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Canada's Wayne Crookes Sues the Net

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the shotgun-doesn't-begin-to-cover-it dept.

Censorship 200

newtley writes "Wayne Crookes, the Green Party of Canada's ex-financier, is in effect trying to sue the Internet. He's going after the Wikipedia, Google, and openpolitics.ca (run up by federal Green Party activist Michael Pilling) claiming he's suffered, 'an immense amount of frustration and emotional distress' over postings. Some 15 others may also have been targeted. "Mr. Crookes seems to be 'trying to unwrite history,' Pilling says. 'He was a central figure in the growth of the Green Party. His actions were highly controversial and if we have freedom of speech in this country, people should be allowed to talk about them.'" Newtley adds in a posting submitted 121 minutes later: "Literally 15 minutes after I posted [the foregoing], there was a knock on my door. It was a writ server telling me I, too, have been named in a lawsuit launched by Wayne Crookes..."

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200 comments

First (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18831113)

First!

twat (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18831117)

Hmmm... And I suppose he will sue mother nature for global warming

Mr. Crookes? (4, Funny)

statusbar (314703) | more than 7 years ago | (#18831131)

Nominative determinism?

--jeffk++

Re:Mr. Crookes? (1)

Mikkeles (698461) | more than 7 years ago | (#18831413)

Well, it seems that he has a long history with tubes! [wikipedia.org]

Proof once again (0, Flamebait)

starX (306011) | more than 7 years ago | (#18831135)

How much better the political climate is in Canada than in the US.

Re:Proof once again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18831177)

No, I think this is just more proof of how utterly stupid greens are.

Re:Proof once again (5, Informative)

Mantour (555121) | more than 7 years ago | (#18831245)

Indeed, straight from the Chief Justice Herself, Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin http://www.scc-csc.gc.ca/aboutcourt/judges/speeche s/ComparativeView_e.asp [scc-csc.gc.ca] That said, the debate isn't new in fact, http://www.cs.uwaterloo.ca/~shallit/libel3.html [uwaterloo.ca] decribes how lawsuit can be used to shout down criticism through intimidation. Jeffrey Shallit http://www.cs.uwaterloo.ca/~shallit/ [uwaterloo.ca] is vice-president of Electronic Frontier Canada http://www.efc.ca/ [www.efc.ca] . One of us!

Re:Proof once again (1)

bhouston (788429) | more than 7 years ago | (#18831299)

This case could be about intimidation, but from that perspective it doesn't make sense to include in the suit companies like Google who have more than enough funds to defend themselves. If you simply wanted to engage in intimidation wouldn't you just sue the small guys?

submitter's conflict of interest (5, Insightful)

bhouston (788429) | more than 7 years ago | (#18831151)

The submitter of this post is in a position of conflict of interest and appears to be using SlashDot as a means to denigrate the individual behind the lawsuit. As it is clear from newtley's post, newtley himself is highly been involved in whatever shenanigans that are going on here. It is unfortunate and dishonest that newtley is using this forum as a platform to smear his opponent. Just from newtley's egregious behavior here, I can imagine that aspects of this case have more merit that he is portraying.

Re:submitter's conflict of interest (4, Interesting)

bhouston (788429) | more than 7 years ago | (#18831207)

Strange, my original comment was moderated as flamebait. First time one of my comments has been moderated as such, must be having an off day. I still think the individual who submitted this story did so for self-interested PR reasons. The individual who submitted this story has published negative information on the individual who has now filed suit and has continued this pattern by misportraying/ridiculing the suit. This type of behavior is discoverable in court.

Re:submitter's conflict of interest (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18831233)

I reckon the individual who submitted the story did so to warn others, and am thankful he did so - Crookes is obviously nuts. I dunno about Canada, truth isn't always a defence against libel claims in legal systems derived from the British one, but here's hoping it is.

Re:submitter's conflict of interest (5, Insightful)

bhouston (788429) | more than 7 years ago | (#18831279)

The submitter is trying to "warn others" about what exactly? The case is about libel, the spreading of false information that is designed to cause harm to a person's reputation and their ability to conduct themselves in society. Being able to libel someone is not a right, it is not about freedom of speech, it is not about the truth. Whether this is in fact libel is not for me to decide, since I don't have the facts, but if it is this libel, Crookes is within his right to sue those that are purposefully trying to cause him harm for damages. I don't think he'll have much success with Google, but the individuals behind it should be held accountable if it is indeed libel, even if they are trying to be anonymous here or on Wikipedia.

Re:submitter's conflict of interest (2, Interesting)

Mantour (555121) | more than 7 years ago | (#18831335)

Indeed, the accusations of "frustration and emotional distress", as stated by the submitter are vague and meaningless. Is criticism on an open forum thought crime? http://www.digital-copyright.ca/taxonomy/term/394 [digital-copyright.ca]

Re:submitter's conflict of interest (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18831499)

Your logic is flawed. If google is being sued for the same reasons then that means that the hosting platforms are being sued, not the authors of the libelous comments (if there were any such comments). Just because this guy is being sued does not mean he did anything. Just like google did not do anything.

Re:submitter's conflict of interest (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18831453)

Facts may not always be a defense against liable but he has apparently made previous liable allegations to censor factual material that he found personally embarrassing. The Wikipedia talk page [wikipedia.org] is very interesting.

