Court orders internet provider to disclose blogger's identity

The High Court has today ordered internet provider UPC Communications to disclose the identity of a blogger who posted information about the Irish Red Cross on a website.

The charity says the internal information was "wilfully distorted and misconstrued" and had been posted anonymously.

It has now discontinued its proceedings against UPC and will continue to pursue the blogger by serving Google Inc in California, for facilitating the blog.

A 'senior figure' at the charity, who spoke to the Sunday Business Post newspaper on condition of anonymity, has expressed unease at the legal action, pointing out that Google was one of the International Red Cross's largest donors.

"Our purpose is to identify the blogger or bloggers, so that we can take appropriate action against him or her or them," said an Irish Red Cross statement.

"Our action against Google is merely to identify the person who is posting the confidential and distorted material."

The Irish Red Cross said that the blog was having a damaging effect on the organisation, even on its fundraising efforts.

"The Irish Red Cross finds itself in a situation where confidential information as well as inaccurate and damaging comment and views on this blog has had a serious impact on staff morale, on fundraising, and on the day-to-day running of the organisation," said the statement.

"Once we have identified the blogger/s, they can speak for themselves, and they will be given every opportunity to do so, and to justify their actions.

"Our good work at home and around the world continues via our network of over 6,000 volunteers of all ages, and our extensive base of skilled delegates and staff.

"This is made possible thanks to the generosity of the Irish public who trust the reputation of the Irish Red Cross which has been built over 70 years in providing dedicated humanitarian service to those most vulnerable."

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