Articles Posted in Internet Defamation

Often, data breaches are associated with internet defamation or other torts like impersonation.  Many times we come across strong defamation cases that cannot proceed because the potential client has waited too long to take action.  Thus, the statute of limitations has been blown and as internet defamation lawyers, we can do nothing other than offer condolences.  In this edition of the cyber liability roundup, we address how the statute of limitations is applied to digital defamation.

The cyber liability team here at Raines Feldman has endeavoured to provide weekly cyber liability law updates.  While the production values are very public access, we hope that you will find some practical advice and useful legal analysis from time to time.  The Raines Feldman cyber liability team is headed by litigation partner Erik Syverson and senior associates Steve Gebelin and Scott Lesowitz.

This week, we catch up on some recent hot topics.  First, we explore the ruckus caused by the National Enquirer story alleging that Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz had five mistresses.  We wondered if any of the alleged mistresses, most notably CNN commentator Amanda Carpenter, would have viable claims for defamation.  Steve Gebelin helps point out the challenges that public figures such as Amanda Carpenter face in such cases.  Among other things, the law has evolved to provide cover for re-tweets, links and reporting on reporting.  Bottom line is that a false narrative can spread like wildfire and it is very hard to meet the standard of actual malice required by most courts in order for a public figure to prevail.

Then we turn our attention to Apple and its refusal to comply with a federal court order to assist the FBI in hacking into the cell phone of deceased radical Islamic terrorists behind the San Bernadino massacre.  Former federal prosecutor Scott Lesowitz gives us his take on the outcome and possible future fall out regarding Apple’s disobedience.  In the end, it was much ado about nothing as an Israeli security firm helped crack into the Iphone.  While Apple wanted to highlight the security of its phones, in actuality the Israelis proved that no device is secure.

One issue that often faces small to medium sized companies is whether or not to buy cyber liability insurance policies.  The need and market for such policies is developing.  In this post, I will provide an overview of the product and why I recommend that our clients obtain this coverage.

First, with rare exception, today every company is a tech company.  Obviously, social networks and electronic marketplaces are run from an internet platform but the same can be said for the auto body shop that interacts with insurance carriers via web portals.  Just as tech companies have a significant brick and mortar presence, traditional brick and mortar companies transact large amounts of business online.  Because of this simple fact, I advise my clients, large to small, to obtain cyber liability coverage.

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Businesses are constantly in danger of being defamed on the Internet.  Often, this defamation is anonymous.  Typically, it is committed by a competitor or a disgruntled former employee.  Because of this, it can be difficult for a business to combat the defamatory assertions.  Websites like Yelp (and blogging platforms like WordPress provide valuable consumer information, however, they can be misused for nefarious purposes.  For companies harmed by anonymous internet defamation, there is usually one goal – to remove the defamatory material.  In this post, we discuss the proper way to proceed.

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