The case for liable is unclear, as best I can make out the liable suits are drawing attention to the material he finds objectionable. What poor deluded soul enters politics not expecting to be criticized and publicly defamed for their mistakes? On the internet you always have the right of reply.

Re:submitter's conflict of interest (1)

bhouston (788429) | more than 7 years ago | (#18831517)

It is true that libel suits always, by their nature, temporarily draw an increase in attention to the material in question, but if he is to win such a case, even if he doesn't win significant damages, it clears his name and damages the reputations of those who engaged in the libel against him. Having a clear cut ruling in his favor is better than leaving these rumors to fester, especially if they are being spread by individuals who have ulterior motives. This case could serve to right the wrong again him, if indeed he was wronged. (BTW, it's spelled "libel", "liable" is a different word with a differing meaning.)

Re:submitter's conflict of interest (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18831617)

> (BTW, it's spelled "libel", "liable" is a different word with a differing meaning.)

I'd be really embarrassed now if it were not for internet anonymity ;-)

Could this be the offending wikipedia revision? [wikipedia.org]

Ben Houston Rapes Puppies (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18832411)

Ben Houston rapes puppies

Re:submitter's conflict of interest (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18831357)

Well it does seem to be a bit off. newtley was not part of the suit when he posted the comment, so since he had no idea about it I can't see him trying to defame the guy for just telling that a suit was put forward. Sounds like flamebait to me.

Re:submitter's conflict of interest (1)

bhouston (788429) | more than 7 years ago | (#18831409)

I strongly suspect newtley expected to be named in the suit as his website had helped to distributed the allegedly libelous material in question. You'll notice in newtley's original posting he mentions that there are potentially others who are going to be named in the suit.
I'm not at all involved in this internet spat, but I've seen these things before in all their nastiness (and these types of spats get really nasty when people start to hid behind anonymity) and this type of behavior on newtley's part fits the pattern of someone who is personally involved in the matter. I could be wrong, I'm just calling it as I see it.

Re:submitter's conflict of interest (1, Redundant)

E-Sabbath (42104) | more than 7 years ago | (#18831461)

Howls of derisive laughter, Bruce.
Canadian Charter of Rights and Freeoms:
Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms: ... (b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication.

Negative information does not mean untrue information. And I certainly would like to see how suppressing negative information which may very well be honest opinion is "a reasonable limit". Negative information is not hate speech. Negative information is not libel. Negative information is not obscenity.
In fact, a Canadian can not be convicted of hate speech, if the statement is true. Truth is an absolute defense.

Tell me, my friend, how is this story in error? Is this gentleman not suing the parties mentioned? Is he not seeking to remove information that is true, was true, or was honest belief at one point, from the internet?

There are laws in some countries designed to defend the common man against such tactics. These Strategic Lawsuits against Public Participation are pernicious and vile, you must understand, and designed to pervert the justice system into the tool of the rich. They must be dealt with, with full force.

Re:submitter's conflict of interest (5, Insightful)

bhouston (788429) | more than 7 years ago | (#18831557)

You do realize that this is formally a "libel case" as per the G&M story. This means that Crooke is alleging and will have to prove in court that the material in question is of an untrue nature. Thus from Crooke's perspective, this is not a case about "negative information" but about untrue information. Of course Crooke could be wrong, if he is, he sure will be wasting a lot of money on these suits.

You also claim that this lawsuit is a SLAPP. But typical SLAPPs lawsuits differ from this one though in an important way, Crooke has sued two very large firms that have more than enough money to defend themselves: Google and Wikipedia. SLAPPs, since they are based on intimating people who can't afford to defend themselves, usually are targeted only against small folk, not the big guys. Google and Wikipedia are unlikely to fold simply because the lawsuit was filed, and thus I do not believe this particular lawsuit of Crooke can be classified as your SLAPP.

Re:submitter's conflict of interest (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18831637)

No, this lawsuit is labeled as idiocy. Do you really think Google the company, or Wikipedia (the company) made libelous remarks? No, it's users did. This is just another fool who doesn't understand how the internet works.

Re:submitter's conflict of interest (1)

E-Sabbath (42104) | more than 7 years ago | (#18831893)

Ah, but he is suing people who may have linked to, or talked about, said information.
Specifically, it seems he's now suing someone who's talking about him suing someone. That's a SLAPP.

Re:submitter's conflict of interest (1, Offtopic)

DarrenR114 (6724) | more than 7 years ago | (#18832023)

Not so strange that your comment was improperly moderated with no recourse for you to protest -
The broken moderation and karma systems used by slashdot has made the entire thing so useless for the most part that many of us with very low user IDs have moved on to use other sites like Digg.com.

I only pop in very occasionally - using linuxhomepage.com to spot the rare article that I might read (and even fewer that I'll comment on.)

