The owner of the Delaware computer repair shop where Hunter Biden left his laptop, leading to the exposé on the New York Post, is suing Twitter for defamation. His first lawsuit, that we covered at the time, was dismissed over jurisdiction issues.
Last October, the New York Post published a story alleging that Joe Biden, then a presidential candidate, might have abused his powers when he was vice president in the Obama administration. The source of the story was Hunter Biden’s emails recovered from a hard disk from a damaged computer the news outlet received from a computer repair shop in Delaware.
The emails revealed that the older Biden met with a Ukrainian energy company where the younger Biden was employed. The subject of the meeting was pressuring prosecutors to drop a case against the energy company.
However, Twitter, as well as Facebook, tried to suppress the spread of the story. Twitter blocked links to the New York Post story, claiming that it contained “hacked materials,” which is against its policies.
However, as the lawyer representing Mac Isaac, the owner of the computer shop, noted, the contents of Hunter Biden’s hard disk were not obtained illegally.
“Plaintiff is not a hacker and the information obtained from the computer does not constitute hacked materials because Plaintiff lawfully gained access to the computer, first with the permission of its owner, Biden, and then, after Biden failed to retrieve the recovered data despite Plaintiff’s reuses, in accordance with the Mac Shop’s abandoned property police,” the defendant’s attorney argued in the lawsuit, filed in the same court that rejected the first.
Mac Isaac is suing because he claims, by alleging the hacking, Twitter cost him his business and was even forced to close as most people now consider him a hacker. Isaac is suing for defamation damages of not less than $75,000. The exact settlement will be discussed after he wins the lawsuit.
We obtained a copy of the lawsuit for you here.
“Plaintiff, as a direct result of Defendant Twitter’s actions and statements, is now widely considered a hacker,” Isaac’s lawyers continued to argue in the lawsuit. The defense also added that Twitter should have considered, or even knew, that, by alleging the emails were obtained illegally, they would cause the plaintiff harm.
The plaintiff’s lawyer also noted that Twitter’s actions were politically motivated.
“The statements allege that Plaintiff committed crimes including (but not limited to) computer hacking of the son of the Democratic Party nominee, now President, Joe Biden. The implication of an attempt to undermine American democracy and the 2020 presidential election is obvious.”
Aside from defamation damages, Isaac also wants Twitter to “make a public retraction of all statements and to issue a public apology.” The microblogging platform is yet to comment on Isaac’s new lawsuit.
The previous lawsuit, filed in late December, at the same court as the new one, a federal court in the Southern District of Florida, was dismissed over jurisdiction issues. The court claimed that the case lacked “subject matter jurisdiction” since the plaintiff was a Delaware resident.
In the new lawsuit, Isaac has made attempts to bypass the jurisdiction hurdle. Although he now lives in Colorado, he claims that he has grounds to file a lawsuit in Florida, since Twitter operates in Florida, has offices in Florida, and the damage done to him by Twitter happened while he was in Florida.
“Twitter’s actions and statements had the specific intent to communicate to its users, including its Florida resident users, that Plaintiff is a hacker and/or hacked the published materials,” the lawsuit contended.
Twitter, through CEO Jack Dorsey, later acknowledged the blocking of the New York Post story was a mistake. A day after the story went viral, Dorsey tweeted:
“Straight blocking of URLs was wrong, and we updated our policy and enforcement to fix. Our goal is to attempt to add context, and now we have capabilities to do that.”
However, the social media platform continued blocking the story and even suspended the New York Post’s account for two weeks.