An employer’s desire to insure the protection of its confidential information and to protect itself from anonymous on-line attacks often conflicts with the courts’ interest in insuring that the internet maintains the attributes of a virtual reality Hyde Park, where anything and everything goes. Jessica R. Madrigal and scored a major victory for a Massachusetts employer in the rapidly expanding field of Internet law by defeating an anonymous tweeter’s motion to quash a subpoena requiring Twitter to turn over evidence of his identity. The anonymous tweets, which turned out to be from a disgruntled employee, included a defamatory comment regarding the employer’s client billing practices and also revealed confidential proprietary information regarding its clients.
The court, following established California case law, held that although there is a First Amendment right to anonymous speech, this right is not absolute and does not extend to defamatory statements. Read the Court’s Opinion HERE.
The anonymous Tweeter’s Petition for Writ of Mandate to the California Court of Appeal was summarily denied.