Zayo Extortion

Steven Fischer sfischer1967 at
Wed Aug 17 01:42:52 UTC 2016

For the record: Extortion(n) Law. *the crime of obtaining money or some
other thing of value by the abuse of one's office or authority.* Not sure
if (according to the provided account) a service provider threatening to
disable a critical business service unless rendered a sum of money the
service provider cannot prove they are owed qualifies as extortion, but
from the definition I found at, it is certainly seems to be
in that general neighborhood.

On Tue, Aug 16, 2016 at 9:24 PM, Mel Beckman <mel at> wrote:

> Jon,
> You're mistaken. This has nothing to do with being or not being an
> FCC-controlled medium. It has to do with published statements that may not
> be true -- which are classified as libel, not slander (slander is spoken,
> libel is written). If you post it in a mailing list, or on Facebook, it's
> legally considered published, as long as one other person not party to the
> matter can view it.
> You're also mistaken about how the law works. The person making the
> assertion has the burden of proof. If you say someone is an extortionist,
> you'd better be able to prove it. All the plaintiff has to do is say "Your
> honor, I've been libeled, and here are my damages. Please make the
> defendant compensate me." You will be subpoenaed, and at court the judge
> will turn to you and say "Where is the proof of your claims?"  If you can't
> deliver, the judgement will go against you.
> The plaintiff doesn't have to prove a thing. In fact, his claim will
> automatically be accepted and processed by the legal system up until you
> appear in court. The cost for you before that point could be thousands of
> dollars. If you don't show up for court, you automatically lose.
>  -mel beckman
>  -mel beckman
> On Aug 16, 2016, at 4:12 PM, Jonathan Hall <jhall at<mailto:j
> hall at>> wrote:
> Excuse me for chiming in, here… But, if I’m not mistaken (don’t worry, I’m
> not) - this doesn’t count as ‘slander’ in any way, shape or form. This mail
> thread is not any kind of valid FCC controlled or public communications
> device, as the internet was actually excluded from the public
> communications device list under the Freedom of Speech Act in… Was it,
> 1996? Which means, ‘slander’ can’t be called in this case. You could argue
> that it can, but you’d lose in court in the long run.
> If you’re aiming for the defamation card? That’s a very difficult one to
> prove. I’d counter the argument in a court room by asking the judge to
> prove the plaintiff is NOT an extortionist scum bag. It certainly works
> both ways. And either way, defamation requires some form of punitive damage
> be proven in order to actually win that case. Are you saying that the
> company he is referencing has some way to claim and directly correlate a
> loss of income or potential loss of income, either present and/or future,
> due to the comment made on a mail group? I’d love to see that
> quantification on paper...
> None the less, regardless of what one accuses or says on the internet, the
> usage of the word ‘extortion’ is quite open for interpretation with regards
> to context, and making such a statement does not qualify for slander nor
> defamation. He could feel he’s being extorted, in which case exasperating
> his opinion publicly is no less legal than me telling you that I don’t
> really think you’re a good lawyer.
> Good luck trying to play that card in a courtroom.
> Short and simple: One could threaten to sue over it, and one could even
> try. Personally, I’d turn that court room in to a circus act if someone
> tried. I’d most likely get fined in contempt a few times, but at least even
> the judge will go home laughing. :)
> J
> On 16 Aug 2016, at 16:45, Anne Mitchell <amitchell at<mailto:am
> itchell at>> wrote:
> to say "our accounting system does not track invoice details -- it only
> shows the total amount due so your numbers mean nothing to us."
> All the while they relentlessly levied disconnect threats with short
> timelines such as: "if you don't pay us $128,000 by this Friday,
> we will shut your operation down."
> [...]
> At one point their lawyers and accounting people had the nerve to say "our
> accounting system does not track invoice details
> Are you talking with your SP's lawyers without your a legal team of
> your own present and advising you?
> I think one of the first things they should tell you is not to discuss
> pending disputes in public. Time to get
> a consultation with your own Lawyers to assist with billing dispute
> resolution, ASAP.
> Not to mention that accusing someone of a crime (extortion), in public (in
> this context I would argue that this is public, especially as the term
> 'community' was used in the allegation) is a pretty serious thing.
> Anne P. Mitchell,
> Attorney at Law
> Legislative Consultant
> CEO/President,
> SuretyMail Email Reputation Certification and Inbox Delivery Assistance
> Available for consultations by special arrangement.
> Author: Section 6 of the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 (the Federal anti-spam law)
> Member, California Bar Cyberspace Law Committee
> Member, Colorado Cybersecurity Consortium
> Member, Asilomar Microcomputer Workshop Committee
> Ret. Professor of Law, Lincoln Law School of San Jose
> Ret. Chair, Asilomar Microcomputer Workshop
> amitchell at<mailto:amitchell at> | @AnnePMitchell
> Facebook/AnnePMitchell  | LinkedIn/in/annemitchell

To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his
glorious presence without fault and with great joy

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