Former Ashley Madison CTO 'threatens security blogger with libel action'

Lawyer for Raja Bhatia seeks to prove the power of the Streisand Effect, it seems

Investigative crime journo Brian Krebs says he has received a threatening letter from a lawyer representing Ashley Madison's ex-CTO Raja Bhatia.

The letter, we're told, accuses the pro-blogger of libeling the former exec in an online article. For legal reasons, we cannot at this time repeat Krebs' specific allegations against Bhatia. Krebs is sticking to his guns.

In August, we reported that, according to emails leaked by hackers, Bhatia discovered security vulnerabilities in a rival website in 2012.

We're told the letter to Krebs claims one of the writer's blog posts "contains false and defamatory statements about Mr Bhatia. We ask Krebs on Security to immediately retract and correct them." The missive reads:

Mr Bhatia [...] noticed a readily apparent security gap and remarked on it to Noel Biderman, Ashley Madison's CEO, with whom he happened to speak shortly thereafter.

Krebs, who lives in Virginia, US, has published online the letter from the Canadian legal firm "in the likely event that other publications have also received libel and defamation threats from Ashley Madison and/or its current and former employees."

"Libel lawsuits in the United States are usually quite difficult and expensive for the plaintiff to win," Krebs said.

"But in Canada — where Bhatia’s attorney and Ashley Madison’s parent company Avid Life Media are headquartered — the libel laws are more complex for defendants. For example, according my consultation with a prominent Canadian digital media attorney, the onus there is on the accused to prove the disputed libelous claims are in fact true.

"Nevertheless, I have no intention of posting a retraction or correcting any elements of this story." ®

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