US Prosecutors Narrow Fishing Expedition On Newspaper Commenters

from the but-they're-stil-fishing dept

Last week, we wrote about how US prosecutors appeared to be going on a total fishing expedition, demanding all sorts of information from the Las Vegas Review-Journal about all of the commenters on a certain article, including their "full name, date of birth, physical address, gender, ZIP code, password prompts, security questions, telephone numbers and other identifiers." This seemed to be far overreaching, and we're glad to see many more mainstream news sources picked up on the story this week. It seems that all that public attention has caused the US attorneys to back down a bit, greatly narrowing what they're requesting to information about just two comments. Even then, some are concerned about this, and the ACLU has filed a motion to try to block even the release of the info on those two comments, citing the right to anonymous speech. However, the newspaper seems willing to hand over what little info it had, noting that it really doesn't have much info on the anonymous commenters anyway (and had deleted one of the comments already for violating its terms of service). Either way, it's good to see the US attorneys quickly back down from such an over-broad request.

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