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.

Filed Under: anonymity, comments, fishing expedition, nevada, newspapers, us prosecutors
Companies: las vegas review-journal


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  1. icon
    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), 18 Jun 2009 @ 5:33pm

    I shot a man in Reno

    ...just to watch him die

    --Barack H. Obama, Esq.

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

  2. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Jun 2009 @ 6:03pm

    Sometimes I don't like the ACLU very much. Other times, I seriously thank God they exist.

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

  3. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Jun 2009 @ 10:34pm

    Yes, me too. I also appreciate EFF.

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

  4. identicon
    Bettawrekonize, 19 Jun 2009 @ 12:44am

    Re:

    I completely agree. It's a balance between good and evil.

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

  5. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Jun 2009 @ 12:54am

    "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."

    Two steps forward, one step back. Be very careful of this strategy.

    Had they just taken one step forward from the beginning the backlash probably would have stopped them. So they take two steps forward, the backlash stops them, and they take one step back. But how do we know that one step forward wasn't their intent to begin with?

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

  6. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Jun 2009 @ 10:53am

    Re: Re:

    more like a balance between normality idiocy and lunacy from my vantage point.

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

  7. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Jan 2010 @ 8:27pm

    If they want to catch the fish they need some special fishing gear ;)

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


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