The Witchfinder has annoying, but necessary news.
I will be blunt. As everyone knows, I started a County Court claim against James Billingham on 24/04/2015. However, on 06/05/2015 (Wednesday last week) the Information Commissioner’s Office (a part of the UK Government) decided to wade in by announcing they were taking action, whereas before I only knew they were investigating [Edited for clarity 09/05/2015]. There are a lot of people in on the matter now and I have taken further advice over the last week.
The short version of the advice is that circumstances have changed – there will now be a significant investigation and anything I can achieve with my claim is now achievable via the ICO. The claim is obviously not meritless as the ICO have agreed to investigate, but the investigation is likely to be complex and create large, risky costs in County Court because of the very large number of people involved. It is extremely likely that the claim would now not be allocated to the Small Claims track. If it was ever suitable for Money Claims Online it is not now.
Fortunately, up until now the Defendant and his employer have refused to reply to correspondence or take any steps in the proceedings (thereby flouting the costs rules) which means they would normally be sanctioned and in any event would be hard pressed to gain costs of discontinuance. Conveniently the same would apply if it was struck out via MCOL. So now is a good time to refocus on the efforts via the ICO and minimise personal risk.
Also, I have been conducting this matter responsibly and it is important to take legal advice when it is given – to do otherwise really would be ‘harassment’. Having cleared my name once I do not wish to do so again.
Regarding the GoFundMe. I will hold the monies against any risk and then use them as promised for entertainments at the next GamerGate meet up. To be clear – so far no money has been drawn and I will produce accounts.
The ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office) complaint remains running, we are also still able to campaign against the Block Bot by (for example) email campaigns and should they engage in further objectionable conduct we can look again at legal proceedings. There are likely to be significant sanctions if the Block Bot transfers the data abroad.