Worldwide Injunction… by Australian Court

By Richard Stobbe

Those familiar with the controversy surrounding the Google / Equustek saga will be interested to know that Canada is not alone in extending its reach in internet-related disputes. This worldwide injunction was issued by an Australian court against Twitter in the case of X. v. Twitter [2017] NSWSC 1300.

The case deals with an injunction application to stop the unauthorised publication of the plaintiff’s confidential information. The publication occurred in the form of ‘tweets’ of certain secret financial information of an (apparently) anonymous plaintiff. The plaintiff company, identified simply as ‘X’, brought an injunction application against Twitter, a non-party to the underlying dispute, arising from conduct of an (apparently) anonymous defendant.

The mystery defendant created a Twitter account impersonating the plaintiff’s CEO, and then leaked certain information via the Twitter platform. When a complaint was sent to Twitter, it removed the offending tweets and the reported account for a violation of Twitter’s online terms (,  specifically the rules regarding impersonation.  As so often happens with internet-based shenanigans, the offending conduct merely resurfaced under a different account, and it continued and escalated. The court was convinced that this conduct was “clearly suggestive of a malicious intention to harm the plaintiff.”

In this case, the Australian court had no trouble establishing jurisdiction over Twitter, although the company did not file any defence, nor did it submit to the Australian court in any way. Much like the Canadian court in Equustek, the Australian court indicated that its jurisdiction over non-parties, and its extra-territorial reach, was nothing new. It has been making orders of this kind long before Twitter.

The court agreed to uphold the orders against Twitter to reveal the anonymous subscriber’s identity and to cause the “Offending Material” to be removed everywhere in the world from the Twitter platform and Twitter’s websites.

So far, there are no reports that the decision has been appealed.

Calgary – 10:00 MST


No comments

No comments yet. Be the first.

Leave a reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.