The Volokh Conspiracy
Mostly law professors | Sometimes contrarian | Often libertarian | Always independent
Hunter Biden Laptop Repairman Sues Twitter for Labeling the Documents "Hacked"
Twitter's labeling, John Paul Mac Isaac contends, implicitly accused him of being a hacker, and was therefore libel.
From Mac Isaac v. Twitter, Inc., filed today in federal court (S.D. Fla.):
[25.] Defendant's false and negligent statements about Plaintiff include: …
[b.] Posting the reason for the [New York Post account being locked] as it being in violation of Defendant's "hacked material" rules ….
[26.] Defendant's Distribution of Hacked Materials Policy … defines a "hack" as "an intrusion or access of a computer, network, or electronic device that was unauthorized or exceeded authorized access.["]
[27.] The Hacked Materials Policy further defines "hacked materials" as "information obtained through a hack."
[28.] Defendant's actions and statements had the specific intent to communicate to the world that Plaintiff is a hacker.
[29.] According to Meriam-Webster, a "hacker" is "a person who illegally gains access to and sometimes tampers with information in a computer system." …
[31.] Plaintiff is not a hacker and the information obtained from the computer does not [constitute] hacked materials because Plaintiff lawfully gained access to the computer, first with the permission of its owner, BIDEN, and then, after BIDEN failed to retrieve the hard drive despite Plaintiff's requests, in accordance with the Mac Shop's abandoned property policy.
[32.] Plaintiff, as a direct result of Defendant's actions and statements, is now widely considered a hacker and, on the same day Defendant categorized the Plaintiff as a hacker, Plaintiff began to receive negative reviews of his business as well as threats to his person and property….
[36.] Defendant … has made false statements that the materials obtained by NY POST from GIULIANI, which originally came from the Plaintiff, constitutes hacked materials thereby categorizing the Plaintiff as a hacker.
Mac Isaac also alleges that the New York Post story "published a photo of Plaintiff's business thereby notifying the public where BIDEN had dropped off his laptop."