy some immunity from defamation actions under US law. The law is substantially different in Canada.

    A cease and desist letter is highly recommended in Ontario for all internet postings before a lawsuit is started. It is highly advisable that the notice comply with the Libel and Slander Act (Ontario) and be served personally on all parties. It is also advisable in some situations that the cease and desist letter demand a retraction and/or an apology.

    In many cases a cease and desist letter, sent on behalf of the victim by an experienced and reputable defamation lawyer can put the matter to a quick and inexpensive end.

    10. Sue
    Starting a lawsuit may be the only option available. It is a last resort. I often tell my clients that litigation is like chemotherapy. You don’t want to go through it unless you absolutely have to!

    Litigation can be expensive, uncertain, and emotionally draining. Having said that, the damage to someone’s reputation on the internet could be more expensive and emotionally draining than a lawsuit.

    In some rare and exceptional cases the defamation may be criminal. If that is the case then a police complaint should be made at your local police station.

    When litigation is inevitable, an experienced internet defamation lawyer can help a victim of defamation navigate the legal and technological minefield of internet defamation litigation to a successful outcome.

  2. #2
    How to Commit Internet Suicide and Disappear from the Web Forever

    Sick of horribly embarrassing things showing up when potential employers Google your name? Tired of everyone knowing you live in a garden level dungeon apartment? Perhaps you just don't like the fact the internet makes you easy to find. Thankfully, it's not that hard to delete yourself entirely.

    Here's how to do it.

    For mildly famous (or infamous) individuals, disappearing is essentially impossible, but for the average person it's surprisingly easy. It just depends on much info is already out there.

    Step 1: Delete Your Social Network Accounts

    Chances are the first results that pop up on a Google search of your name are your social network profiles. This likely includes things like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and anywhere else you're using your real name. So, the first step to commit internet suicide is to remove these profiles. If you just want to remove search results, you can set your profiles to private, skip this step, and move on to step two. This isn't a perfect solution, but if you want to keep your social networks it will at least pull the results off the search engines.

    Here's how to delete your accounts on the big social networks:

    Facebook: To delete your Facebook profile, head to this link while you're logged in, click the "Delete My Account" button, and you're done. The process might take up to 14 days before your profile is completely gone. Doing it this way deletes all of your data, and it cannot be reactivated. Some messages might still show up, but anything you've been tagged in will have your name removed (although the pictures themselves will remain). If you want those pictures removed completely, report that you didn't give permission for that photo under the intellectual property tag on Facebook, or contact your friend directly and ask them to remove it.

    Twitter: To delete your Twitter account, head to your account settings page, and click "Deactivate my account" at the bottom. Your account gets deleted completely, but it will take a few weeks before results stop showing up in searches.

    LinkedIn: To delete your LinkedIn account, head to your settings page, click the "Account" icon, then the "close your account" link.

    Google+: Google+ is a bit tricky because it's tied to your entire Google account. If you want to go ahead and close everything including email, calendars, and whatever else, sign into your primary Google Account homepage, and chose "Close account and delete all services and info associated with it." This will get rid of everything from Gmail to Google Checkout. If you only need to ditch the Google+ account, follow this link and select "Delete Google+ content." This will remove your profile from Google+, but retain any other Google services you have.

    You'll want to follow the above steps for any other social networks you use, forum accounts you have, or other sites you registered under your real name (this might include Yelp, Amazon, Quora, etc).

    If you have trouble remembering all your accounts, Account Killer has a huge list that includes direct links to deleting your profile from over 500 different sites. Your Google search for your name in the first step should also provide a guide to places you used your real name to create an account.

    Step 2: Remove Unwanted Search Results

    Once you get rid of your social profiles, content is likely still floating around the web that you need to get rid of. They might be images, articles, or even employer websites. The first thing to do is figure out where you're showing up online in search results. Search Google and make a note (or bookmark) where you name shows up on web sites.

    You essentially have one course of action to remove this content: contact the source directly. Email the web site hosting the content and politely ask them to remove it (or at least remove your name). A quick email works well for places like former employers who still haven't removed you from the employees list, family members who post pictures of you on their personal blogs, or even on donation pages for causes you've supported. In due time it will drop from search results.

    After that, you can appeal to the search engines directly to remove the edited pages right away. You can do so through Google, Google Images, or Bing by filling out a simple form and requesting the URL to be indexed again. This doesn't always work, but it's worth a shot. You'll have a better chance if someone is publishing libelous content about you, breaking a copyright of any kind, or if a page is displaying confidential information about you.

