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Web Stalkers
Chapter 5 -
All About Cybercrime

Real-World Case: Cyber-libel and Tortuous Interference

Specific charges are Computer fraud; Trademark; Tortious Interference; Civil Conspiracy; Product disparagement; Linking; Defamation; False Light; Invasion Of Privacy; Intentional Infliction Of Emotional Distress; Harassment; Libel; and Trade Libel.

In this landmark cyber-libel case, the victim was able to settle out of court with many of the defendants.

With that introduction to cyber-libel, the next step is to examine a related offense, the act of False Light Invasion of Privacy.

Invasion of Privacy

With the increasing ability of people to damage others on the web, many states have created a “false light” law for the protection of Internet users. 

There are four types of invasion of privacy laws that can be used to prosecute an offender:

Appropriation of an individual’s name or likeness – While this encompasses the idea of blatant identity theft, false light appropriation is more subtle.  For example, the following are some common appropriation cases:

  • Someone could use an individual’s name and e-mail address and post bigoted remarks as if they were coming from that individual.

  • Someone could take an individual’s photograph from their web page and use it in a story about plastic surgery disasters.

Intrusion on solitude – This area of false light involves unauthorized disclosure of an individual’s private affairs.  An example would be publishing private bank records or a personal home address.

The above text is an excerpt from:

Web Stalkers
Protect yourself from Internet Criminals & Psychopaths
ISBN 0-97-45993-9-5

by Donald K. Burleson, Stephen Andert

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