FreeAdvice.Com Blegs for Help Finding Abuser of Its Site:

Here's the press release, which struck me as interesting (not bad, just interesting): is asking the Internet community to help find an anonymous abuser of its website, who has posted thousands of harassing, threatening, and obscene messages on the FreeAdvice Forum. The unknown user, who frequently refers to himself or herself as "IAAL" or "I Am Always Liable," has abused the FreeAdvice Forum site several thousand times, posting obscene and harassing graphics and text messages, many of them personally directed against other users.

A hearing for a preliminary injunction in "Advice Company v. Unknown Abusive User" is scheduled for Monday, July 17, 2006, before Judge James Ritchie in Superior Court, Marin County, California. A Temporary Restraining Order was issued on June 30, prohibiting IAAL from using and other websites maintained by its parent, Advice Company.

Gerry Goldsholle, Founder and CEO, says the lawsuit aims to help keep the Internet safe. "The millions of visitors to FreeAdvice want an environment that is safe, where they and their family can be comfortable that they're not going to be abused or subject to sexually degrading and sadistic comments. We have zero tolerance for abuse, and there must be consequences for abusers who prey on the Internet community."

"IAAL" Attacks

After posting tens of thousands of generally useful messages since January, 2000, in late 2005 IAAL, who claimed to be a California attorney, inexplicably began a series of hostile attacks on forum visitors. He registered using over 100 screen names, including "Opera Ghost," "Inflagrante," and a variety of pornographic expressions. He routinely used sexually abusive language and threats, with offensive descriptions of female anatomy and vindictive remarks directed against other Forum users and staff members of

Damage to FreeAdvice Forum and the Internet

In its complaint, claims that "IAAL" has cost the site and its related properties more than $100,000 in goodwill, lost productivity, advertising and visitor loyalty. But the damage is more than economic. IAAL's obscenity and threats hurt consumers seeking legal assistance.

Goldsholle says, "We repeatedly applied technological fixes, but IAAL figured out ways to hack in. When he started using foreign ISPs, we even cut off whole countries, making it impossible for overseas visitors to use the Forum. IAAL damaged access to legal information and the trust that makes the Internet such a valuable resource," he added.

Legal Action Against "IAAL"

Robert F. Knox, of Mill Valley, California, and Advocate Law Group P.C. of Irvine, California are representing in this matter.... In addition to the injunctive relief that has already obtained against IAAL, FreeAdvice is also seeking to recover its economic damages. The site's user agreement makes abusers liable for $250 per improper posting, which the site shares with charities....

Call to the Internet Community

If Internet users suspect they know the identity of IAAL, or if any ISPs or operators of other websites suspect IAAL has attacked their Internet properties, they are urged to contact Gerry Goldsholle at (415) 331-1212, ext. 234 or at Copies of court filings are at ...