Now the world knows: the "skanks of NYC" blogger is one Rosemary Port, a 27-year-old student at the Fashion Institute of Technology, and she is one pissed-off young lady. She not only has strong words for model Liskula Cohen, whose legal action outed her as the blogger, she's ready to sue Google for $15 million for complying with the court order to turn over her info.
Port told the New York Daily News that it's Cohen who took her blog from obscurity to a media bonanza, drawing attention not only to Port's comments but also to Cohen's behavior at New York clubs.
This has become a public spectacle and a circus that is not my doing. By going to the press, she defamed herself. Before her suit, there were probably two hits on my Web site: One from me looking at it, and one from her looking at it. That was before it became a spectacle. I feel my right to privacy has been violated.And so ... she is suing Google for, um, "breaching its fiduciary duty to protect her expectation of anonymity," according to Port's lawyer, Salvatore Strazzullo.
Legal time-out. That strikes me as nonsensical concept: the fiduciary relationship is the highest, most stringent duty one can have to another, typically the directors duty to shareholders, or a trustee's duty to beneficiaries. To create such a relationship between a company and someone who creates a free blogging account makes a mockery of the relationship. And what is the duty to protect anonymity? That is definitely not listed in the treatises' lists of fiduciary duties. What is listed is the duty not to profit from one's position as the fiduciary. The idea that Google has undertaken a fiduciary relationship with users - and that the duty includes disobeying a court order - is laughable. Now back to our catfight...
This seemingly trivial yet voyeuristic spat is in fact a major First Amendment case in the making, the lawyer thinks.
I'm ready to take this all the way to the Supreme Court. Our Founding Fathers wrote 'The Federalist Papers' under pseudonyms. Inherent in the First Amendment is the right to speak anonymously. Shouldn't that right extend to the new public square of the Internet?
Meanwhile, Cohen now says she won't press her defamation suit. Says her lawyer:
What this blogger did ought not to be condoned or forgiven. But my client is walking away from it," the lawyer said. "She's said, 'It adds nothing to my life to hurt hers.' Liskula has offered her forgiveness. But even after she has been forgiven, (Port) has no interest in redeeming her soul.