back to article Don't let Google dox me on Lumen Database, nameless man begs

A man trying to sue Google is so terrified of being doxed by the ad tech company's Lumen Database that he has managed to hide his name from High Court judges for almost a year. The anonymous claimant, a middle-aged man we can only name as ABC, appeared without a lawyer at London's High Court on Friday (24 August) in an …

  1. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    Difficult to refute an argument made in such blithering language.

    1. Stevie Silver badge

      Re: Bah!

      "Unless the court, in the round, understands all the circumstances of the case as to the background, as to any risk that actually, of undermining the order, obviously that will defeat the object"

      Sorry, downvoters. I re-read this and attempted to diagram it, but it might as well be Furbish.

      It's still palpable, ungrammatical blither, brought on by a desire to use twenty words when six will do.

      1. jasonbrown1965

        Re: Bah!

        Seems appropriate for a forum where the language appears to err more towards the ethereal the higher up the monkey shows his ass.

        And it's a really, really big monkey.

        Batting bi-planes out of the sky, King Kong big, and at least as far back.

  2. Alister Silver badge

    the hearing, which ended at about 6pm on a Bank Holiday Friday.

    No wonder the Judge was getting annoyed, that's a round of golf he missed out on...

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: the hearing, which ended at about 6pm on a Bank Holiday Friday.

      "No wonder the Judge was getting annoyed"

      Not that annoyed. He didn't actually send him down for a long weekend for contempt of court.

      1. A nosy macro wound

        Re: the hearing, which ended at about 6pm on a Bank Holiday Friday.

        That would have required the counterparty (Google) to apply for a contempt order, and in the circumstances I suspect they felt that their interests were best served by remaining as silent as possible!

  3. Alan J. Wylie

    BBC Technology + Creativity Blog

    The BBC's Technology + Creativity Blog posts a list of BBC pages that have been removed from Google's search results, here's the lastest post. It can be a most interesting read.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: BBC Technology + Creativity Blog

      Its like a 'whose who' of another parallel universe. :XD

  4. knarf

    Can't they just Google it ?

    If that doesn't work try Bing

  5. Gordon 10 Silver badge
    Big Brother

    thus the old adage

    "He who represents himself has a fool for a client"

    Kudos for getting away with it for a year though.

  6. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

    What's the first rule?

    Don't piss off the judiciary.

    1. Scroticus Canis
      Holmes

      Re: What's the first rule?

      Rule No. 1: "Don't get caught"

      Rule No. 2: see rule 1 .....

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What's the first rule?

        I don't want to catch anyone not drinking.

  7. Iznik
    Headmaster

    Bank Holiday Friday

    Bank Holiday Friday in this case being a Friday, not a Bank Holiday, but before a weekend with a following Bank Holiday Monday. Which I know we can all surmise, but I'm standing up for Good Friday, a real Bank Holiday Friday with a real Bank Holiday Monday following.

    1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

      Re: Bank Holiday Friday

      Make Good Friday great again.

      1. pɹɐʍoɔ snoɯʎuouɐ

        Re: Bank Holiday Friday

        " Make Good Friday great again. "

        what with? £250M a week?

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Bank Holiday Friday

      "Good Friday, a real Bank Holiday"

      And not forgetting those years when Christmas and New Year fall on a Friday too :-)

      Other than that, I concur. It wasm't a Bank Holiday Friday.

      1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

        Re: Bank Holiday Friday

        Christmas and New Year will never fall on a Friday in the same year.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Bank Holiday Friday

          "Christmas and New Year will never fall on a Friday in the same year."

          D'oh! Of course. New Years is 7 days later but in a different year. Bleedin' obvious really, but part of the same holiday, hence my (and probably many other people) confusion.

          1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

            Re: Bank Holiday Friday

            Though, to be fair, if asked to write the date down withing the first few weeks of the year I get it wrong. On a good New Year's Day I'm incapable of remembering my own name, let alone writing it.

