Press Release – National – For Immediate Release
Internet Merchants Association President Threatens Freedom of Speech and Action against Independent Journalists
The president of an eCommerce Trade Group, the Internet Merchants Association, has stated he will “go after” any bloggers or websites covering IMA business. The IMA is a non-profit organization which recently experienced mass resignations from a majority of the board due to ethics concerns.
In an article published by the Trading Assistant Journal – http://snurl.com/2uvam Scott Pooler details the open threat by IMA President Steve Grossberg to “Go After” publishers of independent blogs and websites covering the events leading up to and following a mass resignation and ouster of several members of the board of directors and ethics committee of the Internet Merchants Association. http://www.imamerchant.org/
Mr. Grossberg, when asked to comment, only sites privacy issues and has stated he has hired the law firm Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP http://www.bsfllp.com/index.html to represent the IMA in these actions.
The IMA is a non-profit Corporation registered in the State of Florida. Several current and former members of the Internet Merchants Association have been quoted or have commented in the blogs and websites Mr. Grossberg has threatened to sue.
These same former and current members of the IMA appear to have filed complaints with the Florida Attorney Generals economic crimes division regarding claims of malfeasance and ethics violations within the IMA board of directors and presidents offices. No comment has been issued from the IMA regarding these charges.
The Trading Assistant Journal is an independent industry publication and has covered the IMA board disturbance with several articles beginning in the first week of July, 2008.
Scott Pooler, the publisher of the Trading Assistant Journal has stated his publication will “support and defend any blogs or websites in any way possible to maintain the freedom of speech and press rights of independent journalists and bloggers guaranteed by the 1st Amendment of the United States of America”.
No avenue for resolution of these disputes has been offered by the IMA president. The membership of the Internet Merchants Association attempted to call an emergency meeting in an effort to elect a new board of directors. This meeting was cancelled however; due to the current board changing association rules of assembly in the bylaws late in the night Sunday July 6th.
Many former members were unceremoniously removed from the association without explanation. These IMA members claim they were removed because they either commented upon or did not agree with the actions of the board when it fired and removed the ethics committee while the current president was serving a 3 day suspension due to ethics concerns.
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