Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Buffalo Grove trustee to get name of anonymous poster

Buffalo Grove trustee to get name of anonymous poster who chatted with her son on newspaper Web site

Judge says only she should see identity; woman then to decide on whether to file lawsuit

By Georgia Garvey - Chicago Tribune - November 10, 2009

Buffalo Grove Village Trustee Lisa Stone should be told the name of the man she accuses of making defamatory online comments about her 15-year-old son, a judge ruled Monday in a case being watched for its Internet privacy implications.

Cook County Circuit Judge Jeffrey Lawrence ordered that the identity of a person known online as Hipcheck16 be turned over to Stone.

"I'm determined that there will be protection on the Internet," particularly for children, said Stone, who was elected in April.

The man posted "deeply disturbing" comments to her son in the aftermath of a bruising election battle, Stone said, adding that once she learns his identity, she will decide whether to file a lawsuit seeking damages.

The comments were posted online April 9 to a story that ran on the Daily Herald's Web site on April 6, the day before the election in which Stone won a seat.

When the newspaper's lawyers said they only had the person's Internet Protocol address, Stone sought the identity from Comcast, the poster's Internet provider.

The judge ruled that only Stone and a process server -- should she decide to take legal action -- may be told the identity of Hipcheck16. Barring an appeal, he said, the court would turn over the information to Stone after another hearing set for Nov. 18.

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Buffalo Grove trustee to get name of anonymous poster

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