But the message from NeuStar, BrightHouse’s contractor, who manages various issues including legal ones, did not include any information about the lawsuit in question, stated that they have no clue about the underlying lawsuit and, the worst thing, they suggested contacting Steele.
Here is the message from NeuStar, posted by its recipient:
IP Address xx.xx.xx.xx on xx/xx/xx xx:xx:xx
Dear BrightHouse Networks Customer: Neustar is the designated agent of BrightHouse Networks authorized to respond to subpoenas, search warrants, and court orders for the production of subscriber records. It is the policy of BrightHouse Networks to notify a subscriber that a subpoena has been received for the subscriber’s records. Accordingly, please be advised that on 10/25/2011 a C6ivil Proceeding Subpoena Request was received from John Steele, Attorney for Plaintiff Phone # (312)-880-9160.
BrightHouse Networks will comply with this subpoena on 12/13/2011 unless we receive legal documents that delay or terminate the process on or before 12/12/2011.BrightHouse Networks is not a party to this lawsuit and has no information about the basis for the subpoena. Any questions you may have about the subpoena itself should be referred to John Steele, Attorney for Plaintiff, Phone # (312)-830-9160.
If you have a need to contact Neustar about this letter or our procedure, please contact Trevor Gray at (571)-434-3439.To better enable us to provide prompt assistance, please refer to case # xxxxxx when calling.
Sincerely, Trevor Gray Authorized Agent for Custodian of Records BrightHouse Networks If you would like to authorize the release of your records immediately, please sign in the space provided below and fax this page to us at (571) 434-3401.
This is brutal. Any service provider that treats their customers like this does not deserve to be in the services business. I and active members of the community explained dozens and dozens of times why talking to a troll lawyer is a very bad idea. I don’t worry much about those who discovered this site and read posts and discussions. However, I fear that those who received such a message may have rushed to the phone and called Steele instead of trying to do a research (and inevitably finding this, DieTrollDie’s or any other resource explaining the situation).
Those who are innocent usually never consider the possibility of trouble and think that they have nothing to fear, hence nothing to hide. Unfortunately they are very wrong: there are people out there who abuse social norms for their own monetary gain. I don’t think that any of those who called that dreadful number took any effort to mask their own. As a result, Steele got what he wanted — the information he sought via subpoena, delivered by the victim himself, weeks before ISP’s self-imposed deadline.
In addition, Steele most likely tried to provoke self-incriminating statements: this is not so difficult to do. This society is based on trust and dignity. People usually don’t expect to be trapped, and that’s why con artists get what they want in many cases. This is yet another irreparable harm trolls inflict on our society: they erode the social norms based on initial trust and push people to be suspicious to any stranger.
So, if you received a message from your provider that advises you to contact plaintiff’s counsel,
I will update this post as new information emerges (check this article or follow me on Twitter). I’m trying to research if this kind of “considerate” notification breaches any laws or rules of conduct. I suspect they do. And the reason for such a dreadful conduct may be sloppiness at best, and conspiracy at worst.
Meanwhile I urge those who received this message from BrightHouse/Neustar, to call Trevor Gray at (571) 434-3401 and demand more information; demand copies of any documentation received or produced in relation with this incident.
And please disseminate this information to help potential victims, who are ignorant about the copyright trolling scam.