Re:submitter's conflict of interest (4, Insightful)

lordmatthias215 (919632) | more than 7 years ago | (#18832403)

I'm calling BS on this statement. Nothing in this guy's post could honestly be taken as smear- not any more than any other /. article. The fact of the matter is that this Crookes man doesn't like what is being posted about him on open forums, and is suing the editors of said forums for comments that not only did they not make, but that they disavow any ownership of in their legal disclaimers, as does any open forum. Furthermore, Michael Piling, head of OpenPolitics, even edited the offensive material, only to have the original material reposted by the user. How is Piling deserving of a lawsuit for something that is not only not his fault, but that he tried to correct to the wishes of Crookes? It'd be one thing if the lawsuit was for refusing to release the names or IP addresses of the users commiting libel, as that could be (mis)construed as aiding and abetting criminals, but even that would be a pretty weak case. Furthermore, I notice that the lawsuit against Wikipedia was made April 16, though Crookes' entry on the site was cut to a stub and protected nearly a month earlier, on March 19. Besides, he will need to prove to a court that the statements made on these sites were not only false (which shouldn't be too hard) but made with malignant intent something that will be nearly impossible to prove against anonymous users, and absolutely impossible to prove against the hosts of public forums who have made efforts to edit, remove, and block said harmful statements from appearing on their sites.

Sue al of us? (1, Funny)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 7 years ago | (#18831157)

Will also sue all of us users, who know the truth?

This should fall under 'its funny'.

Dear Wayne kook (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18831191)

Is your personal crusade against the internet an public analogy for underlying coprophilia?

AC -- from the asking for it department.

In tomorrow's news... (5, Funny)

HerrEkberg (971000) | more than 7 years ago | (#18831193)

247 lawsuits filed against a Mr. Anonymous Coward for postings causing "immense amounts of frustration and emotional distress".

Re:In tomorrow's news... - Maybe not so funny (1)

mykepredko (40154) | more than 7 years ago | (#18831979)

Maybe all 247 of those lawsuits will be demanding /. for the IP addresses of each "Mr. Anonymous Coward".

myke

Downtime (5, Funny)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 7 years ago | (#18831195)

So tahts why slashdot was down earlier today, they were erasing all the evidence.

"oops, harddrive crash... nothing to see here judge"

Re:Downtime (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18831505)

ah, so they were pulling an intel?

this is a useful reminder (4, Interesting)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 7 years ago | (#18831197)

Things like this help us remember why we have the right to free speech. It's because of people trying to remove our right to speak out against them, just like is happening here.

It's sometimes difficult for young'uns to remember that the internet, in it's populer worldwide usage form at least, is still very young. A great many people, organisations and countries were caught off guard by the freedom it gave for comment, and are still trying to remove that freedom.

Their efforts are going to fail, but not because of any moral or ethical issue, simply because of evolutionary principles. The internet is evolving faster then it can be censored. If, and this I doubt, but if they manage to censor all the current expression methods on the internet, more will be created to fill the gaps, and more. It's a fight that can't be won.

The only thing we need worry about is whether 4chan becomes the dominant player in the free expression market :-)

Re:this is a useful reminder (1)

malsdavis (542216) | more than 7 years ago | (#18831269)

You make the common mistake of referring to 'the internet' as an entity. The entire reason it can't be censored is because it isn't a single entity.

Single entities can - and commonly are - censored. The websites primarily involved in this dispute (Wikipedia, Google, and openpolitics.ca) have all been subject to either enforced or self-initiated censorship.

Re:this is a useful reminder (3, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 7 years ago | (#18831315)

Things like this help us remember why we have the right to free speech.

Well, I'm not sure what the term free speech means in Canada, but down here in the U.S. it means that the government is not allowed to suppress Constitutionally-protected speech (which it does anyway, but that's a topic for another day.) It does not mean that we aren't allowed to suppress each other. The courts determine when and if we can do that, and if Mr. Crook wants to throw his weight around and try to "suppress" his detractors, that really doesn't come under the heading of free speech. It may be an abuse of laws, and of those being threatened. I don't know, I'm not Canadian, and like I said maybe the term means something different under Canada's legal system.

It's a fight that can't be won.

Sure it can. You understand that the Internet is evolving, but you're assuming that the Internet, as it stands today, is the only way such a network can be run. China has already shown us a different way (certainly not a better way, by Western standards) where what can be found online can be strictly controlled, if the government so chooses. Even here, in the land of the brave, home of the free ... the locking down of the Internet is already underway. Five years from now, or ten, and I think those of us "old timers" will look back fondly on the so-called Wild West days, where you could send a packet anywhere and not worry about whether a blood-sucking ISP, an unfriendly government, or even our own governments would block it.

Certainly there will always technological measures that can be implemented to get around most such obstacles, but the problem is that those tools will never be in the hands of the majority of the voting public. If the Internet doesn't just conveniently "work", doesn't just let them go where they want to go, most people will never get there ... and that's exactly how some people want it.

I guess what I'm saying is, enjoy it while it lasts.

The only thing we need worry about is whether 4chan becomes the dominant player in the free expression market :-)

What's a 4chan?

Re:this is a useful reminder (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18831411)

down here in the U.S. it means that the government is not allowed to suppress Constitutionally-protected speech

Which is an absolutely bogus interpretation of the entire concept. From your end, what's the difference between permitting me to censor your stuff, and the government telling me to censor your stuff? Any claim you make that the government is making me do it will be met with snide remarks about tinfoil hats regardless of whether it's true or not. This is why in the US, as long as you can show that what you're saying is true, the person you're talking about isn't supposed to be able to do anything about it (slander, libel, etc).

