Judge orders Google to reveal names of bloggers who defamed Temple Fortune rabbi

20:25 12 February 2013

A judge has ordered Google to reveal the name of blogger who defamed Rabbi Chaim Halpern. Picture: The Jewish Chronicle

A judge has ordered Google to reveal the name of blogger who defamed Rabbi Chaim Halpern. Picture: The Jewish Chronicle


An orthodox Jewish rabbi, who was the subject of disparaging comments on a blog site, has won a High Court ruling forcing Google to divulge the identities of those who blackened his name.

Rabbi Chaim Halpern, leader of Divrei Chaim Synagogue in Bridge Lane, Temple Fortune, says he has been defamed by a blogger who goes under the pseudonym “Ifyoutickleus” and several others who posted comments on the Google-hosted blog.

Mrs Justice Gloster, sitting at London’s High Court on Friday (February 8), ruled that Rabbi Halpern “had been identified as the subject matter” of the blog which made allegations about his private life.

The judge ordered that Google hand over the identities of those who made the comments to the rabbi’s lawyers.

The rabbi’s barrister, Chloe Strong, told the judge that Google had remained neutral in relation to the application for the identities to be revealed.

She said: “Where a person, or in this case an organisation, albeit innocently and without incurring any personal liability, becomes involved in a wrongful act of another, that person thereby comes under a duty to assist the person injured by the acts by giving the claimant any information by virtue of which he is able to disclose the identity of that wrongdoer.”

Allowing the application, the judge ordered Google to “disclose the registered name, address or IP address in their possession in respect of the blogger Ifyoutickleus”.

The judge also ordered Google to disclose the details of individuals “who made comments about the rabbi” on the blog.

Laying down a marker as to the future stance of the English courts, the judge said: “I take the view that if people are making what appear to be defamatory comments, they should not be protected by the cloak of anonymity.

“Though of course the protection of freedom of speech is very important, people who make weasely comments online in circumstances such as this should not be allowed to hide behind the shield of anonymity.”

Google Inc were not represented in court and did not resist the rabbi’s application.

Latest News Stories

Police attended as a group of travellers arrived at the Liddell Road site. Picture by local resident, 'Jon'

A group of travellers has moved into a council-owned site in West Hampstead, prompting a short-lived standoff with the police.

Neelu Berry, who was cleared of all charges, arriving at Highbury Corner Magistrates' Court yesterday

A woman has been cleared of having “vexed” a priest and disrupting a Sunday service.

Natalia Czekaj died after being stabbed more than 20 times by James Richardson

The loved ones of a barmaid who was stabbed more than 20 times during a frenzied attack say they have been left “disgusted” by the British justice system after a judge said her killer should only spend four years in jail because he is an alcoholic.

Actor Jim Carter joins the

Actor Jim Carter, who plays Carson in Downton Abbey, joined protestors in West Hampstead in their bid to prevent a pair of six and seven storey tower blocks being built on their doorstep.

Alex Lyons with her children Oscar, five, and Benjy, three.

 Picture: Nigel Sutton

A loophole allowing families to get their children into the most popular primary schools despite living miles outside catchment areas is set to be closed by Haringey Council following complaints from parents and carers.

Yesterday, 13:46
Camden Borough Commander CS Penny Banham. Picture: Polly Hancock

Camden’s new top cop has criticised proposals put forward by Hampstead residents to fund their own police officers – saying it would “not set a good precedent” for the rest of London.

Yesterday, 11:18
Athlone House, taken in 2011. Picture: Michael Hammerson

The owners of historic Athlone House near Hampstead Heath are to take their bid to demolish the mansion to the High Court.

Yesterday, 09:52
A 22-year-old man was stabbed at Walker House in Phoenix Street, Somers Town

A 15-year-old boy has been arrested after a man was stabbed at a block of flats in Somers Town, Camden.

Most read news

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot


You'll be stocked up on toiletries  for a while!

Cosmetics, toiletries, vitamins and more.

You could be splashing the cash at Topshop!

Just imagine what you could do with £1,000 to spend at Topshop.

Digital Edition

Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder