The former Delaware computer repair shop owner who says he obtained Hunter Biden’s laptop sued Twitter for a second time over how the social media platform handled a New York Post exposé on President Joe Biden‘s son, Hunter Biden, alleging the tech company defamed him by implying he was a hacker, The Washington Examiner reported Friday.
On Thursday, John Paul Mac Isaac filed his lawsuit in the Southern District of Florida. He claims in the suit that he was forced to shut down his business, in part, because Twitter labeled the contents of Hunter Biden’s laptop as being hacked materials, which he denied, and he said had damaged his reputation, as reported.
A Twitter spokesperson declined to comment to SaraACarter.com on the latest Mac Isaac lawsuit.
The previous lawsuit, also alleging defamation and demanding $500 million in damages, was filed in the same court and tossed out by a judge in late December due to lack of jurisdiction. In his new case, according to The Examiner, Mac Isaac attempts to bypass the jurisdiction issue, with him also saying that there had been defamation damages greater than $75,000 and that the exact award amount could be determined after a trial.
Additionally, Mac Isaac asked Twitter to “make a public retraction of all false statements and to issue a public apology” to him, according to the publication.
“Plaintiff is not a hacker and the information obtained from the computer does not constitute hacked materials because Plaintiff lawfully gained access to the computer, first with the permission of its owner, Biden, and then, after Biden failed to retrieve the recovered data despite Plaintiff’s reuses, in accordance with the Mac Shop’s abandoned property policy,” Mac Isaac’s lawyer argued in the first lawsuit. “Plaintiff, as a direct result of Defendant Twitter’s actions and statements, is now widely considered a hacker.”
In the October New York Post exposé, the publication reported that it had obtained a copy of a laptop and hard drive belonging to Hunter Biden from Rudy Giuliani, a lawyer for then-President Donald Trump. Giuliani, according to The Examiner, alleged that he received the hard drive from Mac Isaac’s repair shop, with Mac Isaac having also said that he also provided a copy to the FBI after Hunter Biden had dropped it off for repairs in April 2019.
Hunter Biden, it should be noted, has not denied ownership over the hard drive.
Specifically, the exposé reported that emails presented proof of a possible meeting between then-Vice President Biden, Hunter Biden, and high-ranking executive at a Ukrainian energy firm called Burisma, which President Biden denies occurring as illustrated in the exposé. On top of that, The Post also reported on the younger Biden’s financial dealings with suspicious foreign nationals, especially Chinese ones.
Biden’s campaign and many in the media dismissed the Hunter Biden laptop story as being part of a Russian disinformation operation, as The Examiner pointed out, though then-Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe said that “there is no intelligence that supports that … Hunter Biden’s laptop is part of some Russian disinformation campaign.”
When The Post tried to share its reports to Twitter, the social media giant alleged that the publication violated its “hacked” materials policy by posting them.
“Twitter knew or should have known that its statement that the New York Post’s story contained hacked materials would cause harm to the Plaintiff,” Mac Isaac’s lawyer argued, according to The Examiner. “The statements allege that Plaintiff committed crimes including (but not limited to) computer hacking of the son of the Democratic Party nominee, now President, Joe Biden. The implication of an attempt to undermine American democracy and the 2020 presidential election is obvious.”
In late December, Judge Beth Bloom, a federal court judge in Florida, swiftly threw out Mac Isaac’s first lawsuit, saying: “The Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction […] The Complaint alleges that Plaintiff is a resident of Delaware and that Defendant is a Delaware corporation with an office in Dade County, Florida. […] The Complaint fails to allege complete diversity.”
In his latest lawsuit, according to The Examiner, Mac Isaac said he now lives in Colorado as he filed the lawsuit in Florida, arguing Twitter operates in Florida, has Florida offices, and caused injury to Mac Isaac while doing business in the Sunshine State.
Moreover, his lawsuit was also filed against MadBits LLC, alleging that it “exists solely to allow Defendant Twitter to operate its business and employ employees in the State of Florida,” per The Examiner. The case argued that “Twitter’s actions and statements had the specific intent to communicate to its users, including its Florida resident users, that Plaintiff is a hacker and/or hacked the published materials.”
You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.
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Shanghai: China’s Potemkin Village
Following a recent outbreak of COVID-19, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has imposed a month-long draconian lockdown on the residents of Shanghai. The CCP has used the outbreak to persecute its own citizens, including through forced evictions and quarantines, and placing alarms on doors to prevent COVID-19 people from leaving their homes. The harsh measures have resulted in food and healthcare shortages and separation of families.
But of course, we wouldn’t know that by reading the CCP-run press readily available in the United States. Instead of presenting the facts, the CCP engages in a comprehensive propaganda campaign that props up Shanghai as a Chinese Potemkin village. The CCP media asserts that China’s actions in Shanghai are benevolent and wise, while Western criticism is a product of malice. Chinese state-run media also insists that the Shanghai lockdown promotes economic stability in China and the world.
Claim 1: China Has the Best Policy for Combating COVID-19
The CCP media portray the Shanghai lockdown as the best and ideal policy. As cited by a XinhuaNet editorial, “China’s dynamic zero-COVID approach” is “the best option to save lives,” according to a “Rwandan researcher and publisher,” “…a miracle for us to learn,” according to a Kenyan scholar, and “a very ideal response,” according to Ethiopia’s National COVID-19 Response Task Force Coordinator. According to CCP media, Chinese citizens have greeted the Shanghai lockdown warmly, even with “[a] mixed sense of intensity, unity and hopefulness,” according to China Daily.
Claim 2: The West Hypocritically Defames China
The CCP press also accuses the West of lying about the Shanghai lockdown, and using COVID policies for nefarious ends. According to XinhuaNet, “Shanghai…has never imposed what Western media described as a ‘lockdown.’” Other CCP editorials actually accuse the West of malice. One Global Times editorial claims that the lockdown “has been deliberately exaggerated by the West.” Another Global Times editorial asserts that the Western approach of “coexisting with the virus” amounts to a way “…to drive out a large number of the vulnerable people with low immunity,” and a form of “cruel social Darwinism.”
Claim 3: China’s COVID Policies Result in an Economic Windfall to China and the World
The CCP also portrays the lockdown as necessary to achieve great economic growth in China and beyond. One Global Times editorial, while conceding that the lockdown amounted to a “sealing-off,” it is “a temporary measure to better resume work and production and to make the economy and society function more effectively. Its effectiveness has been proven.” According to another Global Times editorial, China’s policy is “widely considered to be the best strategy…to both contain the epidemic and ensure stable economic development.”
In an Orwellian fashion, Chinese press claims that China is solving, not causing, the world’s economic problems. According to XinhuaNet, “China has played a decisive role in stabilizing the global economy and resuming the supply chain disrupted by COVID-19.” Citing a Bloomberg article, the same XinhuaNet editorial claims that China “has prevented a huge number of deaths at home and ensured that everything from iPhones and Teslas to fertilizer and car parts continues to flow to the rest of the world.” Chinese citizens, of course, are collateral damage: Ji Qiwei, vice-general manager of SAIC Motor Passenger Vehicle, stated that “The domestic market may be impacted a little by the COVID-19 outbreak this year, but our export market will continue to see strong growth,” according to China Daily.
While the world continues to suffer economic and human damage as a result of COVID-19, China continues to revise history regarding its role. Through its propaganda in its English publications of Xinhua, China Daily, and Global Times, China seeks to portray itself as a benevolent force in the fight against the virus.
You can follow Steve Postal on Twitter @HebraicMosaic
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