Data Protection

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  • #1963822

    My friends personnel information has been shared with the threat to share even more and I wonder where they stand with this. See comment 14 by Bozza Ritchie:-

    Please advise where they stand with this legally or if they are allowed to do this.

    I want the post removed but cant find a privacy statement. Does a general wordpress one cover it?

    The blog I need help with is



    Where who stands with this? There are no lawyers as far as I know volunteering free legal advice in the forum.

    If you have an extortion threat, call the police. If somebody’s name appears in a blog comment, that’s not illegal. I don’t see any personal information beyond a name (although I do see that the comments have been edited).


    Dear original poster,

    I am a lawyer of England & Wales (albeit non-practising) so I’ll just the preliminaries:

    1. Mainly because the hosting servers are located in the USA, I’m afraid USA defamation laws will operate with regard to any formal takedown action that might be made.

    2. If the physical location of content origination is somewhere in the UK, then English or Scottish jurisdiction may apply — that is, if you could nail down that blogger’s physical location in the first place. Then it’s a straightforward matter of serving an injunction on that blogger.

    3. Broadly speaking, the blogger IS within his/her right to publish a commenter’s name in the comment section. And that’s probably as far as any Common Law jurisdiction (USA, England & Wales) will allow. If Scottish jurisdiction applies, I would suspect the situation won’t be too radically different. There ARE some precedent cases (mostly American) that provides for extenuating reasons against publishing a person’s name — but in general, those cases have already gone to court (a situation that doesn’t necessarily apply to your situation right now.)

    4. As far as what I could see in that post & its comments, there ISN’T much anyone could do since the blogger hasn’t publicised anything other than a name — that is, no links to somewhere else, no actual personal details (e.g. sex, address, IP address, etc). In other words, a name is just a name, and quite often quite many might have the same.

    5. As soon as that blogger takes to publicising a person’s IP address (yours or somebody else’s), then you MIGHT have a PRIMA FACIE (“on first impression”) case for taking legal action. Prima facie is a good description, because then you have to go through the rigmarole of nailing down that blogger’s physical address in order to serve “process” (litigation papers).

    6. In absence or inability to get physical address, you might have to go through the long way round and subpoena for that blogger’s IP address. To make things worse, THEN you have to subpoena the blogger’s ISP for his/her physical address. If you’re lucky and know which buttons to press, so to speak, you might die of old age waiting for action to happen.

    7. If you report the case to the police (initially your local constabulary), they’ll just tell you the above points. Understandably so, because they can’t act on defamation issues occurring over the Internet since this particular stage of events are civil in nature and not criminal (yet).

    I hope this helps to give a general overview. It’s okay, my invoice is NOT in the post.



    Well, what do you know! A lawyer materializes!


    “thenakedlistener” that was exactly what I was looking for!
    Done alot of research online but everything is a little vague.
    Will try and comment and say something ‘clever sounding’ and see if I can manage to get comments removed that way.
    It is not for me but a good friend of mine that is very worried about it (they worry alot!) so doing my best to help take the comments down.

    Your help is more than appreciated! Who says lawyers are all @#*%


    Glad to be of help. What I do suggest is that you tell you friend to stop worrying about names being publicised. Unless there are actual details or links pointing to their websites, etc, there’s really no point to to have a row or a potential lawsuit over a name. Trust me, you’ll thank me for the potential heartache and money saved.

    Right now, AFAIK, an international subpoena to California (where the hosting servers are located) could cost upwards of US$250 a crack. Since you’re probably in the UK, the California lawyer might like to crank it up to double that price – because they’re going to think (quite understandably) that you might be loaded for that kind of action. That kind of good money is just for that one sheet of paper. The cost doubles on every ‘turnaround,’ if you get my meaning.

    In the UK, an injunction for a defamation action should set you back GBP 1,000.

    Please, spend that money on your loved one. Next time, just hit back with a hurtful (but not defamatory) barb/comeback.

    Best of luck.

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