Target Targets Blogger

It seems our buddy Target Corp. doesn’t like it when bloggers post store policies on the Internets. Their rational response? Duh, lawsuit.

Trouble is: They don’t know who the hell they are suing. Target has asked for the help of AOL, Microsoft and Yahoo, INC in searching for “John Doe,” an unknown blogger believed to live in Georgia.

“John” shared Target’s loss-prevention policies (sent to him by an unknown Target employee) on several websites including Targetunion.org and uses the screenname “Target Sucks.” What did “Target Sucks” have to say about Target’s lawsuit?

    “I didn’t sign any confidentiality agreement with them and really don’t give a rat’s ass if they like it or not.”

The real test will come not from the results of the lawsuit, but from the response of Microsoft, AOL, and Yahoo, INC. When a big box store comes calling about a user who allegedly violated their confidentiality policy &mdash which company will refuse to violate theirs?

Then again, if Target waits around long enough, AOL might just accidentally post “John’s” search queries. Anyone searching for “pecans” and “I fucking hate target” … ?

Comments

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  1. Any word from Fran?

  2. homerjay says:

    Why would he do such a thing?

  3. Triteon says:

    I think Popken is “Fran” and was moonlighting at Target!

  4. Fountain says:

    You missed this great quote from the msnbc.com article:

    “The poster also warned others on targetunion.org that Target law firm Faegre & Benson was monitoring the site, and published attorney Kerry Bundy’s e-mail address and phone number. In response, another poster wished “a million scurges” on the law firm. A scurge is a parasitic alien on Nintendo video games.”

  5. comedian says:

    The directives, by way of a bread crumb trail that begins at targetunion, can be found here, in case anyone cares.

    I’m half tempted to put in the time to rewrite these directives in my own words, removing the copyright protection for the expression of what would then be unencumbered ideas…

  6. v_dub says:

    I don’t understand why they are so upset? Is it because the policy reveals Target will no longer toss you in the pokey for stealing stuff under $25?

    The rest of the policy is your standard loss-prevention crap. You know, “Do not swing bats from sporting goods at shoplifters. Do not mace shoplifters.” Stuff like that.

  7. njsykora says:

    Yeah, they’re trying to find someone using one of the most common screennames on the internet. I know 2 people who use John Doe, good luck to them as they’ll need it.

  8. d0x says:

    The Target store in Nashua NH violates directive..

    “6. Fitting Rooms / Restrooms – Target does not allow the use of surveillance equipment in or over fitting rooms or restrooms, or allow surveillance equipment to be positioned in such a way to provide the opportunity to monitor fitting rooms or restrooms.”

  9. homerjay says:

    The Nashua target has cameras that look into the dressing rooms? How can this have never been brought up before?

  10. mikelite says:

    have you ever seen anyone from Nashua? You don’t want video of those people getting undressed.

  11. d0x says:

    The camera doesnt look into the closed doors of the dressing room itself but it does point at the entryway for the dressing rooms. The directive i listed isnt clear in this section.

    “or allow surveillance equipment to be positioned in such a way to provide the opportunity to monitor fitting rooms”

    The cameras do monitor the fitting rooms but not IN the fitting rooms. Im sure a lawyer could rip them apart for thier wording right there.

  12. BruinEric says:

    By reportedly refusing to add some text tags so blind people can shop on their website, not allowing Salvation Army people outside their stores during Christmastime, and now by suing a blogger — Target has shown themselves to be politically and socially tone-deaf as corporate policy.

    Some companies “get it” for how to keep their “brand” associated with positive emotions in the marketplace. Not Target.

  13. Felix the Cat says:

    Target Targets Blogger

    The Target Corp v. John Doe Civil suit filed 9/5/06 seems to have hit a brick wall with Tarbutt failing to find anyone to serve in the case. See: http://www.targetfiling.blogspot.com for details on the suit, and take a look at:
    http://www.targetstoressuck.blogspot.com for the actual directives.

    So unless something breaks in the case we will never know if Target Corp can crush Blogger Doe like King Kong stepping on a bug.

    Probably any seasoned hacker could ‘find’ Doe, but the problem with that is that of ‘clean hands’, in that if a hacker is employeed by either Target or any entity representing them and said hacker uses ‘illegal means’ to track down Doe then the whole thing may well be tossed out and Target will have to change from using a red bullseye to a black eye.

    So we can assume that the 3 ISPs information which Target obtained by subpeonas yeilded no actionable information, possibly Doe had registered with them as ‘Bugs Bunny’ et al and the initial subpeonas led nowhere.

    So for the moment the info on the Directives from the unknown Mr/Mrs Doe and the ex-T security man Scott Hundt from WI is not only out there on the net it is spreading from blog to blog and is easily available by a simple google search of keyworlds.

    Keep in mind that if Target had just ignored the postings in the first place, only a few hundred people would have seen the Directives, by now that is in the tens of thousands and should Xmas come early for Target and attorney Bundy then the amount of press interest will be huge as this ‘could be’ a defining case for Freedom of Speech on the internet v. old and outdated Copywright protections.

    But in all probability the case will simply fade away for lack of service and who knows, perhaps Target isn’t really trying that hard as the consequences of actually serving Doe may have finally become apparant to Target!

  14. Felix the Cat says:

    Update: Target got a time extension to find/serve the unknown blogger. This is set to expire on March 23, 2007. Usually you only get 120 days,but this takes it to nearly double that. If no one is found/served it will most likely be dismissed but can be later refiled if they find the person(s). Statute of limitations is 3 yrs but that can be played with depending on the judges descretion as to when the 3 yrs starts to run.

  15. Felix the Cat says:

    3/25/07 Time is almost expired on the extention of 45 days granted to Target to find/serve John Doe. You can keep up on the matter at targetsucks.wordpress.com or targetfiling.blogspot.com
    Someone has posted a fax number asking for any confidential Target documents to be sent for posting online, that number is 509 691-8405

  16. Felix the Cat says:

    6-3-07
    The case continues to drag on with no ‘service’ of the defendant and the T. lawyers asking for the 2nd time to be allowed to ‘serve’ the defendent by publication rather than by personal service.

    If this continues we will all die of old age before this gets to court.

    • lexxel says:

      Feb 17, 2011 Update
      The case ended about two years ago, after 23 months in Atlanta Federal Court. Tossed out by Judge Cooper. The blog site is still up at: http://targetfiling.blogspot.com/ and it has several ‘sister’ blogs like: http://diaz-target.blogspot.com/ which tells you about some Tarbutt problems in Tucson AZ where long term T. employees got canned in favor of new hires who worked for less money. That got a good write up in the Local Tucson paper and is interesting for those who have a lot of years in, they better watch out or they will be out the door so cheaper help can be put in their places.

      You can see a good summary of the above mentioned Target v. Doe case at: http://www.citmedialaw.org/threats/target-corp-v-doe