            1. onefang Silver badge

              Re: Bank Holiday Friday

              Christmas, the following New Years Day, my birthday, my sisters birthday, her husbands birthday, and my brothers ex wife's birthday, all fall on the same day of the week, all within a couple of months. I'm too scared to ask about my brothers new wife's birthday. The rest of the family, no idea, they had to make theirs hard.

  8. Mystic Megabyte Silver badge
    FAIL

    This title is invisible

    If he was wearing bandages around his head I think I might know who he is.

    1. krs360

      Re: This title is invisible

      Not a bandage, just plain old tin foil.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Having been on the end (or more specifically stuck in the middle) of ranting incoherence like this I recognise this pattern of stubborn paranoia.

    At work we regularly have these complainants who are effectively regular customers. One weeks it's dog shit, next it's garden waste, then it'll be something else and each and every complaint is taken to the highest level possible i.e the the Prime Minister and and Queen are cc'd into dog shit complaints.

    The chap may well have a valid point somewhere in his ramblings but he is incapable of putting this across in meaningful terms and also incapable or seeking the right help in dealing with his issues. He may well have some form of mental illness.

    'Querulous complainant's is the term I have learned, in short - I complain therefore I am.

    1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

      'Querulous complainant's is the term I have learned

      Feeding that term into Google gives this interesting paper in the British Journal of Psychiatry.

      TL;DR: they're harmful to themselves and those they're complaining to.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        There is a good (and readable) paper on the SPSO website - http://www.valuingcomplaints.org.uk/sites/valuingcomplaints/files/resources/Querulous%20Complainants%20WEB.pdf

        IMH experience the majority of querulous complainants have an underlying mental or personality disorder. Unfortunately this means that they will often be quite harassing to the people who are trying to help them.

        They will often have a very definite idea of the answer they expect to get in response to their complaint and will reject any answer which does not support this already established expectation.

        Their belief in conspiracies is often unshakable despite the relit y being that the public sector is just not competent or loyal enough to run a proper conspiracy.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      may become

      vexatious litigants. There's a sort list who are forbidden to bring actions in court.

      A probably larger population have orders that they may only bring an action after first obtaining the permission of a named judge, or their successor.

      In respect of one idiot that was very welcome.

    3. Ken 16 Silver badge
      Coat

      One weeks it's dog shit, next it's garden waste

      that sounds like good organic gardening practice to me.

      1. Korev Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: One weeks it's dog shit, next it's garden waste

        Is that the compostable infrastructure we read about so much these days?

  10. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    It doesn't seem clear what he wants from Google but if he wants them to keep his name out of searches they can't do that if they don't know it.

  11. Tinslave_the_Barelegged Silver badge

    Is ABC...?

    He's really "Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells", isn't he?

    1. Borg.King

      Re: Is ABC...?

      He's really "Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells", isn't he?

      That'll be "Royal Tunbridge Wells" if you please.

      1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

        Re: Is ABC...?

        He's really "Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells", isn't he?

        That'll be "Royal Tunbridge Wells" if you please.

        Royally Disgusted of Royal Tunbridge Wells?

        1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

          Re: Is ABC...?

          When your world is full of strange arrangements

          And gravity won't pull you through

          You know you're missing out on something

          Well that something depends on you

    2. gerdesj Silver badge
      Windows

      Re: Is ABC...?

      Angry of Andover (Billious of Birmingham and errrr Cold of Stream)

      1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

        Re: Is ABC...?

        Also sounds very much like Mr. Gumby

        1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

          Re: Also sounds very much like Mr. Gumby

          My brain hurts.

    3. Korev Silver badge
      Childcatcher

      Re: Is ABC...?

      "He's really "Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells", isn't he?"

      I'm off to ask Mrs Trellis, I think she lives in North Wales

      1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

        Re: Is ABC...?

        Are you sure it's not Phil and Meg McQueen of Sulky Abbot in Bumsex?

