32 votes

Judge: Ron Paul Can’t Force Twitter, YouTube To Identify ‘Impostors’

Ron Paul’s campaign suffered a setback this week in its effort to identify who uploaded videos that appear to show the presidential candidate bashing a former rival’s ties to China.

A federal judge yesterday refused the campaign’s request for an order that would have forced YouTube (NSDQ: GOOG) and Twitter to disclose details about “NHLiberty4Paul.” That name is associated with a Twitter and YouTube handle, likely from New Hampshire, that issued messages suggesting former Republican candidate Jon Huntsman is a Chinese agent.

Continue reading...

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Some Responses to Criticisms

There has been some criticism of Paul’s decision to bring the suit in the first place. I agree with Paul’s decision to sue, and I think some of the criticisms are confused. In the below blog post, I addressed some of the problems I’ve found with three of the most prevalent criticisms ~


My Pro Liberty Blog: http://WalkerWire.com

Send these reports to the campaign & lawyers, just published...

BREAKING: Twitter Trail Confirms "China Jon" Video as "False Flag", Points To Huntsman Campaign

The "China Jon" Fraud Deconstructed

These just came out two days ago. Extremely thorough and well-sourced.

The article in the OP says: "Jerrold Abeles, an attorney for the Paul campaign, said in a phone interview that the order is not the end of the road for the Paul campaign. Abeles said the campaign still has the option to file an amended request seeking to unmask the John Does." So maybe it's not too late.

Key point from the second article regarding the lawsuit


"With regard to the lawsuit that has now been filed by the Paul campaign over this video, some people seem to be trying to argue that the person(s) behind the “China Jon” video were not trying to portray the video as being connected to the Paul campaign. Not so. Besides everything that’s already been mentioned, here is what the Huffington Post wrote on January 6th, just as the story was beginning to explode in the press, and within hours of Huntsman’s “magic moment” in Concord:

When The Huffington Post contacted the poster of the video through YouTube to ask why they created the video and whether they had any formal association with the Paul campaign, NHLiberty4Paul replied: "Sorry, campaign has asked me not to speak to reporters."

Got that? This was a malicious attempt to frame the Paul campaign, and constitutes fraudulent and almost certainly criminal electioneering of the worst kind."

SOURCE: http://www.theendrun.com/the-china-jon-huntsman-fraud-decons...

It were Huntsmans daughters

We can be 99% sure of it looking at the detailed twitter message research posted earlier (a job well done i must say).
That's probably why he dropped out so suddenly when he found out. He realized this could backfire really hard...

Why isn't Jon Huntsman a Co-Plantif!!!???

I'm certain Mr. Huntsman, as the victim who is so appalled with this vile and hateful garbage, will just as equally (if not more) wish to reveal the identity of the immoral low-life scum who is responsible.

RIIIIIIGHT???? *wink* *wink*

If men are good, you don't need government; if men are evil or ambivalent, you don't dare have one.

For those that missed my

For those that missed my early post here I am reposting:

Federal Courts do NOT allow discovery until after the Schedule Conference. Which generally means 120 days after complaint has been filed. Paul's attorney filed an ex parte application to begin EARLIER. But failed to establish why they should be given the right to begin discovery early.

The judge ruled they can RE-file and if they can establish the legal and factual basis for being allowed to start before the regularly schedule discovery process, the judge will consider.

Some of you guys really gotta stop with all the conspiracy nonsense. Read the order instead of assuming a bunch of untrue stuff. The Paul campaign won't get special treatment in court, and when they don't it is NOT a conspiracy. I read the ex parte application and Benton's declaration and it was kinda weak and overly broad and way to conclusory.

They MUST establish that the complaint would not be dismissed by motion, that the party sought to be discovered can be sued in Federal court, and that they have taken steps to try to obtain and locate the defendant, and finally, that Plaintiff will reasonably be able to identify defendant (DOES) through discovery.

Courts just don't issue order because you ask them to.

Stop with the ignorance.

FYI: You CANNOT sue Twitter or Youtube because of the DMCA safe harbor provisions. Second, it is NOT a copyright infringement case. It is a libel and trademark case. If it was a copyright case, the campaign needed to contact youtube/twitter and have their content removed and it would likely be the end of it. However, it is not that type of case.

If you disagree with me on anything you are not a real libertarian...


Yes, it's clear that they may refile.

I was looking at the court's ruling earlier. Thank you for the detailed explanation.

Instead of spending hours

Instead of spending hours trying to hunt the information down, I thought I'd ask you the question that I keep getting lately since you seem to be much more in the know than myself.

What can legally be done (if anything) to prevent and/or correct "biased" media reporting, especially that of omitting him from presented polls with the other candidates, exclusions from story lines, etc?

Especially the countless people wanting a class action lawsuit of sorts, I'm not even sure how to respond to them factually. Any thoughts?

