Facebook Israel CEO asks court to gag lawyer

Adi Soffer-Teeni

Adi Soffer-Teeni's move follows threats to publish her contact details due to difficulties in removing Facebook posts.

Facebook Israel CEO Adi Soffer-Teeni today filed a lawsuit in the Tel Aviv District Court asking for a restraining order barring Adv. Guy Ophir "from revealing to the public every personal particular relating to the claimant without her consent or permission, including the publication of information about the claimant's ID, private address, home telephone number, and any other information possessed by the respondent."

Soffer-Teeni's petition follows a demand by Ophir, who petitioned Facebook a week ago, protesting the absence of a proper response to an urgent and immediate request.

In his letter, Ophir asserted that Facebook was refraining from publishing ways to contact the company on the Internet, thereby preventing him from making contact with the company for the purpose of urgent and immediate treatment in various cases. Ophir has represented several clients in cases of Facebook bullying.

"As a remedy for the behavior of Facebook, and as a public service," Ophir wrote, "I intend to publish the particulars of how to make contact with the Facebook Israel CEO, the leading Facebook officer, within 72 hours, in order to allow Mrs. Soffer-Teeni to prepare accordingly."

Soffer-Teeni quickly filed the lawsuit through the Jacob Sharvit law firm and Adv. Shai Kagan of the Herzog, Fox, & Neeman law firm. "Insofar as the respondent, a lawyer, believes that there is a legal basis for his allegations, he can use the legal tools available to him to petition the appropriate court in order to obtain a suitable remedy for his claims," the statement of claims says. "The respondent did not do so, choosing to threaten and use measures for carrying out 'private justice' of his own invention. The respondent decided to utilize an unlawful and dishonorable 'self-remedy' by directly and explicitly terrorizing the claimant."

The statement of claim also said, "The respondent is seeking to 'punish' the claimant and her family for the fact that he does not like the behavior of a foreign commercial company - the global Facebook corporation, as he calls it - by threatening to disclose the personal particulars of the claimant, whose only connection to the matter is being an officeholder in a local Israeli company.

"To add insult to injury, even though the respondent is aware of the claimant's right to privacy, this nevertheless did not stop him from exposing her personal particulars to the public, despite the fact that he, a lawyer, was thereby making himself prosecutor, judge, and bailiff."

Soffer-Teeni also asserted that Ophir had confused Facebook Ireland, a foreign company resident in Ireland, which handles requests by surfers to remove posts concerning online bullying, with Facebook Israel, her employer.

She added that Facebook Israel had no authority to remove specific content on Facebook, and that anyone wishing to make representations in this matter should contact Facebook Ireland.

In her statement of claim, Soffer-Teeni says that this behavior is illegal, inappropriate, unnecessary, and deserving of "strong and unequivocal condemnation."

The statement of claims alleges that Ophir's behavior in publishing his request in public and bringing the media to the offices of Facebook Israel ("accompanied by no less than a Channel 2 filming team") was for the purpose of "making cynical use of the claimant's privacy for the sake of self-promotion and personal profit, while purporting to protest online hooliganism."

In order to prevent the severe violation of privacy sought by Ophir, Soffer-Teeni is seeking a restraining order from the court to prevent him from doing so.

Ophir: Facebook has no body and no soul

Ophir said in response, "I am personally acquainted with Ms. Soffer-Teeni, and I certainly have no wish to punish her. I am conducting a public protest, and in doing so, there is no avoiding applying pressure to the object of the protest.

"The global Facebook corporation and/or the Israeli Facebook has no body and no soul that can be pressured. It is an artificial construct composed and managed by human beings, one of whom is Soffer-Teeni. Soffer-Teeni is CEO of Facebook Israel. She is the manager, and she is responsible for its activity.

"I have no doubt that the protest I'm conducting against Facebook and against Soffer-Teeni is causing her discomfort, but the decision not to publish the telephone number, fax number, and e-mail address of Facebook Israel is her decision, and all she has to do is change her decision, in which case there will be no need to reveal how to make personal contact with her.

"It is unreasonable for global Facebook and Facebook Israel to behave like the last debtor in the execution of a court judgment."

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on May 17, 2015

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2015

Adi Soffer-Teeni
Adi Soffer-Teeni
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