  12. GrumpenKraut Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Arguing with the judge how things should proceed...

    How very clever. Angry judges, bad news for the angree.

    Spillchucker says 'angree' is not a word, bah!

  13. ShadowDragon8685

    If Google really wanted to find him, I imagine they'd just have someone snap a photograph of him and run it through facial recognition.

  14. 2+2=5 Silver badge

    Deed poll to the rescue

    He can legally change his name, conduct the case and then change it back again. Or something.

    1. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

      Re: Deed poll to the rescue

      But somewhere along the line, he'll need to tell Google what name to keep out of their database.

    2. Wensleydale Cheese Silver badge

      Re: Deed poll to the rescue

      "He can legally change his name, conduct the case and then change it back again. "

      I don't think you are allowed to change your name back to the original one after doing a deed poll.

      (Source: a former colleague who had changed his name by deed poll.)

      1. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

        @Wensleydale Cheese Re: Deed poll to the rescue

        I wonder why? My partner has reverted back to her maiden name after divorcing her ex. How's that different?

      2. markr555

        Re: Deed poll to the rescue

        There's really no such thing as changing your name by deed poll - you simply take on a new name any time you like. The process of using a solicitor for this is simply to provide a verifiable record of when you did this, but it's absolutely not necessary, I can change my name to Schnicklegruber right now if i so desire as long as that's the only name I use until I decide to change it again.

  15. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

    we cannot give details of what ABC wants to sue Google for

    It's probably because he doesn't want to be named anything that associates him with Google's parent (Alphabet).

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "I've never encountered a case in which one party has not known the identity of the other party."

    Hasn't he? He's never dealt with organised crime cases then?

    To be fair, it is clear that the complainant does not know how to go about it but then again most of us don't and when we do, we realise how terribly expensive and frustrating the whole process is.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: "I've never encountered a case...one party has not known the identity of the other party."

      "Hasn't he? He's never dealt with organised crime cases then?"

      In those cases, the complainant would be The Crown. Individual witnesses may well be kept anonymous from the defendant and the public record, but will most certainly be known to the court and the prosecution. This guy is currently refusing to even tell the court who he is and the defendant needs to know who he his if they are to take any action in respect of his complaint.

      Ps "There are some problems with your post. The title is too long." Looks the Re: took it over the limit.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Solicitors from London law firm Pinsent Masons

    The ones who occasionally write here about stuff such as privacy laws and the like?

    1. Insert sadsack pun here

      Re: Solicitors from London law firm Pinsent Masons

      Yes - it's bad form of El Reg not to mention that Pinsents are media partners/sponcon(?) with El Reg.

      Also, considering the reported detail but also the [sic], it seems like The Reg was relying on a source in court who was not a hack but who was keen to name check the barrister and law firm. Who might that have been?

      1. gazthejourno (Written by Reg staff)

        Re: Re: Solicitors from London law firm Pinsent Masons

        Ye gods. Pinsents haven't been media partners of the Reg for years - nice to see a long term reader commenting, terrible to see you evidently don't read us that often. In fact Pinsents was one of the tiny number of law firms to criticise El Reg's open justice win in the Upper Tribunal earlier this year.

        You'll find any good court reporter regularly namechecks barristers and solicitors' firms, mainly because that allows the informed reader to figure out how much money that side is flinging at the case. The lawyers may think it's an ego boost - it reveals just as much as what the complainant was wearing.

        As for your "source in court" snark, my name is at the top of the article. Why? Because I sat there in Court 37 watching my Friday beer o'clock go speeding past and wrote down all that was said. If I was cribbing off someone else, I'd have namechecked them and linked to them. Doubtless Google would love to nobble El Reg's coverage of court cases brought against them but they ain't doing it through me.

        (psst, Sergey, Larry, double this week's cheque or I spill the beans)

        1. onefang Silver badge
          WTF?

