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AppleInsider, others retain EFF to fight subpoenas

updated 12:40 am EST, Tue January 11, 2005

EFF fights Apple subpoenas

: The New York Times writes: "As part of a lawsuit filed by Apple in Santa Clara County Superior Court on Dec. 13, the company obtained a court order allowing it to issue subpoenas...The three Web sites published or linked to information on what they said was a future Apple audio device that was code-named 'Asteroid.' The subpoenas are aimed at getting the operators of those sites to disclose the sources of the information that was reportedly leaked. An attorney representing AppleInsider and PowerPage asserted that bloggers ought to be extended the same protections as mainstream journalists, who have traditionally been given some latitude by the courts in protecting the identities of confidential sources."

On December 13, Apple filed suit against "John Does 1-20" in a Santa Clara court. The company obtained a court order that allows it to issue subpoenas to AppleInsider and PowerPage for the names of the "John Does", defendents whom Apple says it will name once it is able to identify them. Apple claims that these "Does" allegedly leaked the information in question. The EFF is defending the publishers against these subpoenas, arguing that the anonymity of bloggers' sources is protected by the same laws that protect sources providing information to journalists.

"Bloggers break the news, just like journalists do. They must be able to promise confidentiality in order to maintain the free flow of information," said EFF Staff Attorney Kurt Opsahl. "Without legal protection, informants will refuse to talk to reporters, diminishing the power of the open press that is the cornerstone of a free society."

by MacNN Staff





  1. PookJP

    Joined: Dec 1969



    There's a certain irony in Apple's attacking people who are arguably their demonstrably biggest fans. I mean, yeah, we all love Apple, but how many of us have dedicated the time and resources to setting up websites dedicated to the company? I don't think that affection for a company is an admonishment for crime, but I do wonder if Apple isn't overreacting in this situation.

  1. denim

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Apple has the right and responsability to protect its corporate information. If there's a leak, and there seems to be, they want to plug it quick. This is nothing new, and I don't blame them at all.

  1. medmuse

    Joined: Dec 1969



    On behalf of the recording and performing artists known as "Denim" a lawsuit has been filed against the website "Macnn" alleging that an unknown poster in the "comments"
    section is impersonating the group. A subpoena has been issued for all records of the "comments" section for the past 3 years so that all logs can be examined for the IP addresses associated with the poster "Denim". Damages will be determined in superior court by a jury and are expected to run in the hundreds of thousands.

  1. Deal

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Who can blame them?

    If somebody will sell information to the media for a few bucks, they certainly will sell it to the competition for thousands.

    If you work in an area with access to this information, you are legally bound by your own choice to respect that.

    Personally, if I had somebody working for me with flawed integrity, I would want them out as soon as possible.

    Don't get me wrong. I love these news pages and enjoy them speculating from the clues they can find. I also don't blame these groups from posting what they have found out (even if it came from corporate spies). I also don't blame them for covering for their informants. However, it's the spies who need to hang.

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