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GSB Gold Standard Corp. v. Google

A German company that sells investments backed by cryptocurrency filed a petition for discovery in New York seeking to identify an anonymous blogger who criticized it on a blog about multilevel marketing schemes. The company alleges that the blogger’s statements about the bank were false and defamatory.  Although the blogger moved to quash,  a New York court granted discovery, based solely on a decision by a German court, which held the statements to be defamatory in an action by the company against Google.

Representing the blogger in an appeal from the order of the New York court, Public Citizen argued primarily that New York courts should adopt the Dendrite standard. On December 7, 2023, the court granted our motion for a stay of the district court’s order pending appeal. On May 30, 2024, the court ruled in our favor, reversing the trial court. Endorsing the Dendrite test, the court held that a party seeking to identify an anonymous speaker for the purpose of suing her must provide notice of the proceeding, identify the actionable words, state a valid legal claim, and make out a prima facie case on the legal claim, after which the court must assess the weight of the evidence supporting the claim and balance the equities.