While we're at it, why do we have false imprisonment laws, since your right to a speedy trial and due process is only protected from "the government"? Why do we have burgulary laws if only the government is banned from improper search and seizure?

Re:this is a useful reminder (1)

SQL Error (16383) | more than 7 years ago | (#18831467)

Which is an absolutely bogus interpretation of the entire concept.
Not at all.

You have to read the First Amendment: It says Congress shall make no law... It's very specific: The legislature has no power to abridge the freedom of speech. The judiciary can make determinations on specific civil suits, after the fact, but there is no prior restraint.

Re:this is a useful reminder (4, Interesting)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 7 years ago | (#18831593)

The judiciary can make determinations on specific civil suits, after the fact, but there is no prior restraint.

Which is an incredibly important distinction that is lost on some of the other posters here. The Founders were not (so far as I can tell) attempting to make us exempt from the consequences of what we say. They were very much aware of the potential consequences of opening one's mouth, or of setting ideas to paper.

They did, however, want us to have the power to speak in the first place, no matter what, and the biggest single threat to that ability is government itself. That fact is no less true today.

Re:this is a useful reminder (1)

M. Baranczak (726671) | more than 7 years ago | (#18831503)

I'm not sure what the term free speech means in Canada, but down here in the U.S. it means that the government is not allowed to suppress Constitutionally-protected speech (which it does anyway, but that's a topic for another day.) It does not mean that we aren't allowed to suppress each other.

No. "Free speech" means free speech - it means that nobody can suppress it. It's a concept that exists independently of any laws or constitutions. The First Amendment defines one aspect of it, but it's not a comprehensive definition. And it wasn't ever meant to be. Hint: read the 9th Amendment sometime.

Re:this is a useful reminder (1)

Dun Malg (230075) | more than 7 years ago | (#18831527)

Well, I'm not sure what the term free speech means in Canada, but down here in the U.S. it means that the government is not allowed to suppress Constitutionally-protected speech (which it does anyway, but that's a topic for another day.) It does not mean that we aren't allowed to suppress each other. The courts determine when and if we can do that
You're an idiot. When Party A requests that the court limit the speech of Party B, he is, in fact, requesting that the government limit B's speech as allowed by law. The limits allowable by law are subject to the 1st Amendment.

Re:this is a useful reminder (0, Troll)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 7 years ago | (#18831555)

And you're a goofball that apparently can't read.

Thanks for playing.

Re:this is a useful reminder (1)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 7 years ago | (#18832169)

What's a 4chan?

A net forum where everyone is anonymous. Google for it, it's an entertaining place.

Re:this is a useful reminder (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#18831319)

With freedom of speech comes responsibility. You're free to say whatever you want so long as it doesn't unduly cause harm to other people. Without such restrictions we'd have anarchy.

Libel is libel.

Now I don't know the facts of this case, but being the victim of a recent Joe-job attack I'm entirely for holding message board operators responsible for the content of their systems. Just because you *can* let anonymous users post any random thought that comes to mind doesn't mean they should.

In my case, someone decided to post kiddie porn on the net with my name and address on it. What if someone decided to "get even" and mailed me a bomb or something? What if my employers weren't tech savvy? [or my friends?] Things people say online *can* have an impact on real people in really savage ways.

Now if he's just unhappy because the facts of some scandal got out, then tough cookies. But if some assclown(s) were posting libel for the sake of hurting his career they should be held accountable.

Tom

Re:this is a useful reminder (2, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 7 years ago | (#18831385)

You're free to say whatever you want so long as it doesn't unduly cause harm to other people.

It's probably more correct to say, "you're free to say whatever you want so long as it's true", at least in the United States. If the truth causes harm, well, sometimes the truth hurts. If you don't want people to talk about the bad things you do, don't do the bad things in the first place. I mean, it has to cut both ways.

Dunno about Canada, but I'd think it would be similar.

Re:this is a useful reminder (2, Interesting)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#18831627)

iirc from the libel section [~298] of the CCC, the "truth" has to also be in the publics best interest.

It's may be true that you fancy barbie dolls and collect stamps, but the public has no need for such information and if you publish it to harm another (e.g. ridicule, contempt, etc) you may be guilty of libel.

Simply being true isn't enough. But I'm not a lawyer so I dunno if that's 100% correct.

Re:this is a useful reminder (0, Flamebait)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 7 years ago | (#18831785)

what nonsense, i can't say something even if it's true because it might distress the other party? what a fucking crock of shit. next time a cop pulls me over and tells me he is giving me a ticket i'll sue him for the distress he caused me telling me i was getting fined. your logic, not mine.

Re:this is a useful reminder (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#18831803)

Um, what libel law says is you can't publish things that aren't in the best interests of others that cause a target harm (something you can measure).

It doesn't say you have to be nice to others. In fact, in person, you can pretty much say whatever you want. Just don't publish it, or speak it to a crowd (slander). I don't see how you jumped to the conclusion that "feeling bad" means you're the victim of libel. The point of the law is to prevent people from spouting off in public, saying or writing things that could reasonably be believed as fact that cause a victim harm.

Or in short, wait until you're the victim of libel and then tell me how much it's a crock of shit.

