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.

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Companies: phoenix new times, village voice

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

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14 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

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.

Javarod says:

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.

Joe Smith says:

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.

Anonymous Coward says:

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.

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