Well it seems that I’m still on the issue of internet anonymity and I am very happy to report that Google have lost the right to shield users of their service from the legitimate inquiry about who they are when they have been behaving like scumbags by anonymously creating a hate site that defames Jamie McIntyre. Now as regular readers will know Ray and I have been subject to the same sort of nonsense from anonymous malcontents and internet vigilantes. It will therefore surprise no one when I cheer this decision by the supreme court:
Its taken a long time but its seems to me that the law is finally beginning to catch up with the realities of the internet, now if only the cost of seeking redress were to be reduced to a point where you don’t have to be as well off as Jamie McIntyre to bring anonymous attackers to justice then the net will become a far better place.
I like watching all kinds of crime drama in film or on DVD’s and one of the mainstays of the genre is the blackmail plot. Usually they concern the extraction of cash or another valued commodity from someone who has something to hide. The dramatic frisson usually comes form the competing imperatives of the victim of the attempted coercion and of course the fact that if the victim pays up there is never any guarantee that there will not be escalating demands for a further stipend. The lesson is that if you give in once then they own you body and soul forever.
Understanding just how it works
Of course the revelations being threatened actually have to be something that the victim fears being made public, after all only a truly stupid blackmailer would try to leverage something that is already out there in the public domain. However there are a some truly stupid criminals out there who may try such blackmail. The target of this sort ineptitude would of course just laugh at any blackmailer who seriously thought that they have enough leverage to elicit anything from their victim. Imagine if the “revelations” had already been published on the internet but the closing of an odious website meant that it was not as easily accessible as it once was, Google’s cache and the likes of the “wayback machine” mean that nothing ever truly disappears from the internet, only a truly moronic blackmailer would think that threatening to republish what is already in Google’s cache is any real threat at all.
A possible resolution of this sort of blackmail plot-line is of course the undoing of the evil merchants of coercion, where they find that rather than their victim just of ignoring them, as he has for quite some time, he may decide to make their vicious stupidity more widely known. They should of course just shut up shop and walk away with the certain hope that the subject of their attempted coercion would not be a vengeful man and after a period where he is not harassed or derided by them, will decide that the evidence of their mendacity, stupidity and repeated deceptions is probably better kept private.
Then again perhaps such idiots don’t even understand that what they are attempting is actually blackmail and they need do some fundamental research of the definition of that crime, for example here on Wikipedia