Scott M. Himes writes:
Every day innumerable people “speak” on the internet, through email, social media, blogs, and other electronic writings, without disclosing their identities (or by using fictitious ones). But the anonymity of internet speech becomes an issue when one feels aggrieved by anonymous (or pseudonymous) words. And although the First Amendment protects anonymous speech, that protection is not absolute. Increasingly, would-be plaintiffs — particularly those claiming defamation based on internet speech — resort to the courts to unmask the electronic speaker’s identity. New York’s pre-action disclosure statute provides a well-suited mechanism for doing so, although using it for this purpose raises unsettled issues.
Read more on Law Technology News. The article provides a nice recap of cases in New York when it comes to unmasking anonymous online speakers.