dcsimg

Lesson for H-1B Haters: Libel Will Get You Nowhere

Don Tennant

It was bound to happen. It's understandable that someone could be so deeply angered by H-1B fraud and abuse, and the resultant suffering of U.S. workers, that he's driven to make defamatory and libelous statements against those he sees as the enemy. What's difficult to understand is that anyone would be surprised when the libel suits begin flying.

 

A New Jersey judge late last month ordered the disabling of three H1-B opposition Web sites in response to a libel suit filed by Apex Technology Group, an IT consulting company in Edison, N.J., that's widely seen as an H-1B "body shop." The three sites are Guestworkerfraud.com, Endh1b.com and ITgrunt.com. Here's a quick look under the hoods of those three sites:

 

Guestworkerfraud.com: For reasons that are unclear to me, at this writing this site is still up and running, despite the shut-down order. It appears that all references to Apex Technology have been scrubbed from the site, however, so whatever content Apex had a problem with is no longer accessible.

 

What I can say is this site is quite capable of making outlandish, irresponsible claims. There's the "India machinations to sabotage U.S. power grid" post, which warns us that "India, which is America's enemy, but which is pretending to be our friend, is planning to sabotage our power grid when China invades us." And then there's the equally entertaining post, "Even more proof that global warming is a communist front." While these posts are just plain goofy rather than libelous, it's not too much of a stretch to surmise that posts about Apex Technology might have crossed the libel line.

 

Endh1b.com: This site appears to have been killed and resurrected as Endh1b2.com. Posts on a site with the latter URL include "Apex Technology Group Inc is [an] H-1B slave trader," and "Fraud at Apex Technology Group Inc." These guys just have to accept the reality that no matter how much you abhor the way Apex operates, you can't publicly accuse them of slave trading and fraud. And you can't pretend you haven't given them a golden opportunity to hit you with a libel suit and thereby redirect the scrutiny from themselves to you.


 

ITgrunt.com: This one has been taken down and, at this writing, remains down, so I can't point to what was on the site that Apex didn't like. I can say that according to Computerworld, Patrick Papalia, an attorney representing Apex, said the issue at hand includes "threatening and racist comments against company officials." I also know that the operator of ITgrunt.com has written quite a few comments in response to several of my posts here, bestowing on me such appellations as "castrated collaborator." Now, I can be on the receiving end of that stuff from now till the cows come home, and it really doesn't faze me. But I will say that I don't like it when others are subjected to it. A commenter who expressed support for my post received a hateful browbeating that began, "We don't need our hands slapped by PC collaborators like you. Either you are not in I.T., or you are disloyal douchebag who feels guilty about hiring packs of feral H-1Bs from a sh*thole subcontinent." I'll spare you the rest.

 

Again, these people have to understand that you can use the Web for anonymous defamation if you're so inclined, but at some point you have to face the fact that not everyone is going to be willing to let it go. One sad thing about all this is that if even a fraction of the body-shop allegations that have been made against Apex Technology are true, the company has a lot to answer for. But it probably won't have to, because now it has the upper hand over its critics, as the New Jersey judge's shut-down order will attest.

 

What will be even sadder is if no one learns from this. Libel is not OK, even if it's directed at people you don't like, even if those people don't share your culture and nationality, and even if those people are guilty of wrongdoing. Libel is libel. Of course, there will be those who will chalk it all up to a legal system that is corrupt and that has sold out to anti-U.S. interests, just as assuredly as there are those who want us all to believe that India "is planning to sabotage our power grid when China invades us."

 

But rest assured that the longer these tactics persist, the longer the body shops will prevail.


Subscribe to our Newsletters

Sign up now and get the best business technology insights direct to your inbox.


 



Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post

Post a comment

 

 

 

 


(Maximum characters: 1200). You have 1200 characters left.

 

null
null

 

Subscribe Daily Edge Newsletters

Sign up now and get the best business technology insights direct to your inbox.


 
Subscribe Daily Edge Newsletters

Sign up now and get the best business technology insights direct to your inbox.