You CAN sue someone for

You CAN sue someone for factually incorrect information. You cannot sue the media for omitting your name in a discussion or poll. I agree that it distorts the process, but I don't know of a legel precedent that has been made for such a cause of action.

That is why you always hear terms like "allegedly." You cannot sue someone for an opinion. For example, if a pundit said that Paul did poorly or lost a debate, because that is not actionable. You can sue someone for saying that Paul said something he didn't. But if you notice journalists rarely ever say he said something. THey say that it is "reported" he said something.

If you disagree with me on anything you are not a real libertarian...

Good enough, thanks!

Good enough, thanks!

Thank you Brian.

Thank you Brian.

sharkhearted's picture

Right on, Brian! The conspiracy stuff gets really old!

Thanks for your post. Very informative and from a juris doctorate, I can tell.

Norfolk, VA

Norfolk, VA

Time to INVESTIGATE the investigators of 9/11. PROSECUTE the prosecutors. EXPOSE the cover-up.

Thanks. Just a small

Thanks. Just a small correction to my own statement. I am getting a little rusty on this..

Time of discovery may be made by stipulation or after the time of Rule 26 metting.

Rule 26(d)(1) Timing. A party may not seek discovery from any source before the parties have conferred as required by Rule 26(f), except in a proceeding exempted from initial disclosure under Rule 26(a)(1)(B), or when authorized by these rules, by stipulation, or by court order.

Since they can't meet with a party that hasn't been identified or appeared, they are seeking early commencement of discovery.

If you disagree with me on anything you are not a real libertarian...

Billy Jack's picture

Brian Middleton - from

Brian Middleton - from Connecticut? 29 Fifth Street?

Cos Cob, CT

Sorry, you have the wrong

Sorry, you have the wrong person. Don't detain me please...

If you disagree with me on anything you are not a real libertarian...

lumping all conspiracy theories/theorists together is even older

there are conspiracies, many very powerful. If you don't believe that, then do some research, or continue to be blissfully ignorant, and vote Ron Paul anyways ;)

sharkhearted's picture

No. Putting words in someone else's mouth...is the OLDEST trick.

Don't put words into my mouth. I never lumped them all together. On the contrary.

And BTW in this instance, the only one who is "blissfully ignorant"..is YOU in the sense of you don't know what I know or don't know! You do not think or speak for me.

I spend quite alot of time listening, watching, and reading about events...and sometimes in rare cases, they may very well be conspiracies.

However...that is a far cry from reading into, or eisegesis of conspiracy behind each set of events that might be suspect.

I just watched three documentaries: Secrecy, The End of America, and Freedom to Fascism. Compelling evidence that we have got lots of problems.

Reading right now the books "Nullification", "It is Dangerous to Be Right when the Government is Wrong", and G Edward Griffith's blockbuster about the Federal Reserve "The Creature from Jekyll Island."

The Federal Reserve? A conspiracy? Yes. And there are perhaps others.

But many other "conspiracies" are just borne out of stupid mistakes and institutionalized groupthink over many many years...only to be propagated by emo and paranoid tendencies of humans trying to classify and crystallize a tangible enemy.

Norfolk, VA

Norfolk, VA

Time to INVESTIGATE the investigators of 9/11. PROSECUTE the prosecutors. EXPOSE the cover-up.

you said "the conspiracy stuff gets old"

that's what i was responding to. that statement does lump all the "conspiracy stuff" together.. there is a bunch of total CRAP conspiracy BS out there (much, i believe planted the way the anti-huntsman video was) but the way you talk diminishes the importance of anyone trying to get to a deeper truth than what the mainstream media reports. it's nothing personal, i just don't like your use of language.

btw, for some great education, i'd check out the adam curtis documentaries (Power of Nightmares is a good starter) and terrorstorm

also, i never said i knew all your thoughts or anything, and referred to you as blissfully ignorant only if you didn't believe in any high powered conspiracies (as opposed to your insulting hypocritical statement)

sharkhearted's picture

I could care less if you don't like my use of language.

I can use it as I please. It is a free country.

Everything else...and this as well...is NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS.

End of conversation.

Norfolk, Va

Norfolk, VA

Time to INVESTIGATE the investigators of 9/11. PROSECUTE the prosecutors. EXPOSE the cover-up.

i hope you're joking

everything else is none of my business? ha ha
i don't care if you don't care
and you can do as you please in any country

now the conversation is really over!

Tokyo, Canada

sharkhearted's picture

Nope. Not joking.

In regards to me...yeah well....YES...that is none of your business. I don't *uck with you and you don't *uck with me.

The message of liberty defined.

And peace to you as well!

Norfolk, VA

Norfolk, VA

Time to INVESTIGATE the investigators of 9/11. PROSECUTE the prosecutors. EXPOSE the cover-up.

