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.

Filed Under: anonymity, billings gazette, commenters, newspapers, sources

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Sep 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.

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