Troll Tracker gained repute as a forum for information, not invective. But its more volatile content would eventually combine to blow up the blog and land its creator and Cisco in legal hot water. A reader comment in December contained a death threat against Chicago attorney Raymond Niro Sr., who has long represented trolls. Two Texas attorneys were enraged by Troll Tracker reports suggesting that the lawyers may have had dates altered on a court document—a felony. By the end of last year, Niro had put up a $15,000 bounty to unmask the anonymous blogger, and Internet sleuths had tried to track him.
On Feb. 23, in what turned out to be his final post, Troll Tracker outed himself with an entry titled “Live by anonymity, die by anonymity.” According to the post, he had received an anonymous e-mail that told him to declare his identity or the e-mailer would do it for him. “Let me introduce myself,” Troll Tracker wrote. “My name is Rick Frenkel.”
The fallout was swift. […]
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