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Don't Click On This Link Unless You Don't Mind A Grand Jury Knowing What You Read

from the privacy?-schmivacy dept

Apparently two executives from Village Voice Media (publishers of The Village Voice and other independent newspapers) were arrested yesterday for revealing grand jury information that was supposed to be private. Specifically, they had published an article in one of its publications, the Phoenix New Times, accusing a grand jury of unconstitutional behavior in issuing a subpoena for all sorts of information about the Phoenix New Times and its readership. Now, before you click on the link to the article, it's worth noting that the subpoena in question demands that the newspaper hand over incredibly detailed log information on every visitor to that website since January 2004. This is because someone is upset about four articles dealing with a local sheriff. Yet, though the supposed problem is with the four articles, the subpoena demands information on every visitor to the site, including such things as their IP address, which articles they read, any information obtained by cookies, the referral links that got them to the website, their type of browser and their type of operating system. In other words, all the info typically found in a log file -- but it's unclear why this information could possibly be necessary in a complaint about 4 specific articles. Update: As pointed out in the comments, just as we were writing up this story, the original lawsuit was dropped and the special prosecutor was fired.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2007 @ 5:35pm

    Seems as though somebody suddenly grew a brain.

    http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/1019new-times1019-ON-CR.html

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2007 @ 6:22pm

    Brains have nothing to do with it. The County Attorney has political aspirations, and because this story was hitting the mainstream media, he felt his political prospects were being threatened and made the special prosecutor a scapegoat. The prosecutor was a tool in all senses of the word.

    Over the past few years, County Attorney Andrew Thomas has funneled millions of state funds to his 'special prosecutor' Dennis Wilenchik. He and Arpaio was absolutely knew what was going on since this whole thing was a blatant state-funded attack against his critics in the press.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    James, Oct 19th, 2007 @ 7:27pm

    minor detail...

    Even if the suit was eventually dropped, two people were arrested for just saying what apparently made sense to someone.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Dusty668, Oct 19th, 2007 @ 8:26pm

    Awwww, and I wanted to meet the Grand Jury and tell them how I found the paper looking at Llama pron too...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  

    Same thing happens everywhere

    This type of crap happens everywhere, we just don't hear about it unless somebody gets the word out. We as citizens have to keep a watch on these politicians who routinely abuse their power.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 20th, 2007 @ 8:08am

    Re: Same thing happens everywhere

    "these politicians who routinely abuse their power"

    That means all of them.

    When did we get the idea that we can elect or hire somebody, and then ignore their actions?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Amethyst, Oct 20th, 2007 @ 8:37am

    Wow...

    I'm sure glad I don't live in Pheonix. I read the really long New Times article that was linked. That Sheriff sounds like a total jerk, with paranoia to boot.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Javarod, Oct 20th, 2007 @ 10:35am

    Oh you should look through he web archives of the paper for all the fun things Sherriff Joe has done. In fact, this matter is far from over: http://blogs.phoenixnewtimes.com/bastard/2007/10/in_your_face_furious_public_ba.php

    I'm quite glad to see that Techdirt followed up on this, I sent a link in hope that publicity would have the same effect here that light has on cockroaches.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Joe Smith, Oct 20th, 2007 @ 3:58pm

    Re: under the furniture

    in hope that publicity would have the same effect here that light has on cockroaches.
    Of course, what cockroaches do is go run and hide under the nearest furniture until someone turns off the lights again. One would hope for more clear and permanent consequences - say, imprisonment and disbarment for the complainant and prosecutor - the cockroach equivalent of a size 11 boot.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    I looked at your articles, Oct 21st, 2007 @ 5:46am

    Catch me if you can!

    The Sheriff always seemed a bit of a slime ball, this just brings him out in the light.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Steve, Oct 21st, 2007 @ 5:38pm

    I tried not to...

    I went three days without clicking this link because I am so afraid of the grand jury!!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 22nd, 2007 @ 4:57pm

    But Still...

    Update: As pointed out in the comments, just as we were writing up this story, the original lawsuit was dropped and the special prosecutor was fired.
    Unfortunately, it appears that they still intend to fully prosecute the newspaper executives who blew the whistle. Hell knows no fury like public officials embarrassed.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 22nd, 2007 @ 5:09pm

    Re: But Still...

    Unfortunately, it appears that they still intend to fully prosecute the newspaper executives who blew the whistle.
    That's not correct. See Charges Against Seattle Weekly's Owners Dropped.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    Magoo, May 15th, 2009 @ 11:49am

    Butt

    Very informative. I forwarded this to my friends.

    Joe
    Visit me at registry cleaners

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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