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A New Hampshire Superior Court Judge has ordered Implode-Explode Heavy Industries, Inc., the owner of the popular mortgage industry crash site Mortgage Lender Implode-O-Meter (ml-implode.com) to give up the identities of persons who provided information to the site about The Mortgage Specialists, Inc. of Plaistow New Hampshire.
Rockingham County Judge Kenneth R. McHugh also ordered that the allegedly "secret" and "defamatory" content about The Mortgage Specialists would have to stay down permanently.
The information consists of an anonymous posting on the ML-Implode forum about The Mortgage Specialists and the publishing of the company's 2007 "Loan Chart" sent in by an informant and placed online by the Implode-O-Meter staff...
...We are disappointed and distressed by this Order because it creates a “chilling effect” whereby grassroots media sites will be greatly hindered in providing fora for critiquing and challenging corporate interests. This is all the more problematic given that it has not been shown that the underlying material was either defamatory or secret. As a result, if the order stands, we will no longer be able to operate, as we will no longer be able to risk allowing any third-party information to be placed online, which is the core function of our forum.
I can't even begin to wrap my head around how disturbing this is.
The maintenance of a free press does not give a publisher the right to protect the identity of someone who has provided it with unauthorized or defamatory information."