Tom

Re:this is a useful reminder (1)

LordNimon (85072) | more than 7 years ago | (#18831851)

Simply being true isn't enough. But I'm not a lawyer so I dunno if that's 100% correct.

I'm no lawyer either, but I'd say you're 100% wrong. In order for something to be considered libel, it has to be false.

Re:this is a useful reminder (5, Informative)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#18832043)

Consider reading the code [justice.gc.ca] section 298 states

298. (1) A defamatory libel is matter published, without lawful justification or excuse, that is likely to injure the reputation of any person by exposing him to hatred, contempt or ridicule, or that is designed to insult the person of or concerning whom it is published.

Note the "without lawful justification or excuse." Section 300 states if it's false the punishment is 5 years, and section 301 blankets it with a 2 year sentence regardless. (that is, upto). So you can get more time for a false statement, but true or not, you can still be found guilty of libel.

It's in the publics interest if he messed with party money [or whatever]. If the allegations are false, then whoever published them can be found guilty of defamatory libel.

However, suppose he had an embarrassing hobby (that was otherwise legal), and it was paraded in public to mock and ridicule him. If the publication causes him harm [loss of job, contempt of peers, etc] it can be found to be libel, regardless of whether it's true or not.

Tom

It depends where you are (1)

Engineer-Poet (795260) | more than 7 years ago | (#18832051)

The USA is one place where truth is an absolute defense to a charge of libel. In the UK, it is not.

look up what anarchy means (1)

essence (812715) | more than 7 years ago | (#18831403)

With freedom of speech comes responsibility. You're free to say whatever you want so long as it doesn't unduly cause harm to other people. Without such restrictions we'd have anarchy.
Yet another person who has no idea what the meaning of anarchy is. Please go and do some research.

In fact, the very definition you gave is one description of anarchy, that is, you are free to do what you want so long as you don't take someone elses freedom.

An-archy - without rulers, not without rules.

Re:look up what anarchy means (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 7 years ago | (#18831587)

The definition in the OED says nothing about rules. Actually, there are two different definitions, one with a positive connotation and one with a negative. Neither really says anything about whether or not people can take other people's freedoms in a non-government way. By the definitions of rule, it almost seems that there needs to be a ruler in some form for there to be rules, if not the form of entities or person, then in the form of the people.

Re:look up what anarchy means (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 7 years ago | (#18831655)

By the definitions of rule, it almost seems that there needs to be a ruler in some form for there to be rules ...

So then, what it really boils down to is a choice between English or Metric.

Re:look up what anarchy means (0, Redundant)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#18831659)

If people were to say absolutely anything they wanted without consequence, the S/N ratio of our communication mediums would be zero. Everything would be a lie and of absolutely no use to anyone. The common definition of anarchy "a state of lawlessness and disorder." If you're free to say anything you want [which also includes lying about contractual obligations, ingredients in food, testimony, etc] then you have no order nor lawfulness. That to me is anarchy.

Anyone who thinks that "libel" is a nancy-made-up law that infringes on free speech has not been on the receiving end of a kiddie-porn based joe-job attack. Wait until you receive crazy letters and death threats at 3 in the morning before you use your almighty wisdom to decide otherwise.

Tom

Re:this is a useful reminder (0, Flamebait)

Deadguy2322 (761832) | more than 7 years ago | (#18832329)

Let me guess, you vote NDP and worship Trudeau, don't you? Asshole. Free speech, unrestricted by any vague notions of "protecting society" is a fundamental need of democracy, and, sadly, is a right those of us unfortunate enough to be Canadian citizens have never had. When Papa Pierre decided to rebuild our political system to enshrine his will as the law of the land, democracy in Canada died. It will never return unless idiots like you wake up and realize that the only way society flourishes is if the individual is secure in his rights. When we live in a country where simply conducting business according to one's religious beliefs is not protected under the constitution, we are not free.

Re:this is a useful reminder (5, Interesting)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#18832455)

I have no idea what your ranting about. I didn't vote NDP. And I'm pro-individual rights, which includes the rights to live safely (free from ridicule, contempt, torment, etc). I was simply replying to the parent suggesting that libel is real, does affect people, and there are boundaries that civilized people don't cross.

The idea that anonymous users exist on the net is an excuse to publish libel is nonsense. If you run a message board [or equiv] you should be held liable for any and ALL anonymous postings. After all, you're the one who is publishing it. I think it's reasonable that people moderate their websites such that libelous content is not widely distributed.

If that means changing existing website designs to disallow anonymous posts to become immediately published so be it.

Take a look at this [amazon.com] for instance. Not once did I "spam" usenet about the book. I posted one message in an on-topic usenet group (where I've was an active participant for the last 7 years) about the book, some asshole then took that post and reposted it to a hundred other groups.

Amazon was at one point hosting reviews that read such as [from memory] "I would never buy this book as he's a usenet spamming jerk. This book clearly is not worth buying, etc, etc..." While amazon was nice enough to take down the reviews [which were posted before the book was in print] they didn't remove the "discussion" threads which are still there today.

While I don't think that's the only reason the books aren't selling, I have to assume that it has had an impact on some of the sales, at the very least, one sale.