    If you cannot get everything off of your Google search results, you might also consider burying personal data as far as possible. To do this while maintaining your vow to delete yourself from the internet forever, create profiles on popular social sites like Twitter, Google+, or Facebook as well as landing pages like About.Me with just your name and no other details. You can also set up your own website filled with lots of keywords about your name but no actual information (or just create a 410 error page and leave it at that). It's not as good as deleting content completely, but at least internet sleuths will only be lead to a blank page with no information on you.

    Step 3: Get Rid of Background Check, Criminal, and Public Record Results

    By now we've destroyed the bulk of your search results and social networks. But people can still run background checks and people searches on you very easily. It's time to destroy that personal data as best we can, and dig into various people databases.

    Here are a few worth checking:

    Zabasearch: Zabasearch is mostly about finding addresses and phone numbers. Make a quick search of yourself and see what it knows.

    Intelius: Intelius can perform background checks, hunt down criminal records, email addresses, social networks, and more. You have to pay to get your results, but you'll get a general idea of what's out there by simply searching your name.

    Spokeo: Spokeo is essentially an address book and it can track you down suprisingly well to reveal your gender, age, phone number, address, relatives, marital status, and a whole lot more. Again, it costs a bit of money to get your full results, but you can get a general idea of what you need to snuff out.

    Pipl: Pipl aggregates all of the above searches, but it's worth looking at to make sure no others have slipped through the cracks.

    If you're anything like me (or my neighbor who I also tested this on), then you're probably a little surprised by the amount of information these databases have. Now it's time to get rid of as many of those as possible. You have a couple different options for this. You can pay a service like DeleteMe $99 to go through and delete all these results. Or you can follow DeleteMe's own guide to do it yourself.

    The DIY method requires you contact around 25 different sites individually to remove the listings that include your address, phone number, income, marital status, current job, and everything else. Some sites are as simple as opting out through a link (Reddit has a great collection of the easy ones), while others require that you send in proof of identification and a letter.

    Going through this step will help get rid of everything that comes in search results, but it will not remove your data completely. As long as information like your address and phone number are registered somewhere, people will be able to find you. Going through the process of opting out of background checks, public records, and people search engines just makes that personal data harder to find.

    Step 4: Remove Any Usernames Attached to an Email Address with Your Name

    Any good internet sleuth will be able to link together your usernames on forums, web sites, and elsewhere with your email address. Subsequently, they'll eventually trace that back to your name. The process to remove this data is dependent on the forums and sites you use. If you can, unlink your primary email address with your username whenever possible. If you're dealing with forums, ask the moderators to delete any posts that identify you personally. Essentially, cut any ties between your email address or name with your username. If you use the same username for every site, consider coming up with new names for every site.

    Step 5: Stay Off Search Engines Without Going Offline by Remaining Anonymous

    From here on out you'll have to remain vigilant in not releasing your information publicly. That means no social networks with your real name, and a yearly audit of the background check websites to ensure they don't have any new information on you.

    Chances are you still want to use the internet, right? In that case, you'll need to set up a few things to ensure your data stays locked down. That means creating a fake identity. To do so, you can create an email address on a service like Gmail or Outlook with a pseudonym. Fake Name Generator is a great way to come up with a new identity complete with birthdate, and everything else. You can also use a temporary email address for all your communications, and then use your new pseudonym and fake email address to sign up for any services you need.

    To keep your cell phone records private, you might also consider using Google Voice instead of going through a carrier since you can make up your Google Account name. As for the rest of your browsing, we've shown you plenty of ways to keep your browsing anonymous before. This won't have an effect on any online searches for your name, but it will at least keep advertisers off your back. When it boils down to it, the internet is forever and truly resourceful people will always be able to find you. But if you take the steps outlined above, you'll at least thwart amateur internet sleuths and regain a touch of privacy.

  3. #3
    A Guide to a Successful Interview with a Lawyer

    This guide will help you prepare for your interview with a lawyer. A little preparation will make your interview successful.


    This guide describes four steps to take before you see a lawyer. Whether you are paying for your lawyer or receiving free legal advice, it is to your advantage to be prepared to make the best use of the time you spend with your lawyer.

    If you have formally retained a lawyer, every moment spent with him or her is billable time. Therefore, you don’t want to spend valuable time with your lawyer searching for information or documents when you should be focusing on the important legal aspects of your case.

