EFF Wins One For The Bloggers

The Electronic Frontier Foundation — the web's version of the American Civil Liberties Union — hit the ball out of the park last week in New Jersey, winning a home run victory in the fight to recognize bloggers as legitimate journalists with — gasp — constitutional rights.

The victory came in the case of Manalapan v. Moskovitz, but didn't — we think — involve either of the parties to the case. We say "think" because the central issue was a subpoena issued by Manalapan Township demanding that Google turn over information about the identity of a blogger known only as "datruthsquad." The city's leaders, who filed a malpractice suit against their former lawyer Stuart Moskovitz in June, don't like the unflattering things "datruthsquad" has to say about them, so they decided to engage in a bit of Manalapan McCarthyism, demanding that Blogspot-owner Google turn over the goods on the anonymous blogger. The city's tactics didn't sit well with the EFF — they tend to get a bit testy about government trampling on the Bill of Rights, dontchaknow.

The scene played out Friday in Judge Terence Flynn's courtroom, with his decision to "quash" (that's lawyer-speak for invalidate) the subpoena on First Amendment grounds, meaning that Google doesn't have to hand anything over, and "datruthsquad" survives to blog anonymously another day.

Read more.


Justin Ryan is a Contributing Editor for Linux Journal.

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