And what did I do to deserve this treatment? Be an outspoken advocate of free software, open source cryptography, and an enemy of snake oil. Because someone didn't like how open I was, how generous I was to give out free knowledge and software they decided to post spam, kiddie porn and other nonsense with my name on it. It wasn't like I was actively attacking others. In fact, the last round of joe-jobs before I just quit using usenet altogether were people re-posting my research posts [I had optimized my ECC implementation that I give out in LibTomCrypt].

Basically some guy decided he didn't like me so he nearly ruined my life (hint: you consider awful things when you're being labeled a kiddie porn peddler).

Is that what living in a "free" society is like?

God help us all then when some random asshole on the web decides to have it in for you. Maybe the next time someone does the same to someone else (yourself, a friend of yours, a family member), someone will respond with violence. In my case, there were times were I was afraid someone would mail a bomb, or worse, come to my house looking for a fight.

People should be responsible for what they write, and people should be responsible for what they host.

Tom

Self defeating strategy (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18831201)

I had never heard of this guy before. Now I have heard of him and I think he's an idiot. He has found an amazingly effective way to destroy his own reputation.

Re:Self defeating strategy (1)

pla (258480) | more than 7 years ago | (#18831605)

He has found an amazingly effective way to destroy his own reputation.

Same here. But can you sue yourself in Canada?

I do have to wonder, though, if this suit (suits?) actually has any real merit... I though "the truth" generally counted as a solid defense against claims of defamation.

Re:Self defeating strategy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18831881)

> I though "the truth" generally counted as a
> solid defense against claims of defamation.

Not liable though. If it is claimed a defendant published with malicious intent to defame and there is no public interest, truth doesn't matter. This is why you don't see things in print about politicians contracting STDs (esp from farmyard animals).

Re:Self defeating strategy (3, Funny)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 7 years ago | (#18831773)

I wouldn't be surprised if he was considered a hero in [riaa.com] some [mpaa.org] circles. [slashdot.org]

Don Quichot (1)

Device666 (901563) | more than 7 years ago | (#18832357)

If he doesn't want to suffer s suffered from 'an immense amount of frustration and emotional distress' over postings, then he is a bit of a slow learner. He should stayed away from politics in the first place. I wonder if the Green Party doesn't call him back soon. His actions will not be in favour of the Green Party. He will be told by his own people very soon that he acts as a Don Quichot fighting windmills. People cannot be moved away from networking and sharing ideas or information. The users of the net have brought down political parties and whole industries.

Streisand Effect (2, Insightful)

mmurphy000 (556983) | more than 7 years ago | (#18832543)

It's a fine example of the Streisand Effect [wikipedia.org] in action.

The Internet is a BIT bigger than Google and Wiki (0, Redundant)

rueger (210566) | more than 7 years ago | (#18831205)

"Wikipedia, Google, and openpolitics.ca" plus "Some 15 others" hardly equals "The Internet."

Gee whiz, first we had the horrid realization that copyright law extends to things posted on-line (remember the days when people tried to argue that the Internet wasn't covered by copyright laws??), and now we're finding that laws related to libel, slander etc also extend to the digital realm.

Heaven help us. can't build anything that exists outside of the legal and cultural systems??

Re:The Internet is a BIT bigger than Google and Wi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18831447)

Yeah, when will people learn? The internet isn't something you can sue. It isn't a plaintiff. It's a series of tubes.

ATTN: TROLLS!!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18831213)

http://trollscore.y7.yi.org/ [yi.org]

No censorship, no fascism, no Zonk.

Re:ATTN: TROLLS!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18831725)

No censorship, no fascism, no Zonk
Just asshats.

Class action suit against Crookes? (1)

G4from128k (686170) | more than 7 years ago | (#18831241)

If he tries to sue enough people, then they could band together and countersue as a class action suit. (assuming Canada has class-action lawsuits)

Re:Class action suit against Crookes? (1)

owlnation (858981) | more than 7 years ago | (#18831833)

If he tries to sue enough people, then they could band together and countersue as a class action suit. (assuming Canada has class-action lawsuits)
Conversely, he could garner support and create a class action of his own. After all, the number of people unjustly negatively affected by Wikipedia must be considerable, and those people are for the most part successful.

It amazes me that no-one's gone after Wikipedia in a big way before now, it's a site that has been begging for it for some time.

Good look with that... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18831255)

It's hard to win a libel case in Canada (unlike the UK), especially if you're a public figure.

Further, not all these organziations have operations in Canada. Even if you win, enforcement might be difficult.

This also shows that the Green Party has the same petty infighting as other political parties.

Remember, It's Canada (2, Insightful)

WED Fan (911325) | more than 7 years ago | (#18831291)

Remember, this is Canada we are talking about, where, for a short while, it was illegal to name a cow with a human name [www.cbc.ca] all because a mid-level functionary, and hyper-sensitive twit shared the same name as a state owned cow.

Re:Remember, It's Canada (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18831351)

Remember, this is Canada we are talking about, where, for a short while, it was illegal to name a cow with a human name all because a mid-level functionary, and hyper-sensitive twit shared the same name as a state owned cow.

Jesus fucking christ, you are an idiot.

You can name your cow whatever you like.