    If you are receiving free legal advice, it is likely that your time with a lawyer will be limited. Generally, “pro bono” appointments are of thirty-minute duration. Therefore, it is important that you have all of your pertinent information organized in a fashion that will allow you and your lawyer to make optimal use of this limited time.

    If you follow the four steps in this guide, you will be well prepared and know what to expect when you meet your lawyer. This will help you to make good use of your time and be in a better position to understand your rights.

    Step 1 : Fill out the Information Sheet

    Fill out the Information Sheet at the end of this guide. Take it with you to the interview.

    If there are other important names and addresses that the lawyer should be aware of, put them in too. If your problem has a file or case number, include that as well. Please print or type.

    Step 2: Prepare your Document List

    Take all letters and documents about your legal problem with you to the interview. If you are in doubt about an item, bring it anyway. Next, put the documents in order according to their dates.

    Fill out the Document List at the end of this information. You can use it to list the documents you have.

    What if some of the documents are in a package? If some of the documents are in a package, leave them in the package. An example of this would be a package prepared by the Tribunal under the Employment and Assistance Act. Leave the documents the way they are arranged in the package and do a separate Document List for the package. If you have little Post-It notes, put the number of the document on a Post-It note. Attach the Post-It note to each document so that it corresponds to the Document List.

    Step 3: Prepare your written statement

    Write out your story in chronological point form. This is your written statement. Put in all the facts that you consider important. Be specific as to the dates and who said what.

    When you write out your story, it should not be more than two pages. This will force you to focus on the important matters.

    Take the written statement with you to the interview. It will help refresh your memory when you are talking to the lawyer.

    If you have questions you want to ask the lawyer, write them out and take them with you. It’s easy to forget the questions if you don’t write them down. The lawyer will want to know all the details.

    The lawyer will want to know:

    Exact dates, if possible.

    Who said what to whom – the exact words, not a summary.

    Who was present during conversations and how long the conversations lasted. (or texts/PM's/emails/posts)

    Important: The lawyer needs to know all the details, good and bad, about your case. If you are completely frank, the lawyer will be in the best position to handle your problem and advise you on the same.

    Step 4: Going to the interview

    There are four “S’s” to a successful interview with a lawyer: slow, straight forward, specific, and systematic .

    1. Slow

    People tend to talk too fast in a lawyer interview. This is natural. Many of us are nervous when we have to see a lawyer. We want to tell all. Think about it this way: hearing your story is like eating dinner. If the lawyer is eating too fast, he or she won’t be able to digest it properly.

    If you tell your story slowly, this gives the lawyer time to digest and understand your story. If you talk slowly, you give the lawyer time to ask questions. You will avoid missing important facts. The better prepared you are for the interview, the better advice the lawyer can give you.

    2. Straightforward

    All of us want to be seen in a good light. When we talk to other people, we usually try to emphasize the favourable things about ourselves. There is nothing wrong with this. It helps us all get along.

    However, when you’re talking to a lawyer, things are different. You need to give the lawyer both the good information and the bad information. If you did something wrong, admit it to the lawyer. It will most likely be brought to his/her attention later anyway, by the opposing party.

    The lawyer needs to know the good and the bad information at the beginning. That will help the lawyer to give you good advice and save time and possibly money in the long run. Unless the lawyer knows everything, he or she cannot give you good advice.

    Always be straightforward. Answer the questions directly. Remember, many of the questions the lawyer will ask require simple answers. The simple, straightforward answer is best.

    3. Specific

    We all tend to talk in generalities. This person is good. That motion picture is terrific! However, such generalities are not useful when you are dealing with the law. Law requires specific information. If you are asked a question such as: “On what date did this happen?”, it is best to give a specific date, e.g., March 15, 2006. If you can’t be specific, be as specific as possible. “It happened the week of March 12, 2006.” Do not summarize conversations. Instead, tell the lawyer, “Mr. Jones said…and then I said…” Repeat the exact words that were said. The more straightforward you are in the interview, the better advice the lawyer can give you.

    4. Systematic

    When you are telling your story to the lawyer, tell it in chronological order. You cannot tell everything at once.

    Keep your story in chronological order. Do not skip about from one time period to another.

    If you have papers and documents, get them in order before you go to see the lawyer. It is a waste of your time to spend several minutes looking for one letter in a pile of letters.


    Fill out the Information Sheet and take it with you.

    Fill out the Document List and take it with you.

