Anonymous Online Commenting & Temporary Restraining Orders

temporary-restraining-ordersEver wonder if it’s legal to comment anonymously on the Internet while at work? Can the HR department find out it’s you? How about someone you’re trolling on the Internet. Are there avenues you can use to find out who they really are in order to get a temporary restraining order issued? Two netizens found out the answers to those questions recently.

State Employee Reprimanded For Anonymous Online Comments

Bill Eggler is a New York State employee. It was uncovered that Mr. Eggler used the pseudonym Sophia Walker to “opinionate” online. Unfortunately for Eggler, he did it during “company” time. Specifically, he took to the Web and used his online handle to defend the actions of one of his party members. Doing so was considered unethical and Eggler was reprimanded for the act.

While you may not work for the government, most companies have very specific rules about acceptable Internet conduct while at the workplace – or on work-provided machines. So, when you are handed that giant package from the HR department, read it! The company’s Internet law policies are probably in that packet, and knowing them could save you series headaches in the future.

Woman Files For Restraining Order Against Alleged Online Stalker

Not all anonymous Internet posting stories, however, are of the “bad news” variety. Take for example, Carla Franklin. For years, Mr. Franklin was dealt the unlucky hand of having an online stalker, whom she said built online “shrines” for her.

After getting a court order to have Google reveal the identity of her harasser, she was able to successfully get a temporary restraining order against him; but it was set to expire on October 29th of this year. Now, she’s suing him. A win for Franklin in this case could be a significant one in terms of online stalking legal precedence.

If you run into trouble with your employer over an Internet law issue, or you are looking to get a temporary restraining order, contact us. We’re a legal practice with considerable experience in these types of cases, and we’ve helped hundreds of people in most all of the 50 states. Get in touch today to learn your legal options.

Sources

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/25/nyregion/assembly-worker-punished-for-using-pseudonym-to-praise-speaker-online.html?_r=2&

Retrieved October 1, 2012

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/25/carla-franklin-cyberbully-google_n_1914613.html?utm_hp_ref=technology

Retrieved October 9, 2012

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