ACLU Explains Why It's Fighting To Protect Info On Anonymous Vegas Newspaper Commenters

from the you-should-be-able-to-criticize-the-gov't dept

We recently wrote about the fishing expedition US prosecutors went on trying to get all sorts of info (much of which didn't exist) on anonymous commenters on an article by the Las Vegas Journal-Review. The newspaper fought (publicly) the request as being way too broad, leading the feds to back down and greatly narrow the request to just info on four commenters. The newspaper appears to have no issue giving up that information, but the ACLU is still protesting, claiming that one should be able to anonymously criticize the government without having US Prosecutors track you down. Specifically, the ACLU notes that the US Attorneys are really stretching things to call the comments in question "threats" to the US Prosecutor involved in the lawsuit the article was about. It does seem clear that the comments weren't meant seriously. It sounds like people who disagree with the result of the case venting in the same way people vent on pretty much any forum online. That said, I would agree with the ACLU if the newspaper were being compelled to hand over the info. But if it voluntarily is handing over the info after being asked, then I'm not sure it's an issue for the ACLU to get involved in, because the decision is the newspaper's to make.

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Jun 2009 @ 4:15pm

    Re:

    "At the end of the day, if you have the balls to bitch about the government, you need to have the balls to sign your name.

    I don't bitch about the government."
    Wow.

    So that's what [y]our rights have come down to? Unless we wish to risk our lives, we should talk about the government?

    Things sure have changed.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Use markdown for basic formatting. HTML is no longer supported.
  Save me a cookie
Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Shop Now: Copying Is Not Theft
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.