When the shroud of secrecy surrounding Philip Services Corporation's cyber-critics finally dropped, one man standing behind the curtain was former Hamilton alderman and past regional chairman's candidate, John Gallagher.
Gallagher's name, home address, and telephone number were passed to Philip's lawyer after a court order required a Hamilton Internet service provider to cough it up.
"I have to candidly admit that had I not been using an alias, I probably would have been a little more careful about some of the language I used", said Gallagher yesterday.
"But by and large the issues I talked about are important public issues.
"Philip is a corporation doing public business. I think there are serious concerns and very serious problems."
The order also demanded the make, model, registration numbers, serial numbers, and other identifying information on Gallagher's computer equipment.
A statement from Westlink, which runs Interlynx, a company that allows paying customers to access the Internet, said the company handed over Gallagher's information reluctantly.
Philip has been hunting cyberspace critics since early June after anonymous contributors engaged in a spirited discussion of the company's affairs in an online discussion.
Gallagher said his use of aliases, including Stucklikeglue, SunTzu22, and sominific_no_more, do not signal cowardice.
Two of those aliases no longer appear on the Yahoo! message board and Stucklikeglue has about a dozen messages.
Philip official Lynda Kuhn said Yahoo removed some messages from the board.
"What we asked Yahoo to do was to remove some of the more defamatory messages and they certainly reviewed it themselves and complied", she said.
"I'm not a wallflower when it comes to standing up and speaking out", Gallagher said.
He said he had been stalked recently and was involved in a police investigation stemming from it. Aliases, he said, was to help protect his family from harm.
Philip has not taken any further action.
Gallagher has not been sued or received any notice of intent over this matter. If Philip wants to sue him, he said, he's not frightened.
"I think I understand the libel and slander act reasonably well. It's going to be an interesting engagement, if it happens.
"The very open and public forum that a courtroom is, with accusations made and explanations given and supporting evidence…. It's going to be pretty interesting and pretty controversial.
"If there is a cause to defend, believe me, I will defend."
Gallagher was recently awarded $60,000 by a judge who found he had been libeled and defamed by Hamilton Councillor Dave Wilson and two regional employees.
That case, presided over by Justice David Crane, one of the judges also involved in the cyber-secrecy order, found no truth to allegations that Gallagher and another man threatened and bullied regional staff during a visit to the Woodward Avenue sewage treatment plant in May 1994.