Jan 262011
 January 26, 2011  Posted by  Court, Online

Rhonda Cook reports:

Small-town gossip is electronic now, reaching far and wide with a speed that is difficult to stop.

“We have got to stop this,” said Blairsville attorney Russell Stookey, who won a $404,000 award for Gene Cooley of Blairsville after a website poster falsely called Cooley a child molester and drug addict.

“We’re not trying to cut down on anybody’s ability to speak freely,” Stookey said. “The type of speech we are trying to curb is you cannot get out there and lie about someone and do character assassination.”

It’s relatively new legal ground in Georgia, though the legal questions surrounding anonymous Internet postings are becoming a bigger issue, experts say. “It’s generating litigation all over the country,” said Stookey.

But the courts have said information about a poster’s identity should only be available if it’s for a court case and not just to seek retribution.

Read more in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Via Privacy Lives.

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