People are no longer invisible on the internet

Dear Editor,

I wish to commend you for your publication of a most relevant article ‘Jamaica Senator’s offices searched in e-mail probe’ in your March 16 edition, taken from the Jamaica Observer.

It is interesting that in Guyana, a similar situation in relation to a blog is under investigation by the Guyana Police Force, whose officers can take note of the steps taken by the Jamaica authorities in tracing the origin of the libellous e-mail.

The experts simply tracked the offending e-mail to a Google account then obtained a court order in New York that mandated Google to provide the IP address of the e-mail, which when traced led to a Cable and Wireless account.  The Jamaican Supreme Court ordered Cable and Wireless to disclose the entity to which the IP address was assigned, which in turn led to the office computer from which the offending material was sent.

Blogs and other such public electronic discussion fora present an excellent opportunity for persons to express themselves and to share their opinions with others, and were never meant to be used to create public mischief and to slander and vilify others. The persons who manage or contribute to blogs must be aware that their actions in posting and circulating libellous, misleading and harmful material can end in their identification and prosecution.  Well, for those persons who feel as though they are ‘invisible’ on the internet, the Jamaican case shows it is actually quite the opposite, so let them beware.

Yours faithfully,
(Name and address provided)

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