Canadian lawyer David T. Fraser writes:
A growing portion of my practice is working my the litigators in my firm on cases of online torts, including defamation and harassment. This mainly involves working to track down people who do harmful things under a veil of supposed internet anonymity. This includes people who hide behind pseudonyms on chat boards and other internet fora while saying defamatory things in addition to the (apparently) growing problem of creating fake Facebook profiles in order to harass and bully others. We’ve dealt with similar situations involving online dating sites, where people have set up fake profiles in the names of the victims in order to harass them.
Some of the cases I’ve worked on have become well-publicized in this region, and I was asked by the Canadian Bar Association – New Brunswick Branch to present on the topic at their annual Mid-Winter Meeting. In case you’re interested, below is a presentation on what sorts of tracks people leave online and how they can be assembled and used to try to identify otherwise unnamed defendants. In almost all cases, they involve applying to the court for Norwich orders, which is a form of order from the court to require a mostly uninvolved third-party to provide information that will lead to the identification of the actual defendant.
Read more on Canadian Privacy Law Blog.