“Federal Verification Company” Seeks to Shut Down Online Criticism

by Paul Alan Levy

A Tampa-area company called “Federal Verification Co.,” which operates under “dozens of names,” according to the author of this exposé on a local television station, has filed a defamation lawsuit against its online critics, and is using vague allegations about defamation on a number of sites as an excuse for a subpoena seeking to identify more than one hundred anonymous online critics, for example here and here. In a letter sent today, we have objected to the subpoena pending compliance with the widely-accepted Dendrite procedure.

We have no way of knowing whether this company’s critics have leveled valid applications, but our experience suggests that sleazy operators often assume that they can have a greater intimidating effect if they proceed against multiple critics.  The fact that the plaintiff scaled back its discovery demand to as few as five posts at the slightest pushback against its subpoena suggests that it was never serious about proving that most of the criticisms were actionable. 

I’ll be surprised if we hear from this company again.   Note that the company uses a number of different names, including GSA Applications, GSA 1000, GSA Processors, GSA Alliance, Federal Suppliers Guide, Government Awards Consulting, and a variety of others.  An unverified listing appears here.  Caveat emptor.

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