This was a case of a government agriculture museum deciding to no longer give names to the museum's cows since they noticed that when groups of kids come through the museum, if one of the kids happened to have the same name as a cow, it would lead to teasing & name-calling. There was no effect non non-museum cows.

Re:Remember, It's Canada (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18831483)

Jesus fucking christ, you are an idiot.
You can name your cow whatever you like.
This was a case of a government agriculture museum deciding to no longer give names to the museum's cows since they noticed that when groups of kids come through the museum, if one of the kids happened to have the same name as a cow, it would lead to teasing & name-calling. There was no effect non non-museum cows.

Did someone mention "Canada" and "hyper-sensitive" in a single post?

Dude, you are proving the poster's case. Lighten up.

For your info, it became a state agency's policy and carried the weight of law. The cows at the "museum" are live. It was suggested that universities and other state agencies follow the same policy. And, the first incident was because the so-called "twit" mentioned by the GP had the same name as one of the cows she saw at the museum and she took offense.

Maybe all that passive-aggressive attitude we have should be looked into. You're almost as bad as...strike that...you are as bad or worse than some of the Americans that post here. Maybe some medication will assist you?

Re:Remember, It's Canada (3, Funny)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 7 years ago | (#18831611)

Maybe some medication will assist you?

Nah ... just some good Canadian beer.

Re:Remember, It's Canada (1)

0123456789 (467085) | more than 7 years ago | (#18832063)

You have good beer? In Canada?

Never found it in my visits to the country!

Re:Remember, It's Canada (2, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 7 years ago | (#18832505)

Well, I'm American myself and there really aren't too many good domestic beers here either. Well, that's not entirely true, there are a number of microbreweries in my area that turn out some excellent stuff. The big boys are all pretty marginal though.

Re:Remember, It's Canada (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18831853)

Dude, you are proving the poster's case. Lighten up.

Canada does have many problems. But criticizing non-existent problems doesn't accomplish anything except making the poster look like an idiot.

For your info, it became a state agency's policy and carried the weight of law. The cows at the "museum" are live.

Weight of law? Bullshit. Cows are property. In Canada, generally speaking, you can do what you want with your property. That also applies to the government and the government's property.

You can give your property any name you like, or no name at all. The government can do the same thing with its property.

It was suggested that universities and other state agencies follow the same policy.

It is also suggested to see your dentist twice a year, eat lots of vegetables, and exercise. But the Canadian nanny state doesn't force you to do that.

Re:Remember, It's Canada (1)

WED Fan (911325) | more than 7 years ago | (#18831507)

Remember, this is Canada we are talking about, where, for a short while, it was illegal to name a cow with a human name all because a mid-level functionary, and hyper-sensitive twit shared the same name as a state owned cow.
Jesus fucking christ, you are an idiot.

Mr. Crookes? Is that you?

Re:Remember, It's Canada (1)

freeweed (309734) | more than 7 years ago | (#18831723)

No, really, what the AC posted was entirely true. It was never ILLEGAL. Ever. One small organization made a tiny change for a week.

Still pretty stupid, but a long way from illegal. And in a country where we actually DO have restrictive laws about naming things (see: Quebec's laws about "acceptable" names for your baby) you don't need to make things up to show just how stupid our government can be.

How do you know when nuts are not ripe for eating? (3, Funny)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 7 years ago | (#18831301)

They are green.

Re:How do you know when nuts are not ripe for eati (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18832053)

What about pistachios?

Wikipedia mostly-blanked and protected article (2, Interesting)

davidwr (791652) | more than 7 years ago | (#18831337)

As of a few days ago, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wayne_Crookes [wikipedia.org] is a generic biography page. It's also protected.

The January and September versions have some meat on them. Whether they are accurate or not, who knows?

Kook of the Month? (2, Funny)

mi (197448) | more than 7 years ago | (#18831375)

The Kook of the Month [killfile.org] [mind your eyes at that site] award ought to be revived...

Green party blah (1)

billcopc (196330) | more than 7 years ago | (#18831395)

I think this Canuck is abusing his citizenship. See if this were in the USA, a bunch of guys in black suits could "take care of him". Up here in freezerville we have to put up with his ignorance and helplessly watch as he makes our country look just as bad as every other.

Sadly I forget who said this, but in a public debate one politician told another: "If you can't handle the heat, get out of the press room!" Indeed, when one chooses a life that consists of selling your opinions to an entire nation, you'd better have one hell of a spine! This guy clearly doesn't. The good thing is he probably won't be sticking around much longer after this bullshit passes over. Everybody's got dirt, and if there's one thing the press and political parties are good at, it's humiliating people with the (carefully spun) truth.

Re:Green party blah (1)

Detritus (11846) | more than 7 years ago | (#18831759)

Mr. Crookes has been seen in public, blatantly engaging in social intercourse with heterosexuals and bibliophiles. Canada's children must be protected from these extremists!

Public Figure (1)

Detritus (11846) | more than 7 years ago | (#18831421)

Is there a public figure [wikipedia.org] rule in Canadian law?

This would be really funny. (1)

AlphaLop (930759) | more than 7 years ago | (#18831435)

If it was not so damn scary... There are a lot of people out there that seem determined to stop all free speech at any cost. I rate this clown right up there with Jack Thompson.

