These days, internet has become easily accessible and therefore almost everybody has right to post anything on the internet and get away with it. It is no surprise if you come across any defamatory statement or comment against you made by someone who may have nothing to do with you. So, the issue is how to identify the culprit and what legal action can you take against him?
What does the law say?
According to Aaron Minc internet defamation lawyer, you can surely take legal action against the person who has tried to defame you online. If your case is really strong and you have been defamed for any wrong reason then you have right to demand the identity of the person, who has defamed you online from the Internet Service Provider (ISP) of that website.
When your case goes to court then court will examine your case and if your case is supported with enough evidences then court will demand the identity of the person from the ISP.
How does it work?
In most cases, people do not know the identity of the person against whom you are going to file a case. Therefore, first you need to submit your case with all the necessary evidences and details about the site where defamatory comment has been made against you. Most of the site has mentioned in terms and conditions (which perhaps nobody reads very carefully) explicitly that they cannot guarantee anonymity and therefore will be ready to share the information about the offender, who has also agreed to the same terms and conditions of the website.
However, the identity is provided in the form of IP address and rarely they share the name and addresses. You may also get an email address from Gmail or Yahoo and hence you may have to repeat the same process with email service provider. Therefore, this process can sometimes be very expensive too.
How much information the IP address will provide?
IP address does not contain any name or addresses of anyone, but it contains string of numbers. The first three digits of this number will reveal the ISP. Rest of the numbers can give you a vague idea about the general location of the person, but not the exact location.
If you have identified the website from where defamatory comment was made then from the WHOIS data base on a website like Domain Name Tools also you can obtain IP address or the identity of the person.
After constant follow up with ISP along with IP address, it is possible to find the location of the computer from which the entry was made by the offender.
In case, the computer happens to belong to any company then you have to talk to the company and take help from them to identify the person. By looking at the timing of the entry made company may give you the idea of the actual offender. However, the process of identification is very difficult and time-consuming effort.