          Re: Solicitors from London law firm Pinsent Masons

          "it reveals just as much as what the complainant was wearing."

          I was gonna comment on the descriptions of what the complainant was wearing. Why is that important? What does it reveal? Why are people so fussy about what other people wear? Oh wait, I can answer that last one, it's coz the fashion industry likes to make large profits. Clothes do not make the man, as a descendant of several generations of tailors and dressmakers I can tell you, man (or woman) makes the clothes.

          I'm in the middle of three weeks of jury duty. Last week I turned up wearing no footwear, and despite the fact there was no mention anywhere of what to wear on your feet, I was turned away from performing my duty. Why is what I'm wearing on my feet important, when they only need my mind to perform my jury duty?

          Anyone can wear a business suit and a fake Rolex watch, it means nothing. "Dressed in mismatched jacket and trousers" may just mean he is colour blind. "gold-coloured watch below his cuff-linked sleeve" means he begged, borrowed, stole, or actually owns a watch and cufflinks, that he decided to wear that day. Still doesn't say anything about the actual person wearing them. The worlds worst scum, and the worlds most saintly person, can both wear the same clothes. No one makes you sit a six week morals course when you buy clothes, they only care that you can pay for them.

          1. Just Enough

            Re: Solicitors from London law firm Pinsent Masons

            "I was gonna comment on the descriptions of what the complainant was wearing."

            I wondered about that. I assume we are supposed to draw some insight from the fact the guy was wearing "mismatched jacket and trousers", but I'm at a loss to what it is. Apart from anything else "mismatched" is a matter of opinion, and I don't read El Reg for the fashion.

            1. T. F. M. Reader Silver badge

              Re: Solicitors from London law firm Pinsent Masons

              @Just Enough: we are supposed to draw some insight from the fact the guy was wearing "mismatched jacket and trousers"

              Maybe just that the guy knows what spezzato means?

          2. Jamie Jones Silver badge

            @onefang Re: Solicitors from London law firm Pinsent Masons

            I agree totally.. Often those who "dress to impress" are doing so to hide the fact they haven't got much talent.. I see three of these people are your downvoters :-)

            1. onefang Silver badge

              Re: @onefang Solicitors from London law firm Pinsent Masons

              And now for the sequel to my jury duty adventures.

              I turned up for jury duty again today. This time I was wearing footwear. I got into the jury assembly area, where I sat for almost an hour watching the news on the big screens. Coz I was a bit early, and they where running late. Eventually they got around to telling me that because I had been excused the previous time for being barefoot, I am now excused for the rest of my three week jury duty period, no matter what I wear.

              Foolish footwear fashion following fuckers don't forgive or forget, I'm flabbergasted.

              1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

                Re: @onefang Solicitors from London law firm Pinsent Masons

                Wow. I hope you still get paid whatever compensation you would normally get paid.

                Anyway, a handy tip for avoiding jury service in the future!

                As an aside, in my clubbing days, there was this really cooled chilled out nightclub in Mumbles village, that sorta had an "inverse dress code" - well, not literally, but generally most guys were there in casual jeans, or even shorts and sandals (me!) .

                In the clubs in nearby Swansea city, you invariably had the groups of people "smartly dressed" who invariably started fights... The sort who's only other chance to wear a suit is at their court hearing :-)

                If they had been kicked out of too many clubs they'd often 'spill over' to Mumbles, and would be refused entry because they were most likely the "smartly dressed thugs".

                I was working in London shortly afterwards, and I told a mate there, who didn't believe me.. We visited back home once, and went down Mumbles, and even his casual clothes appeared too formal, and he was only allowed in after I vouched for him!

  18. frank ly Silver badge

    Being Paranoid

    "Mr Justice Nicklin ruled that ABC must provide his name and address to the ad tech company and the court within seven days, ... "

    Why do google need to know his name and address? Certainly he needs to identify himself to the court to the court's satisfaction, but why do Google need to know where he lives?

