Business Technology

Saturday 25 March 2017

Google ordered to reveal identity of 'cyberstalker'

Jon Swaine in New York

The judge told Google it had 15 days to provide Carla Franklin with the identities and contact details of people who posted the material to its YouTube video website. Photo: Getty Images
The judge told Google it had 15 days to provide Carla Franklin with the identities and contact details of people who posted the material to its YouTube video website. Photo: Getty Images

Google has been ordered to reveal the identity of a "cyberstalker" who anonymously posted videos and abusive messages about a businesswoman on the internet.

A New York judge told the company it had 15 days to provide Carla Franklin, 34, with the identities and contact details of people who posted the material to its YouTube video website.

Miss Franklin, a former model with degrees from Duke and Columbia universities, said she was unsettled that video clips taken from a student film had been combined with personal information.

The management consultant also complained about comments posted elsewhere on YouTube, one of which described her as a whore.

Miss Franklin said she suspected she knew who had posted the material, but required confirmation in order to initiate legal action against them.

She and her lawyers argued that the material, which was posted by people using the screenames JOEBOOMO8, JIMMYJEANOO8, and GREYSPECTOR09, was potentially damaging to her career.

She stressed that she also took the action because she felt threatened. "I don't care about being called names," she said. "It was a safety issue."

Welcoming the verdict this week, she said: "The internet cannot become a safe haven for harassers and stalkers."

She said Google had been "very communicative" However it was unclear how much detail the company would be able to provide based on the email accounts and IP addresses associated with the postings.

Google declined to comment. It said it did not discuss individual cases, in order to protect the privacy of its users.

The court order came a year after Liskula Cohen, a model, successfully sued Google for the name of a blogger who posted derogatory remarks about her sexual habits and hygiene.

Telegraph.co.uk

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