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Anonymous Newspaper Commenters Protected By Same Law That Protects Reporters' Sources

from the all-works-out-the-same dept

While other countries often don't respect the right to be anonymous, the US has shown a strong willingness to protect anonymity rights. And, here's another such case, but for a somewhat different reason. Gigalaw points us to the news that a court has ruled that the Billings Gazette newspaper doesn't need to reveal anonymous commenters, relying on the same state (not federal) law that protects reporters in the state from having to reveal sources. The law specifically says that news organizations are protected from being forced to disclose "any information obtained or prepared" by the news organization -- and the identify of anonymous commenters apparently qualifies.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, Sep 9th, 2008 @ 3:16pm

    anonymity

    Isn't it nice in this day of the "Patriot Act" taking away patriots rights that the average American might still have one or two rights left. Of course, if the Administration has its way it won't last for long.

     

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

  2.  
    identicon
    Ryan, Sep 9th, 2008 @ 3:20pm

    no

    This can't continue. We need to elect McCain immediately so that he can make sure that anonymous posters aren't allowed, and that the sites can be held responsible for the actions of their commenters.

    (what? he proposed that in a bill a year ago)

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    Slow Brain, Sep 9th, 2008 @ 4:08pm

    I'm trying to figure out whether #2 is really serious or just a troll...

     

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

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2008 @ 4:25pm

    Re:

    I'm trying to figure out whether #2 is really serious or just a troll...

    Possibly Ryan can provide one or more sources

     

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

  5.  
    identicon
    CA, Sep 9th, 2008 @ 6:30pm

    Consider what Obama would do:

    Take your money and give it to someone else.
    Tell businesses what to produce and sell, who to hire and what wages to pay.
    Set all commodity, wholesale and retail prices.
    Control all energy supplies.
    Control all communication networks and financial markets.
    Replace all private health care with a government system.
    Prescribe the curriculum for all schools
    Determine which students get a slot in elite universities.
    Diminish political and other speech.
    Enroll all citizens above the age of 17 either in the military or in civilian corps for periodic instruction and service
    Children could be required to spend the summer in government "youth" camps.

     

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

  6.  
    identicon
    Ryan, Sep 9th, 2008 @ 7:36pm

    not a troll

     

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

  7.  
    identicon
    Guy Fawkes, Sep 10th, 2008 @ 6:07am

    Everything is wrong...

    Citizens shouldn't fear their government, governments should fear their citizens.

    But as more and more of our freedoms and protections are stripped away in the name of fear, it's only a matter of time before we become a police state ruled by the corporations who feed the coffers of the political elite.

    Hail Bush! Hail Bush!

    Kneel to McCain! Kneel to McCain!

     

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

  8.  
    identicon
    Rose M. Welch, Sep 10th, 2008 @ 6:32am

    Re:

    Most of that has been done already... Taxes, affirmative action and non-discrimination acts, federal curriculum guidelines, selective service registration...

    Please cite your sources for the price-setting, market control, university slots, diminished speech, and youth camps. This is something I'd like to know about, if it's true.

     

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

  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 10th, 2008 @ 6:37am

    Re: not a troll

    That is more a problem with the legislative system then reflective of McCain's views. As is the norm in Washington, bills have so much in them that voting against them is voting against saving kittens but voting for them is voting to kill puppies.

    disclaimer: I am an independent, still undecided, and have no proof that my speculation is correct.

     

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

  10.  
    identicon
    CA, Sep 10th, 2008 @ 7:13am

    Re: Re:Consider what Obama would do:

    Please cite your sources for the price-setting, market control, university slots, diminished speech, and youth camps. This is something I'd like to know about, if it's true.

    Try LISTENING to Obama instead being taken in by the cult of celebrity.

    Wake up and smell the Socialism

     

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

  11.  
    identicon
    Rose M. Welch, Sep 10th, 2008 @ 3:14pm

    Re: Re: Re:Consider what Obama would do:

    No sources, then, huh? I'm filing your comments in the round filing bin along with the cracks about McCain's daughter from Bangledesh. (For those not in the know, nasty rumors abounded that she was really his illegitamite daughter by a black woman, as opposed to an adoptee.)

     

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


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