    Write out your story before you go to the lawyer. If you have questions to ask the lawyer, write them down before you go. That way, you won’t forget them.

    When you meet with the lawyer, remember to be slow, straightforward, specific and systematic.

    See webpage for Sample Information Sheet and Document List.

  4. #4

  5. #5
    More Legal Resources

    Need Help Now
    Help for people who have been involved in a self/peer exploitation incident ("sexting"). The site provides guidance on steps you can take to remove photos/videos off the internet, and how to report these incidents. It's designed for Youth but still applicable to us.

    Stalking, Criminal Harassment and Cyberbullying
    The script explains what stalking, criminal harassment, and cyberbullying are and how to stop them. Also available in Mandarin and Punjabi.

    Mosaic Multilingual Legal Publications

    Canadian Legal Informative Institute

    Law Depot

    Create a Cease and Desist Letter

  6. #6

  7. #7
    Legal Definitions

    Legal terms definitions:

    Defamatory statement
    • a communication that leads an ordinary person to think less of another person.
    • causes harm by writing or saying something about a person that is not true and has a bad effect on that person’s reputation or causes other people to avoid the person
    Harm is assumed in *defamation* cases once the circulation of the false and damaging information is proved.

    Defamatory Libel:
    • Publishing material without lawful excuse that exposes anyone to hatred, contempt or ridicule.
    • Writing or speaking to others about a person giving false information and harming the person’s reputation or causing other people to avoid the person
    • Deliberate publication of defamatory lies which the publisher knows to be false.
    • character assassination
    • A criminal offence; malicious libel which of itself constitutes a breach of the peace or seriously or significantly injuring the reputation of another person.
    • A common law offence in which written and malicious defamation in regards to a person, known to be false, that is published and in likely to either disturb the peace or cause serious harm to the target's reputation.
    • The common law offence includes the elements of maliciousness; falsity of the information published, and that the transgressor knew the information to be false.

    Thus libel is both a civil wrong (tort) and a criminal offence.

    • a desire or intention to harm another or some other bad motive for causing harm
    • to act with a bad or improper motive
    • a desire to harm others or to see others suffer; extreme ill will or spite
    • the intent, without just cause or reason, to commit a wrongful act that will result in harm to another.

    Publication definition: Communication of the alleged defamatory statement to a third-party.

    Justification defense: an explanation or defense that is accepted in law, a justification to a crime under section 34 of the Criminal Code generally available when a person reasonably apprehends a threat and responds in a reasonable manner.

    Common Interest Privilege defense:
    • A privilege which protects defamatory statements if made in good faith to an individual with an interest in the statement.
    • A defence in defamation law.
    • The common interest privilege protects otherwise defamatory statements made (1) in good faith, (2) on a subject in which the party communicating has an interest, or in reference to which he has, or honestly believes he has, a duty to a person having a corresponding interest or duty, (3) to a person who has such a corresponding interest.
    • Two circumstances foreclose asserting the privilege: first, excessive publication, defined as publication to those with no common interest in the information communicated, or publication not reasonably calculated to protect or further the interest; and, second, publication with malice, which, within the context of the common interest privilege, is the equivalent of bad faith. While the defendant bears the burden of proving the elements of the common interest privilege, the burden of defeating the privilege by showing excessive publication or publication with malice lies with the plaintiff."

    Fair Comment Defense:

    • a statement of opinion made without malice and based on true facts
    • a comment made which though defamatory, is not actionable as it is an opinion on a matter of public interest.
    • a defence to a claim alleging defamatory remarks.
    • a defence to an action of libel or slander that the words complained of are fair comment on a matter of public interest
    • There are matters on which the public has a legitimate interest or with which it is legitimately concerned and on such matters, it is desirable that all should be able to comment freely and even harshly, so long as they do so honestly and without malice.
    • Everyone is entitled to comment fairly on matters of public interest.
    • A comment is the subjective expression of opinion in the form of a deduction, inference, conclusion, criticism, judgment, remark or observation which is generally incapable of proof.
    • In order to be fair, it must be shown that the facts upon which the comment is based are truly stated and that the comment is an honest expression of the publisher’s opinion relating to those facts. Where a comment imputes evil, base or corrupt motives to a person, it must be shown that such imputations are warranted by, and could reasonably be drawn from those facts.
    • The comment must be made on a matter of public interest. It could be of public interest because of the importance of the person about whom the comment is made, or because of the event, occasion or circumstances that give rise to the opinion.
    • Everyone has a right to comment on matters of public interest provided he does so fairly and honestly and such comment, however severe, is not actionable.
    • In order to be successful, the defendants must meet the following criteria: the words objected to must be comment and not statement of fact; the comment must be fair; (and) the comment must be on a matter of public interest.
    • To be fair, a comment must be based on facts truly stated and must not contain imputations of corrupt or dishonourable motives on the person whose conduct is criticized, save insofar as such imputations are warranted by the facts.
    • Another necessary ingredient of the defence of fair comment is that the person making the statement must have an honest belief in the truth of the comment.
    • The onus is on (the Defendant) to prove that the statements were made honestly and fairly. In order to do so, he must satisfy both a subjective and objective test: subjective honesty of belief in the defamatory statement, that is, the comment is one which a fair minded person would honestly make on the facts proved; and objective fairness, in the sense that the comment is one which a person could honestly make on the basis of all the facts known to the defendant.

