4eyes - 7:39 pm on Aug 11, 2004 (gmt 0) The best protection is to ensure your own anonymity by technical means.
1> I will never give out users information in a situation like this, take me to court and bankrupt me if you like, I'll wipe the hard drive before I let you near it.
I'd do the same
2> Anonymity is a right on the internet.
Sadly its not - maybe it should be, but its not.
3> Freedom of speech extends to personal attacks, if someone calls me an elephant cleaner their post may be deleted under the sites TOS. However I don't think I should have any legal entitlement to then take that person to court.
Unfortunately, what you (or I) think is irrelevant - its what the court decides that matters. Where freedom of speech ends and slander or libel starts will depend on the jurisdiction hearing the case.
A canadian based in the US was 'succesfully' sued in a UK court for Usenet postings. Of course, getting the money off him was a different matter - but it illustrates the absolute mess that 'the law' makes of internet issues (guess he won't be attending the next pubconf in London, though).
5> I am not debating any of the above opinions.
Aw, go on, debate... ;)
The best protection is to ensure your own anonymity by technical means.