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[Nettime-nl] Albert Heijn (Ahold) dreigt website in US wegens kritiek
Karin Spaink on Fri, 14 Mar 2003 03:52:02 +0100 (CET)


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[Nettime-nl] Albert Heijn (Ahold) dreigt website in US wegens kritiek


Van Declans Politech lijst. Het zou aardig zijn als dit
bericht de NL pers haalde.


=================Original message text===============

From: Declan McCullagh <declan {AT} well.com>
To: politech {AT} politechbot.com
Cc: rbrennen {AT} milesstockbridge.com, jwelty {AT} milesstockbridge.com, newsandcommentbottom {AT} foodservicerumors.com, corp.communications {AT} ahold.com, CSIroselti {AT} foodservicerumors.com, jfrisch {AT} milesstockbridge.com, jwright {AT} milesstockbridge.com
Date: Thursday, March 13, 2003, 22:12
Subject: FC: Billion dollar food retailer nastygrams critical website

[If this letter is faithfully reproduced, as it appears to be, then shame 
on the Miles and Stockbridge law firm and especially Robert Brennen 
(http://www.milesstockbridge.com/bios/bio_brennenr.htm) for sending this on 
behalf of his client. Rule 11 sanctions, anyone? I've copied Ahold, which 
owns U.S. Foodservice (and Peapod) and should exercise better care when 
choosing its outside counsel. See also: 
http://biz.yahoo.com/djus/030313/1228000842_2.html  --Declan]

----

Date: Thu, 13 Mar 2003 15:23:14 -0500
From: "Paul Levy" <PLEVY {AT} citizen.org>
To: <declan {AT} well.com>
Subject: Foodservicespeechsuppression.com
Mime-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit
Content-Disposition: inline

Here is a nasty gram that I just saw.  The lawyer is presumably hoping
for the intimidating effect that will occur if the recipient of his
letter is unaweare of his immunity uinder the CDA.


Robert S. Brennen
(410) 385-3653
rbrennen {AT} milesstockbridge.com

March 12, 2003

VIA FACSIMILE  [SNIP] AND FIRST CLASS MAIL

Mr. Stephen Hoschler
P.O. Box 1020
Loomis, CA 95650


Re:     FOODSERVICERUMORS.COM

Dear Mr. Hoschler:

We represent U.S. Foodservice, Inc. ("USF"). Our client is, of course,
aware of the FOODSERVICERUMORS.COM web site and its apparent use by
present and former food service employees as a forum for voicing their
opinions about USF and other companies engaged in the food service and
distribution industry.  While USF may disagree with many of the opinions
that have been posted on your web site since its inception, it respects
the individuals' First Amendment rights to express them.  However, those
rights cannot be used as a pretext for, nor do they afford protection
against liability for, statements that are false and defamatory.
Unfortunately, several recent postings on your web site contain such
statements.  As an "Information Content Provider," as defined by the
Communications Decency Act of 1996 [47 U.S.C. ß 230], you are
potentially liable for such defamatory statements.  We request that you
take immediate action to remove them from the web site.  In the absence
of such action, we reserve the right to initiate an action against you
and the original authors.

It also appears that, in a departure from the function of providing a
forum for the expression of opinions, your web site is actively
soliciting confidential and proprietary information from current USF
employees.  You should know that all documents that become known to
employees as a consequence of their employment with the Company and that
are not readily available to the public are considered confidential and
proprietary.  This includes but is not limited to all Company policies,
records and memoranda.  As you are no doubt aware, the disclosure of
such information would constitute a breach of USF's employees' duties to
the company in connection with their employment, as set forth in Company
policies, the employees' written agreements with USF, and as established
by common law.  Thus, through your web site you are engaged in an effort
to improperly interfere with USF's relationships with its employees by
causing them to breach their duties to the Company. It is reprehensible
for you to importune USF's employees to, perhaps unwittingly, engage in
wrongful conduct against the Company by soliciting this information. Of
course, we understand that employees may, as appropriate, provide
government agencies with information and/or documents concerning Company
practices. The Company will not retaliate, and will not tolerate any
retaliation, against any associate for making good faith statements or
inquiries to either the Company itself or appropriate government
agencies.  However, disclosing confidential information to your website
or other media is in fact improper.  This constitutes our demand that
you remove all such solicitations immediately and that you refrain from
posting further solicitations in the future.

We request your prompt response to these matters.

Very truly yours,



Robert S. Brennen


RSB/kac

::ODMA\PCDOCS\BALT01\582899\1
  bcc:  (via fax) David B. Eberhardt, Esquire
(via fax) Ellen Rice, Esquire
Jefferson V. Wright, Esquire
John B. Frisch, Esquire


Paul Alan Levy
Public Citizen Litigation Group
1600 - 20th Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20009
(202) 588-1000
http://www.citizen.org/litigation/litigation.html




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==============End of original message text===========


- K -

-- 

Note to Self: time to cash another reality check.
  - Urban Hermit's .sig on alt.suicide.holiday

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