Schillings: Trollhunters General
The leading law firm is targeting social media, says Padraig Reidy
05 Sep 13
A troll, yesterday

A troll, yesterday

Law firm Schillings has relaunched as a privacy and cyber security firm, the Lawyer reports.

Schillings, scourge of many a Fleet Street editor, clearly believes the future of libel and privacy lays online. As such, they have co-opted online security firm “Vigilante Bespoke” into “Schillings IT Security”.

Vigilante Bespoke (which wouldn’t be a bad rapper name) started in 2009 as an “ethical hacking” business, testing gaps in firms and individual’s technological security.

Now, Vigilante Bespoke founder Oliver Crofton is being cast by Schillings as the Trollhunter General. He explains on the Schillings site:

“Although the internet is seen by some as anonymous, everything we do online leaves a “digital fingerprint”, which in some instances can be traced to uncover valuable identifying information.

“During investigations we look to uncover IP addresses (these are unique codes that relate to an individual home or office internet connection), which can often lead us to the street address of the person posting the nasty comments. In some instances, website server connection logs can be analysed, which can give us the mac address (a computer’s name and location) of the computer being used to post the unsolicited content.

“Simple tools also help when tracing people online, such as indepth online searches for usernames; as these are often used across several websites and each website may vary in the amount of information available about their users.”

Apart from troll hunting, the Schillings site has lots more to say on social media: what does a company do, for example, when compromising pictures of senior figures are Instagrammed (“the Weiner Dilemma” perhaps?). How to deal with negative customer reviews on say, TripAdvisor, or how to handle an ex-employee who can’t stop ranting about your company online?

The Schillings site is, in its own way, an indicator of where the new libel and privacy battles will be fought. It’s not about newspapers any more.

(ht Leah Borromeo)

By Padraig Reidy

Padraig Reidy is the editor of Little Atoms and a columnist for Index on Censorship. He has also written for The Observer, The Guardian, and The Irish Times.