Raymond Niro, principal of Chicago firm Niro Scavone Haller & Niro, has posted a $10,000.00 reward for the identity of the anonymous patent blogger, “Troll Tracker.” For a discussion of the issues, here’s a link to the ABA Journal article on the subject. Full disclosure – the “Kevin A. Thompson” who posted in the comments is not me.
For the record, while I support anonymous speech, harmful speech cannot be supported. Until the “Troll Tracker” reaches that level, he or she is entitled to keep posting. And, until then, Mr. Niro’s reward is one of the few options he has to determine who the anonymous blogger is. But, when he or she does reach that level of harmful speech, then Mr. Niro may have more legal options to compel the disclosure of the identity. I just hope that the reward doesn’t have an unfortunate consequence – the “Troll Tracker” points out that his site is being hacked, which is itself a crime.
That comment from another “Kevin A. Thompson” is what made me want to write about this topic – I thought long and hard about how I was going to prove it wasn’t me. That’s the nature of identity on the internet – it’s hard to prove one way or the other. Essentially, we’re all judged by what we post or link or otherwise comment upon. While there can be an appeal to the ABA Journal’s records for some indicia of who made the post, there’s no link to wherever the poster claims as his own site. It’s just a name, posted online, in comments on a freely available site. And, it’s not me. For the record.