Helsinki, Finland (Vocus/PRWEB) February 24, 2011
Ten Internet companies based in Florida have filed a lawsuit against WOT Services, the provider of safe surfing tool Web of Trust. The companies are requesting WOT to remove ratings and comments related to them and have accused WOT of defamation, violating rights, conspiracy and manipulating algorithms. WOT believes the case is baseless and has suggested dismissing the case in the court of justice in Florida.
According to court documents, the companies bringing up the case are Career Network, also known as Three Stars Media, Three Stars, Internetcompany, Internet-Company of Central Florida, Medialogic, Power Applications, MonkeyJar and Buzzgrub; headed by Mr. Ayman Difrawi, also known as Alec Difrawi, Michael Difrawi, Alec Defrawy, Michael Jensen, David Mellon, Alan Madison, David Katz, Alec Simon, Alexander Simon.
As well as bringing suit against the founders and CEO of WOT, WOT community members “John and Jane Does 1-100” are named in the document for alleged malicious, willful and intentional defamation. WOT hosts a site forum, which allows members to post comments and discuss website ratings, security and online safety. The WOT forum was used to discuss reports that Difrawi’s websites are “phishing” scams, whereby the websites attempt to acquire sensitive personal information by pretending to be a trustworthy entity. Difrawi's lawsuit contends that all defamatory postings are based on these forum comments and wants WOT to remove all postings related to Career Network and collect damages.
If the case goes to court, WOT’s advocacy will be based on the Communications Decency Act (article CDA 230), legislated in 1996 for similar cases. The article protects Internet service providers from liabilities related to content created by third parties.
“These are important issues we’re dealing with,” states Vesa Perälä, the CEO of WOT. “The Communications Decency Act was created to protect freedom of speech, cultural, religious and political diversity, and trade on the web. The Internet has become one of the central battlefields of the liberty of speech and there are a lot of disagreements about what can and cannot be said or done online. Now and in the future we will rely on freedom of speech, transparency and objectivity when offering our users a channel to express their views freely, thus making the web safer for all.”
Using WOT, millions of web users from around the world rate websites according to their experiences, also exposing suspected rogue websites. WOT users have pinned down more than five million untrustworthy websites.
“Our users have rated more than 31 million websites. It is understandable that we encounter unhappy site owners whose websites have poor reputations. We know this man in question and his reputation quite well. We are not the first company he has brought to court,” says Vesa Perälä.
The WOT community consists of millions of web users that detect and report alleged scam sites effectively and quickly. WOT reputation ratings are updated every 30 minutes, thus spreading the word and shortening the life cycle of scam sites significantly. Consequently, those owning websites meant to cheat people have to invest more money for new domains, sites and services.
“WOT brings transparency to the web and makes it more difficult for scam sites to operate. Usually the motivation behind these law cases is fear of losing income. However, it’s better for the scammers to lose money instead of our users being scammed,” says Vesa Perälä.
About WOT Services Ltd.
Web of Trust (WOT) is a community-powered surfing tool that boosts trust on the Internet, by using authentic user experiences to help web users find reliable websites. By means of a free WOT add-on tool installed in the browser, Internet users can discern the quality of websites that they are about to access in terms of trustworthiness, vendor reliability, privacy protection and suitability for children. With traffic-light style icons, WOT shows the website’s reputation based on user evaluations and information from trustworthy sources. WOT works with Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari and Opera. The service has 18 million users around the world who have rated more than 31 million websites.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
MIDDLE DISTRICT OF FLORIDA
Case No. 6:10-cv-01826-GAP-KRS
WOT Services Ltd.
Chief Executive Officer