  8. #8

  9. #9
    Sarah’s Simple Sugggestions (Internet/Defamation Law for Dummies)


    1. Report criminal activity
    2. Get legal advice
    3. Report inappropriate posts to the Mods
    4. Watch your neighbour’s back
    5. Guard over our community
    6. Notify members immediately if you see they’ve been outed/victimized online

    DO NOT

    1. Hack
    2. Troll
    3. Stalk
    4. Spam
    5. Harass
    6. Bully
    7. Defame
    8. Out (post unauthorized pics/personal info)
    9. Steal (pics/ads/website content/personal items/$$$)
    10. Post with malice (a desire to harm others or to see others suffer; extreme ill will or spite)

  10. #10
    "Outing" people online is against the law.

    • Discretion and privacy are necessary for most SP’s and clients to remain safe in this industry. Having their real identity, profession or hobby revealed to the general public or family members, can mean the loss of relationships, homes, careers and income to everyone involved.
    • The stress of being ‘outed’ can cause people to become depressed and anxious to the point of committing suicide. We’ve seen this publicized frequently in the media over the last couple of years.
    • It’s against the law. Most people aren’t aware that there are laws governing what we can and cannot post online.

    Posting someone else’s private information online without their permission and/or with malicious intent, is against the law.

    Here are some recent media items that give examples of how Internet Defamation Law is being applied to those who violate the rights of others by victimizing and harassing them online.

    1. 'Revenge porn' website former owner Hunter Moore arrested

    US authorities have arrested two men in California for hacking email accounts and stealing nude photos to post on a so-called "revenge porn" website. Hunter Moore, 27, and Charles Evens, 24, face charges including conspiracy, unauthorized access to a protected computer to obtain information and aggravated identity theft.

    The men reportedly posted explicit images, submitted without the victim's permission, to If guilty, they face decades in prison.

    The arrest on Thursday was the culmination of an FBI investigation into the matter, US Attorney xxxxxxxxxx Wu said in a statement. According to court documents, Mr Moore operated a website which posted sexually explicit images for the purposes of revenge. Mr Moore is said to have paid Mr Evens to hack into hundreds of victims' email accounts to obtain more nude photos to post on the website.

    The illegally obtained photos were then put online without the consent of those pictured.

    It is the latest legal setback for Mr Moore, who was ordered in March to pay $250,000 (£170,000) in damages for defamation resulting from a civil lawsuit. Mr Moore was found to have used Twitter to make false claims about the chief executive of an anti-bullying website, James McGibney.

    James McGibney alleged Mr Moore had labelled him a paedophile who possessed child pornography. Mr McGibney's website had purchased the domain,, from Mr Moore in 2012.

    2. 'Revenge porn' law considered by California

    California is considering a law that would make it illegal to post "revenge porn" on the net in the US state. The state assembly bill would make it a crime to post pictures or video of someone in a state of full or partial undress without their permission.

    Crucially, the bill says this would be illegal even if the subject had originally given consent to being photographed or filmed.

    An existing law already protects victims who are secretly recorded.

    To take advantage of the amendment, prosecutors would have to prove there had been "intent to cause serious emotional distress, and [that] the other person suffers serious emotional distress".

    First offenders could expect up to six months in jail, a $1,000 (£645) fine, or both.


    Many websites have sprung up devoted to "revenge porn", which consists of intimate pictures of ex-girlfriends and ex-boyfriends. Many people partaking in "sexting" can find the pictures come back to haunt them.

