Google Ordered to Provide Info on Alleged Cyber-bullies

A Canadian court has ordered American tech giant Google to disclose who has been operating a YouTube channel and a blog that have allegedly been used for cyber-bullying. 

Wife and husband Sakura Saunders and Darius Mirshahi allege that whoever is behind the blog "Antifa: Exposed" and a YouTube channel they claim is linked to the blog, Undercoverkitty, has targeted them with insults and falsely accused both of them of being involved with a domestic terrorist organization. 

The couple made their allegation in affidavits filed in January 2021 before the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia. Now the court is using the relatively new and rarely used Intimate Images and Cyber-protection Act, Nova Scotia legislation that was introduced in 2017, to order Google to provide information that could identify the couple's alleged online abuser(s).

Saunders said in her affidavit that content shared on the blog and YouTube channel has incorrectly suggested that she is violent. The writer and social justice activist described the blog as being written in "a hateful tone" and being full of conspiracy theories.

In their court filings, the couple wrote: "The blog alleges the applicant Sakura Saunders made trips to Australia to organize student riots. The blog alleges the applicant Sakura Saunders engages in criminal projects."

The affidavits also state: "The blog alleges the applicants are a member and a leader of a domestic terrorist organization, which uses extreme violence against those they disagree with the intent of destroying civilization."

Union organizer Mirshahi, who in a 2010 interview with the Guelph Mercury Tribune, said: “I’m very public about my beliefs. I don’t believe in the state,” is described as an anarchist hailing from Iran on the "Antifa: Exposed" blog.

Mirshahi, who said that he has never been to Iran but is of Iranian heritage, has authored articles themed around revolution and anarchy that were published on Canadian site Interrobang.

The order related to YouTube’s owner Google was issued March 25 by Nova Scotia Supreme Court Justice Richard Coughlan. Google has until the end of April 2021 to supply the requested information. 

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