Track down a BlogSpot author?

An organization I work for has an enemy and (s)he has created a blog on BlogSpot to bad-mouth us. Now, I know that in the US we have free speech and all that, but what this person is posting is absolute libel. It’s false, defamatory information about particular people, named in the blog, and is intended to hurt the organization’s reputaion.

I contacted BlogSpot, Google, and other companies tied to the BlogSpot site and asked them to either terminate that account or identify the user so I could reach them. I knew that they would never give me the user’s name, but I figured that they would close the blog down since it is in direct violation of their terms of service.

Nope.

Their response to me included the following:

They recommended that I contact the blogger, but let’s not be silly: (S)he’s gonna stop because I ask?

So, I’m stuck. I certainly don’t want to break any laws, but I do want to get this person to stop. Had it been a LiveJournal blog, I could use a web bug to identify the blogger’s IP Address and track him/her down that way. But, BlogSpot is too smart for that; they don’t allow the {IMG} tag in comments.

Anyone else have any ideas? How might I identify a BlogSpot author?

If this really is a situation of libel, get an attorney. Anybody can contact Blogger and say “I need to know who writes stupidcrap.blogspot.com because they’re defaming me.” A lawyer can draft a proper request for information in pursuit of identification for the purposes of serving a cease and desist demand and other legal remedies against defamatory publication.

Judging from what I’ve read about the RIAA’s attempts to shut down file-sharing sites, it might take filing a lawsuit, then subpoenaing the records from BlogSpot. That’s what they have to do. Your attorney would be the best source of this advice, of course.

Yeah, I know. I’m hoping for a shorter, faster, cheaper method. This nuisance isn’t worth paying a lawyer to solve and by the time a court date rolls around, the whole thing will be over.

I’m looking for a more direct approach, akin to the web-bug solution that almost could work.

Why can’t you simply post a note on Anonymous’ blog and ask nicely? What will knowing A’s identity change?

If she’s close enough to know the players, surely someone has to have an idea of who this person is?

Failing that, a polite, but very serious letter to her via her blog to let her know you have engaged an attorney who will file suit shortly to force blogspot/ISP/whoever to cough up her identity, and that once you get it you will be taking appropriate legal action for libel.

I’m with Gamaliel. Sure it probably won’t work, but I think at least that way you can say "We did ask politely, but they refused to take down their blog. Ask nicely, cite the laws and parts of their contract with Blogger that they’re breaking, and then if (when) that doesn’t work, get a lawyer as several have said.

A nasty letter from a lawyer should get BlogSpot to give up the IP.

In 1996, a friend of mine started a small company. By 1999 he had a dozen employees and most of his business was divided between two clients, Company A and Company B. Company B, a publically traded firm, bought his company for about $40 million. This pissed off a few people at Company A.

A couple of days after the purchase became public knowledge, a someone posted a nasty message on the Yahoo financial message board for Company B. Among other things, the poster called my friend a liar and a thief and claimed to have personally seen him steal things. It should be obvious the it’s a Bad Idea to take a swing at someone who is suddenly worth $40 million but that’s just me.

My friend’s lawyer wrote a letter to Yahoo and Yahoo coughed up the IP address of the poster within a day or two with no fuss at all. The dumbshit posted it from within Company A and it was no problem at all for Company A to find out exactly who it was. That guy must have shit his pants when my friend’s lawer wrote him a letter that basically said, “one more peep out of you and we’ll own your house.”

Haj

OK… things have changed. Without getting into the “how” of it, we’ve identified the IP Address that the author used when sending an announcement email about his blog to someone. I know that this only IDs the connection between him/her and the ISP at that moment… can I do anything with it?

You could try to use the information in the email (if you got it), see (old):
http://www.reagoso.com/inet/IAB_MailBombs2.htm
and
http://www.spamcop.net/fom-serve/cache/19.html