Centre for Communication Governance at NLU delhi
Right to Anonymity

Victoria Smith Ekstrand, Unmasking Jane and John Doe: Online Anonymity and the First Amendment, 8(4) Communication Law and Policy 405 (2003).

As plaintiffs in tort actions against anonymous online defendants attempt more and more to unmask those defendants, courts seem to be framing guidelines for determining whether the anonymity should be surrendered. The guidelines are beginning to look like those used to decide whether a journalist would be allowed to keep sources confidential. Courts are finding that anonymous speech on the Internet is worthy of protection and that unmasking a defendant's identity requires (1) evidence of a valid case, (2) a showing of good faith by the plaintiff and (3) sufficient justification for revealing the identity of the anonymous poster. Such a development highlights the critical role Internet service providers have begun to play in defense of their online subscribers.

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