When a blogger posted information from a hacked computer about an important Middle Eastern leader, Ifrah Law was asked to help. The site contained threats to the national security of the politician’s country as well as the United States – and to the life of the politician. The matter needed immediate attention and we responded to get the site (and others where the statements had been posted) taken down.
But the law offers some remedies of its own. One is the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which is U.S. copyright law as well as part of two World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) treaties. The DMCA assigns no liability to an Internet service Provider (ISP) for transmitting information that may infringe a copyright, but it forces the ISP to remove materials from users’ websites that appear to be copyright infringement. The DMCA provides for a takedown notice to be sent to an infringer’s ISP.
Ifrah Law successfully utilized takedown notices with two of the blogger’s ISPs as well as Facebook and is pursuing other sites. We impressed upon the web hosting companies that the content posed an immediate threat to national security. We also emphasized to one company that the blogger had violated their terms and conditions.
Privacy issues on the Internet may be rampant, but they do not have to be a fact of life.