John Paul Mac Isaac, the computer store owner at the center of the Hunter Biden laptop scandal sued social-media publisher Twitter for defamation after the tech juggernaut falsely and maliciously accused him of being a hacker.
In the month leading up to the Nov. 3 election, Twitter and other tech companies that were heavily invested in a win by Democrat Joe Biden undertook a shocking censorship campaign.
The aim was to suppress information about the laptop, which contained damning confirmation of several Biden scandals, including corrupt business deals under FBI investigation.
However, in order to do so, Twitter was obligated to justify it using an obscure rule in its terms of service, which it claimed to have implemented only recently, that prohibited the publication of “hacked” content.
The company does not appear to have enforced the rule in any of a number of major news stories involving illicitly obtained material from the Trump administration.
It claimed, for example, that the rule didn’t apply to President Donald Trump’s partial tax returns, published by the New York Times, since it came from a reliable source.
But the country’s oldest-running newspaper—and the Times’s top local competitor, the New York Post was smeared as a right-wing rag complicit in spreading Russian disinformation, and Mac Isaac—the unwitting computer-repair technician and businessman who provided the legally obtained materials to them—accused of being a hacker.
“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,” said the lawsuit filed Monday in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, according to Variety.
After the ensuing harassment and threats Mac Isaac received, he was forced to close his Wilmington business, The Mac Shop.
Due to online doxxing and a flood of negative reviews on sites like the virtue-signaling leftist review publisher Yelp, the lawsuit said Mac Isaac “is now widely considered a hacker.”
The suit seeks $500 million in punitive damages plus unspecified compensatory damages and lawyers’ fees. Mac Issac also hoped the court would forcing Twitter to “make a public retraction of all false statements.”
The case likely would put to the test an executive order by Trump intended to hold online publishers accountable by removing their protections under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.
The statute stipulated that online platforms which provide their service as a public forum for user-generated content with minimal moderation are covered under First Amendment protections not enjoyed by other utilities such as telecom companies, which are regulated by the Federal Communications Commission.
That includes protection against libel lawsuits, under the assumption that the offending remarks originated with the individual user and not with the company.
However, after Twitter began dubiously “fact-checking” posts by Trump and other conservative users, the president warned that it would lose its privileged status.
Trump recently appeared to resurrect the effort with his threat to veto the National Defense Authorization Act, which he had earlier used as leverage to urge Congress to pass a Section 230 repeal.
Despite the outcome of the election appearing to favor Biden—largely due to widespread vote fraud in several corrupt cities that reversed the results of key battleground states—tech companies are now doubling down on their anti-conservative suppression policies.
For example, YouTube, the video publisher owned by Google, said recently that it would begin targeting videos that were promoted via outside platforms, even while it claimed its in-house censorship had largely succeeded in warping the national media narrative to its own devices.
As for Mac Isaac, he appears to just be getting started. His lawsuit comes a week after he went public to denounce the FBI’s mishandling of its Hunter Biden investigation.
Biden’s failure—after several notices—to reclaim the laptop led Mac Isaac to legally take possession of it and examine its incriminating contents, about which he then notified authorities.
The FBI took the hard drive for forensic analysis and later returned with a subpoena to take full possession of it. However, the agency remained silent during Trump’s impeachment hearings—in which the material might have proven exculpatory—and for the duration of the presidential election, when it might have impacted Biden’s prospects.
“I was getting the feeling that the FBI was holding onto it until the [former] owner returned for it, and that they cared more about protecting it than they were in protecting me,” Mac Isaac said in a recent interview.
He also said the FBI had threatened him if he went public, telling him, “nothing ever happens to those that don’t talk.”