    New York City mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner recently found his campaign in trouble after admitting sending lewd images of himself via text - having resigned from Congress in 2011 over a similar scandal.

    A notorious site,, which would publish the unwilling subject's full name and link to social networking profiles, attracted more than 300,000 hits a day. The owner, Hunter Moore, employed four people to help him administer the site and would refuse to remove the pictures, even if threatened with legal action.

    The site closed last year and its domain was taken over by an anti-bullying group.

    3. The revenge porn avengers

    What would you do if you found out that someone had posted naked pictures of you online, without your permission? It's known as "revenge porn", and in the age of mobile phone cameras and sexting, more and more people are becoming victims. Some are fighting back.

    4. Parents Slap Daughter's Cyberbullies With Rare Lawsuit

    In response to cruel cyberbullying that has left their 16-year-old daughter feeling humiliated and unable to sleep, a pair of fed-up parents are striking back at the offending classmates in a unique and public way: They're suing all seven of the teens for libel and all of their parents for negligence.

    In conclusion:

    • Every time cases like this go to trial, new precedents are set which make it easier for the next person to take legal action.
    • It's only a matter of time before someone makes the mistake of 'outing' someone in our industry who has the balls and the money to pursue civil litigation or criminal charges.
    • Vice already monitors the boards, but I anticipate that LE will be taking a closer look at them as new laws and by-laws are put into place over the next year.


  11. #11
    What can you do when you see someone being outed?

    • Report problematic posts to the Mods by using the ‘Report Post’ feature available on most forums.
    • PM or email the Admin immediately and ask to have posts edited or deleted.
    • Contact the person being outed/defamed/harassed so they can take action if needed.
    • Contact the person committing the crime and ask them to stop. (when safe to do so)
    • Report serious crimes anonymously to Crimestoppers or the local Police Service.
    • Speak up about what you see happening, send links to Legal Resources and help educate the Industry.

  12. #12
    Judge orders end to Facebook cyberbullying under new law

    A Nova Scotia judge granted a cyberbullying prevention order today as the province's unique law faced its first test in court.

    Justice Heather Robertson granted the prevention order against Christopher George Prosper in Nova Scotia Supreme Court in Halifax.

    The case under the Cyber-safety Act centred on testimony from Andrea Paul, chief of the Pictou Landing First Nation, that Prosper was posting negative and threatening comments about her and her family on Facebook. "I'm very pleased," Paul said Tuesday. "It sends a very strong message. Even just to come forward was really difficult."

    The case began when Paul blocked Prosper on Facebook and he started writing about her on the site. The messages filtered back to Paul and she was often asked about them while representing her community. Paul said she initially tried to "laugh it off" and hoped the messages would stop. But after talking to youth about cyberbullying, she decided she should do something. "I thought it was important to say something and stand up for myself," she explained.

    Paul applied for a peace bond and was given the number for the CyberSCAN unit. Paul contacted the unit, the first of its kind in the country to be tasked with investigating complaints of cyberbullying.

    Most cases involve adults

    "I was like, I'm an adult — do you just deal with youth? They called me back and reassured me that it's a clear case of cyberbullying and they told me most of their cases were adults," she said.

    Paul said she has known Prosper for much of his life and alleged that he resumed posting negative comments about her on his Facebook page after he said he would stop. "It was difficult to have to put him through that, but it was difficult to have to go through that," she said of the court case.

    The order compels Prosper to cease all future cyberbullying against Paul and remove any current statements from the internet. The court also ordered him to pay Paul $750 in court costs. The order stands for one year. The CyberSCAN unit can then apply for an extension if it feels the cyberbullying is continuing.

    Prosper, who lives in Ottawa, was not in court.

    Roger Merrick, the director of the unit, said the ruling was significant because it was the first such prosecution brought to court.

    "This was a very positive outcome for public safety. I think it allows people to come forward with these issues," he said. "I think there is a problem of cyberbullying out there. I think the public can look to us as a ways and means to stop that."

    He added that it gives credibility to the legislation and the unit. The unit has dealt with more than 100 cases since September, with 45 active cases. Merrick said most are resolved informally, an approach that was unsuccessful in this case. "This was a person trying to harm somebody and we've certainly in the past seen the harm that this type of behaviour causes,” Merrick said.

    The law was passed after the case of Rehtaeh Parsons, who was taken off life-support last April after a suicide attempt. Her family says the 17-year-old was subjected to months of bullying after a digital photo of her being sexually assaulted was passed around her school in Cole Harbour, N.S.

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