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Google hands over bogger's IP address
Did not want to fall foul of Israel's Criminal Defamation laws

A BOGGER who has made a name for himself insulting Israeli local councillors has been outed by the "do no evil" search engine outfit Google.

Normally anyone wanting to find a blogger's IP address would have to go through a lengthy court procedure before Google would consider handing the information over.

However in this case all it took was a quiet word from the Israeli judge who mentioned the word 'criminal defamation'.

The 'slanderous' posts were stuck up over the last year about three councillors including local council chairman Gideon Idan, Shaarei Tikva director general Haim Blumenfeld and council member Avi Yokobovich who were standing during yesterday's election.

The blogger accused the men of various crimes including pretending to be handicapped in order to receive discounts on local property taxes, receiving bribes from a contractor, and having ties to criminal gangs.

Google said it would not hand over the IP address with its lawyers muttering stuff about free speech.

However in a pre-ruling, Judge Oren Schwartz said that the blog's content raised suspicions of criminal conduct, and Google rolled over.

According to the Globes .co.il Judge Schwartz was set to rule that the slander could be tantamount to 'criminal defamation'. This is a weird law which has been outlawed in many parts of the civilised world because it is used to lock up journalists who write bad things about governments.

It seems that Google realised that if it did not give the councillors what they wanted, it could be charged with being involved in a criminal conspiracy.

The Inquirer - By Nick Farrell: Wednesday, 28 November 2007




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