In Praise of the SPEECH Act 2010″
“The SPEECH Act has made my life a lot easier and, as a result, OffshoreAlert can go about its business of professionally and responsibly exposing serious financial crime while it’s in progress, thereby protecting investors around the world.” – David Marchant, Owner & Editor OffshoreAlert
“I just thought I’d give you an update on my experiences with foreign libel actions.
Since The SPEECH Act was passed, I and/or my firm, OffshoreAlert, have been sued for defamation twice overseas (both at the High Court in London). In each case, the plaintiff had perpetrated a massive investment fraud that OffshoreAlert had exposed. The victims lived in many countries and included many pensioners.
The first action was brought by British attorney Timothy Schools, who ran a Cayman Islands-investment scam known as Axiom Legal Financing Fund that swindled investors out of approximately $175 million; the second one by British firm Privilege Wealth Plc, which swindled investors out of approximately $45 million.
Before The SPEECH Act, I would have defended each of these actions at huge cost (minimum of tens of thousands of dollars for a case that doesn’t go anywhere and several hundreds of thousands of dollars, possibly, more than $1 million, for a case that progresses to trial and an appeal).
After The SPEECH Act, I decided not to defend either action and, therefore, did not spend one cent in legal fees.
Both plaintiffs obtained default judgments. Despite this, OffshoreAlert continued to hold well-publicized conferences in London and I continued to attend and speak at them. It was widely-known where I would be at a given time on a given date. Nothing happened to me.
The plaintiff in the first case was later struck off as an attorney in the UK as a result of OffshoreAlert’s investigation (as were seven other British attorneys), his assets frozen and his group went into liquidation.
The plaintiff in the second case has just gone bust and, in a letter to its investors, admitted it was due to massive fraud.
The SPEECH Act has made my life a lot easier and, as a result, OffshoreAlert can go about its business of professionally and responsibly exposing serious financial crime while it’s in progress, thereby protecting investors around the world.
So … thanks!
Owner & Editor
R. James Woolsey, former Director of Central Intelligence: “ACD recognizes that the key to meeting economic threats is knowing who can afford to—and who will gain by—acting on them.”
On The Impact on Purposeful Interface on U.S. Cyber Interests, which was held on February 19th, 2014:
Houston T. Hawkins, Senior Fellow, Principal Associate Directorate for Global Security, Los Alamos National Laboratory: “Thank you for inviting me to participate in one of the most interesting discussions ever.”
Richard Perle, former Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy, and member of the ACD Board of Directors: “There’s been obviously a recent deepened concern with cybersecurity. But this is something the ACD has been thinking about for a long time. It has been ahead of its time and done a terrific job identifying emerging threats and issues which we need to be thinking about sooner, rather than later, so we have a better chance of finding solutions.”
Jeremy Rabkin, Professor of Law, George Mason University: “The conference was both eye-opening and sobering. The presentations were most riveting.”
William B. Scott, author of bestsellers “Space Wars,” “Counterspace,” and “The Permit”; former bureau chief, Aviation Week & Space Technology; and current ACD Fellow: “In addition to underscoring the serious impacts of intentional interference with America’s critical Earth- and space-based cyber infrastructure, conference participants identified pragmatic, innovative solutions. The American Center for Democracy handed policymakers valuable, out-of-the-box approaches for protecting the nation’s citizens from paralyzing attacks.”
Maj. Gen. Robert Newman, (USAF, Ret.): “I found tremendous benefit from the opinions of so many experts from so many different fields. The conference’s ability to bring together such a diverse and talented group made the discussions more interesting and enlightening. It was like attending several conferences in one day!”
Robert Crane, Senior Homeland Security Advisor, National Coordination Office for the U.S. Space-Based Positioning, Navigation and Timing Policy: “This is a timely and important discussion in the evolution of the cyber-physical domain.”
Steve Chabinsky, former cyber advisor to the DNI and FBI Deputy Assistant Director of Cyber Division: “My thanks to ACD for bringing together the first public/private partnership to address the emerging threat of purposeful interference. We have a lot of work to do. Government agencies aren’t yet aligned, and the critical infrastructure hasn’t been consulted on a strategy. The workshop not only launched the right conversation, but in a matter of hours began to identify parts of the solution set. I look forward to our next steps.”
On New Strategies to Secure Our Economy from Cyber Depredation, which was held on April 9th, 2013:
Stewart Baker, former Assistant Secretary for Policy at the United States Department of Homeland Security: “ACD presented a remarkably informed panel—with a remarkably troubling message. We will only be safe if we take seriously and prepare for the risks ACD speakers identified so ably.”
On Economic Warfare Subversions, which was held on July 9th, 2012:
General Michael Hayden, former Director of the National Security Agency and Director of the Central Intelligence Agency: “Challenging thoughts for challenging times.”
Michael B. Mukasey, former U.S. Attorney General: “This was a high-level discussion of a high-risk subject. EWI is to be commended for drawing together panelists with experience in intelligence, law and commerce to at least begin the process of informing public discussion of the dangerous prospect of economic warfare.”
Daniel Heath, former U.S. Executive Director Alternate, IMF: “Thoughtful people must thank the Economic Warfare Institute for gathering authoritative, creative panelists in a wide range of areas who offer the alarming insights and unsettling questions that can renew our vigilance and protect our