70-year-old grandma accused of downloading porn

A 70-year-old San Fransisco grandmother has become the latest victim of speculative invoicing, after being accused of downloading hard-core porn.

The bottom-feeding practice, which involves sending thousands of letters to Internet connection owners based on incredibly shaky evidence forced out of ISPs by money-grubbing legal firms, reached a peak of notoriety in the UK this year when ACS Law crashed and burned.

The firm, owned and operated by Andrew Crossley, collapsed under a barrage of complaints from innocent victims supported by consumer watchdog Which. Crossley's tactics were roundly criticised by the judge involved in the case and the final straw came when hackers stole thousands of emails eposing the one-man-band's shoddy behaviour.

Using the same model, US legal firm Steele Hansmeier PLLC has started a similar campaign against thousands of Internet users including the septuganarian nana who, for obvious reasons, declined to be named, according to the San Fransisco Chronicle.

"It smacks of extortion," said the woman, who also insisted she's never downloaded porn and doesn't even know what BitTorrent is.

As with most of these cases, the woman says she cannot afford the $3,400 fee the legal firm wants to make the legal case, which it says could cost her $150,000, go away.

The woman said she will turn up without a lawyer and throw herself at the court's mercy.

"I'd say to the judge, 'I have no idea how this happened'," she said. "If Sony can get hacked, if the Pentagon can get hacked, my goodness, what chance does an individual have?"