The grown-up version of the story boils down to this: a 27-year old fashion student maintained an anonymous blog in which she described a Vogue cover model as a "skank" and a "ho." The model, Liskula Cohen, took legal action. Under court order, Google revealed the blogger's identify. Apparently the two women were previously friends/social acquaintances.
Now, the formerly anonymous blogger, outed as one Rosemary Port of NYC (shown in the photo above) says she plans to sue Google for $15 million for revealing her identity. More online: SF Gate, ZDnet. A Wikipedia entry points to more info on Liskula Cohen's life and career (including a horrible slashing attack she survived in 2007 which maimed her face.)
Now, the nature of the current conflict may seem silly. The behavior of the parties involved may not inspire much empathy. But switch the characters around to, say, Iranian political dissidents, or torture witnesses, or fraud whistleblowers -- and you can see how the privacy issues involved (and liability issues for Google) are worth considering. First they came for the bitchy fashion students...
Boing Boing editor/partner and tech culture journalist Xeni Jardin hosts and produces Boing Boing's in-flight TV channel on Virgin America airlines (#10 on the dial), and writes about living with breast cancer. Diagnosed in 2011. @xeni on Twitter. email: email@example.com.