Re:This would be really funny. (1)

rikkards (98006) | more than 7 years ago | (#18831685)

Interestingly, I was going to give the issue with Operation Clambake on xenu.net as an example how Scientology had forced Google to remove links to the website as it contained "copywritten material", however I did a quick search and lo and behold first link on the page is to the site. I guess with all the crap with South Park and Tom Cruise in the closet, Google returned to linking to it.

Free speech vs. slander (1, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#18831647)

I know I'll get a bashing with thet modbat for that, but there is a limit to free speech. It is when my speaking is slander. Saying "Crookes is a crook" just 'cause I don't like him would constitute that.

Note that I'm neither saying that he has a case for slander, nor that he doesn't. I cannot decide this. I have read TFA, and now I know one side of the story. Judging it from that would be similar to politicians making laws after hearing the lobbyists. And I tend to think of myself being above politicians in my ways of finding the "truth".

People today tend to believe whatever story they hear first. The side that gets the most limelight is right, no matter what truth actually looks like. Thus I'd be wary of declaring the freedom of speech a right that surpasses anything else, that can backfire horribly. I would not want to find out that someone with good net coverage and a blog read by a (for me) important user group starts a slander campaign against me and I couldn't do anything against it because it is protected by the freedom of speech.

He may have a case, he may try to suitbully, I don't know. And I kinda don't feel like I can make that decision based on reading only one side of the story.

Re:Free speech vs. slander (1)

cpghost (719344) | more than 7 years ago | (#18832151)

Saying "Crookes is a crook" just 'cause I don't like him would constitute that.

But what if you said: "I think Crookes is a crook"? You're not saying that he's a crook, but only that's your personal opinion. And opinions are still not facts. Or even more subtle: "It's being said on the Net that Crooks is a crook." (add links). Again: you're not saying that he's a crook, only that others are saying it. You could even ask the question: "Is Crookes a crook?" or asking "The blogosphere is debating wether Crookes is a crook. Is there some truth to it?" Would all this be slander?

Well, it depends. Courts are free to see it one way or the other. Depending on context, it may be construed as slander, or it may not. If, for instance, you were running a blog with a multitude of topics, and Crookes were only mentioned in one of them in the way stated above, courts would be inclined to see this as news reporting and drop the case. But if you set up a "Crookes sucks" website full of the same stuff, judges won't be amused and you may be convicted of deliberate libel or slander provided you can't prove that you were telling the truth.

What's relevant here is something else: the stronger free speech is restricted (even if it's good intentioned as in slander and libel laws), the more people will word around it. Back in time, when free speech was even more restricted than it is today, people used to invent fairy tales (literally) to criticize people in power, who could have sued them into oblivion (or much worse!) had they spoken out openly. Ironically, everyone back then knew and understood who was meant. Perhaps someone just wants to promote creativity on the Net this way?

oh man... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18831667)

bahahaahhahahhahahaahaahahaahhaahahahahah



*breath*



ahahahahahhahahaahahahahhahahahaahahahahaha



there is one thing that man has to learn about the internet:

anonymous does not forgive

This also happened in Brazil (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18831705)

A stupid woman named Deborah Pierini Cidade de Sá sued Google and won [blogspot.com] because it linked to a page that showed top searches in a month. On these top searches were her name and the name of a famous prostitute (Bruna Surfistinha).

Mrs. de Sá won in this first instance the equivalent of 10,800 times our minimum wage!

Re:This also happened in Brazil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18831767)

Mrs. de Sá won in this first instance the equivalent of 10,800 times our minimum wage!
Not a bad day's work ... for a famous prostitute.

Re:This also happened in Brazil (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 7 years ago | (#18831839)

Mrs. de Sá won in this first instance the equivalent of 10,800 times our minimum wage!

      Now tell me if she actually managed to collect anything.

Emotional Distress (1)

Clueless Moron (548336) | more than 7 years ago | (#18831711)

Speaking of Emotional Distress, is it a coincidence that this is being posted right after the story about goatse.cx being up for sale?

I think not.

HAHA (1)

ttnuagmada (1064148) | more than 7 years ago | (#18831779)

my question is: where did this dumbass manage to find a lawyer that is also big enough of a dumbass to think this might actually be a success?

Re:HAHA (3, Insightful)

nagora (177841) | more than 7 years ago | (#18832131)

where did this dumbass manage to find a lawyer that is also big enough of a dumbass to think this might actually be a success?

As far as a lawyer is concerned, if he's paying then that's all that matters. Saying you found a lawyer who's prepared to argue your case is like saying you found a prostitute prepared to have sex with you.

TWW

Not entirely (1, Insightful)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 7 years ago | (#18832573)

A lawyer can face sanctions for really wasting the court's time.

Certainly a lawyer is going to be known in legal circles for bringing cases that have no hope. This is going to mean less respect and less credibility.

So a lawyer has some interest in telling a client they have no hope of winning and their proposed lawsuit is stupid.

Al Gore (4, Funny)

truckaxle (883149) | more than 7 years ago | (#18831889)

All I can say is that Al Gore better get a good lawyer....

While we're at it... (2, Funny)

alisson (1040324) | more than 7 years ago | (#18832565)

I'm suing calculus, for undue mental distress.
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