The German Supreme Court came down with an interesting case and decision yesterday. The case revolved around a doctor....suing to get at the party (individual) who commented online about the doctor in some possible negative way. The doctor wanted the guy's identity, and was imposing on the service provider or portal apparatus.....to note the guy's actual name.
What was said by the Court....was that there are a couple of reasons why a provider would have to ID a guy, and it's written into the law....so they didn't really need to rework the interpretation. For law enforcement, maritime security, and copyright infringement....that's it. No personal violations are written into the law, so the doctor involved could not get the actual ID of the person to sue in court.
There are various ways you can read off this episode. It's a narrow-definition situation. If threats had been involved or if the mysterious guy had put out personal data on the doctor.....it might have gone the other way. But in this case.....the mystery guy said some negative things about the doctor, and his individual ID will be respected.
I'm guessing it will open the door for more laws to be written in the future....but for the time being.....IDs of any type on the internet.....are kept private. Unless of course, you violate one of the three areas mentioned.