    1. VikiAi Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Being Paranoid

      To make sure Google Maps is up-to-date?

  19. EveryTime Silver badge

    Wielding the power of the state

    This is a plaintiff. They are applying to have the court order someone to do something. That's implicitly using the government to force something to happen.

    Views differ on what level of privacy you should be entitled. But few would expect that you should have the government do something on your behalf while remaining anonymous.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    Google’s Lumen Database? Really?

    Lumen is an independent 3rd party research project studying cease and desist letters concerning online content. We collect and analyze requests to remove material from the web…

    https://www.lumendatabase.org/pages/about

    1. tom dial Silver badge

      Indeed. The lumendatabase url resolves to an address in a direct allocation to Harvard University, for which all identified contacts have harvard.edu email addresses.

  21. The Nazz Silver badge

    If only ......

    "Orders of the court are not matters that you are free to decide when and if you will comply with them. When a court orders - makes an order like this, you comply with it," said Mr Justice Nicklin.

    If only Mr Justice Nicklin would only transfer to the Family Division.

    There must be thousands, tens of thousands, of court orders made there and totally ignored by obstructive parents, by far the majority being mothers, with total impunity.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: If only ......

      ^ this ^

      (No nick, can't afford one (now))

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: If only ......

        Been there, done that; Even once had the T-Shirt to prove it...

        <natch/>

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: If only ......

      Justice is different for women because they are all precious, fragrant and delightful.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The guy might have a point

    There is some merit in the persons actions. We now live in a world in which search engines are judge, jury and executioner in that accusations are taken as evidence of a crime having been committed! If you are accused of anything then "of course it's true" even if it isn't. There is no such thing as unbiased justice. Ultimately it is down to a group of people deciding whether or not a person has committed a crime. That's fine if there is physical evidence (like DNA traces or a gun) but what if somebody has been accused of a historical crime and there is no evidence, no witnesses and it's all down to one person's story vs another? That's when you get trial by media. Look what happened to Cliff Richard for instance. What about malicious aggegations?

    1. The Mighty Spang

      Re: The guy might have a point

      I know someone where if you google his name a bunch of stories about a rapist with the same name come up on the first page (no its defininetly not him)

      1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

        Re: The guy might have a point

        Bit like that guy from Steps

      2. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

        Re: The guy might have a point

        I know someone where if you google his name, you get a mixture of results about a radio DJ well known for broadcasting in the afternoon, and a serial killer from Suffolk.

  23. viscount

    "Dressed in mismatched jacket and trousers".

    If El Reg is now the fashion police I have a lot of crimes to report from those around me.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Dressed in mismatched jacket and trousers".

      He just means that some of the guy's clothing didn't have The North Face written on it.

  24. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    Kafka-eqsue

    ...but the other way around.

    There are two fundamental items of information any defendant requires to defend themselves from a legal charge - what am I charged with, and ***WHO*** is charging me.

    There are arguments for and against as to whether the public should have access to this information before, during, or after a trail, but *within* a trial it is fundamental.

  25. Geekpride

    Meritless nonsense

    This complainant is making an argument that is without merit. Strip away all the nonsense, and it seems fairly simple - ABC doesn't want to identify himself for fear of his identity being published. But there's already an anonymity order in place, so the court has already used its powers to prevent ABC's identity being revealed. There's no good reason for ABC not to identify themselves to the court and the defendant.

  26. lukewarmdog
    Coat

    I'm sure they could figure out who he was if they wanted to..

    "I'd like the court to make Google remove all mention from their databases of John Charles of Epping who was in front of a judge last year for defrauding lots of old people because it's stopping me setting up a series of totally legitimate businesses where OAPs give me money to invest in pyramid schemes."

    I'm really puzzled as to how he has managed to pay for any of this anonymously. Getting a judge and lawyers into a court room is a lengthy and expensive process, has he just been dropping bundles of cash off in the admin office?

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