I am not lumping anything or

I am not lumping anything or anyone together. I just get tired of people who assume certain things and then conclude there must be a conspiracy, when most times there is a simple and logical explanation for their misunderstandings.

If you disagree with me on anything you are not a real libertarian...

I agree with everything you

I agree with everything you said, but I will also say that all of these procedures are difficult to understand. I find this case fascinating because I am studying the amended rules of civil procedure (2006) and the sedona conference.

Isn't the Amended Rule 26(f) conference just to let the parties and the judge know that you have a plan once it's time for discovery. The actual could drag out for years, and there is just a small window for RP since he is in a presidential race. The outcome of the case may be useless to him unless the case is expedited.

Now I get what you are saying, discovery can't begin until the identified parties have a conference...

I don't think they are hard

I don't think they are hard to understand. It is just that there are so many rules to learn and sometimes they are hidden in local rules etc, they can be difficult to catch, but a practicing attorney should know them.

Yes Rule 26, is just a meeting of the parties to set a timeline for when and what discovery is being conducted. And yes it could drag out for years, EXCEPT it probably won't for a number of reasons.

Once the Paul campaign does it right and obtain an order permitting early discovery they can subpoena twitter/youtube for the identify and then serve the complaint and/or get an initial injunction to have it removed. Again, they must meet certain elements to get that and will have to post a bond.

Once Defendant appears via motion or answer, they can then begin the discovery process as provided by the rules of F.R.C.P.

If you disagree with me on anything you are not a real libertarian...

Amicus brief?

Hi Brian, thank you very much for your insightful comments.

I found out that Friday afternoon Public Citizen, a consumer advocacy organization, together with several other civil liberties groups (the ACLU, EFF and DMLP) submitted a so called amicus brief to the court. The principal author of it is Paul Levy.

The brief can be found here.

I understand what an amicus brief is and what their intent is, but can you perhaps elaborate in your own words as to what you think this means?

It means they are trying to

It means they are trying to "protect" users uploading stuff to the internet and have an issue with with the Paul campaign going after users. I haven't finished the whole thing, but they are essentially arguing that the post is protected by free speech.

I disagree with their reasoning because it is not about free speech. Anyone is allowed to criticize someone else without prosecution, BUT they are not, and should not, be allowed to pretent to be someone they are not, in an effort to defame that person.

This is just NOT a case about someone criticizing Ron Paul. it is a case about someone who DELIBERATELY disguised their identity and pretended to be Ron Paul so that Paul's name would be tarnished. That is NOT free speech.

They also state "Here, there is no literal falsity, and there is no evidence that consumers were actually confused." This is just not true. The Huntsman campaign believed it WAS Ron Paul and made an issue out of it. In fact it was reported many times that it was likely to be Paul campaign or someone associated with them.

Now, on the procedural stuff, they may be right, which is what the court pointed out.

If you disagree with me on anything you are not a real libertarian...

I am in a Civil litigation

I am in a Civil litigation class now and studying Fed Rules of Civil Procedure as it applies to electronic stored information (e-discovery). It appears RP attorney failed to make the case for EARLY discovery, which means he wants discovery before the briefs and answers. If it's dismissed with prejudice, he just needs to reapply for early discovery satisfying all the elements given.

This is costly and I think they should let it go, unless they have a darn good idea who Jane Doe is.

Small correction.

Small correction. e-discovery is not an issue here. bending the rules of discovery is. I.e. obtaining expedited discovery before the scheduled conference. I wrote about it above.

"which means he wants discovery before the briefs and answers." That is not correct. I explained this above, and in earlier post. It has to do with WHEN Federal Courts allows discovery to begin. Either by mutual consent, which there cannot be here, because defendant has not appeared or identified, or after parties have met at the scheduled conference pursuant to Rule 26.

It is not costly. It was just laziness, or sloppiness by Paul's attorneys when they wrote the application. They should have known the legal standards and met them BEFORE filing the ex parte. They can refile with the proper elements met and be fine.

If you disagree with me on anything you are not a real libertarian...

Ok Thanks. I have a lot to

Ok Thanks. I have a lot to learn.

Billy Jack's picture

RP's lawyer obviously screwed

RP's lawyer obviously screwed up because the Judges Order indicates she denied the petition ONLY because it FAILED to address the relevant legal criteria for early discovery (rather than waiting out the normal, dragged out legal process. In fact, she basically INVITED the campaign to resubmit the Petition after having addressed the relevant legal standards.

To prevail - to show "good cause" - the campaign merely needs to show that, if they don't find out now, the campaign will be OVER by the time they do find out, the damage having been done to the campaign without any chance of remedy. Pretty simple stuff under the facts in this case.

P.S. theendrun.com has a 2-part EXCELLENT grass roots investigation that could provide most of the info the lawyer needs.

Cos Cob, CT