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I love teaching and sharing knowledge. The Internet is a free passage to an amazing amount of knowledge provided by some of the greatest minds of the day. MIT, Oxford and other universities are now sharing lecture notes with the public and allowing us to dip into the overflowing fonts of wisdom that abound. Yale is but one university that has put actual lectures on the web.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Should Blogger Remain Anonymous

The New York Times
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February 4, 2006
Blogger at Center of Lawsuit Is Identified

SMYRNA, Del., Feb. 3 (AP) — The mayor of Smyrna has identified the author of Internet writings at the center of a defamation suit that led to a recent state court ruling protecting the anonymity of Internet authors.

The mayor, Mark Schaeffer, said Thursday that a stepdaughter, Cristina Rawley, who lives with him and his wife, was the author of the writings.

The writings attacked a town councilman, Patrick Cahill, and his wife and prompted Mr. Cahill to sue Mr. Schaeffer for defamation and ask the court to force the Internet service provider to disclose the identity of the author.

A Delaware Superior Court granted the request, but in October, the Delaware Supreme Court overruled the order, saying that the author could remain anonymous.

Chief Justice Myron Steele compared anonymous Internet speech to anonymous political pamphleteering, a practice the United States Supreme Court characterized in 1995 as "an honorable tradition of advocacy and dissent."

Robert Katzenstein, a lawyer for Mr. Cahill, said this week that his client would proceed with the defamation suit.

Mr. Schaeffer said he would ask the court to dismiss him as a defendant in the suit, which would leave his 25-year-old stepdaughter as the sole defendant.

Mr. Schaeffer and Mr. Cahill, who are neighbors, have been involved in legal disputes for several years.

* Copyright 2006The New York Times Company