A Dutch Court has ordered Facebook to reveal the identity of a person who made a posting of an obscene video. According to Facebook, the posting was done from a fake account and was purged. The Court has however said that Facebook will have to submit its servers to eternal forensic investigators to extract the information.
It may be recalled here that Facebook faced an earlier law suit for payment of a damage of US $ 123 mn in which it took an unreasonably long time to delete a posting. In the instant case therefore it appears to have acted quickly to remove the content but now is caught in the controversy that it has not protected the legal interest of the victim.
It is considered as a compliance requirement under ITA 2008 for intermediaries, that in such cases where the intermediary deletes the content once posted, it has to be archived for legal purposes.
Intermediaries should therefore ensure that their “Grievance Redressal Mechanism” includes appropriate guidance that while they remove the content after an initial internal enquiry, the evidence is preserved and produced when required by law enforcement.
Apart from Facebook and Twitter, such requirements also apply to websites such as Glassdoor, Mouth Shut etc which have created a business model out of posting messages which could be considered defamatory.
While many of the Indian Companies operating in global markets try to comply with American law, most of the US companies are not so vigilant when it comes to complying with Indian law. Just as Facebook seems to have woken up with a $123 mn law suit, these companies will also wake up when they face a multi million dollar law suit.