Steve and Jen bring you this daily review of the news
Premium Advertiser

News Blog Sponsors

News Links

BBC World Service
The Guardian
Washington Post
Iraq Order of Battle
NY Times
LA Times
ABC News

Blogs We Like

Daily Kos
Digby's Blog
Operation Yellow Elephant
Iraq Casualty Count
Media Matters
Talking Points
Defense Tech
Intel Dump
Soldiers for the Truth
Margaret Cho
Juan Cole
Just a Bump in the Beltway
Baghdad Burning
Howard Stern
Michael Moore
James Wolcott
Cooking for Engineers
There is No Crisis
Whiskey Bar
Rude Pundit
Crooks and Liars
Amazin' Avenue
DC Media Girl
The Server Logs

Blogger Credits

Powered by Blogger

Archives by
Publication Date
August 2003
September 2003
October 2003
November 2003
December 2003
January 2004
February 2004
March 2004
April 2004
May 2004
June 2004
July 2004
August 2004
September 2004
October 2004
November 2004
December 2004
January 2005
February 2005
March 2005
April 2005
May 2005
June 2005
July 2005
August 2005
September 2005
October 2005
November 2005
December 2005
January 2006
February 2006
March 2006
April 2006
May 2006
June 2006
July 2006
August 2006
September 2006
October 2006
November 2006
December 2006
January 2007
February 2007
Comments Credits
Comments by YACCS
Saturday, May 27, 2006

Bloggers have same rights as print journalists

Bill of Rights

First Amendment Applies to Internet, Appeals Court Rules

Published: May 27, 2006

SAN FRANCISCO, May 26 — A California appeals court ruled Friday that online reporters are protected by the same confidentiality laws that protect traditional journalists, striking a blow to efforts by Apple Computer to identify people who leaked confidential company data.

The three-judge panel in San Jose overturned a trial court's ruling last year that to protect its trade secrets, Apple was entitled to know the source of leaked data published online. The appeals court also ruled that a subpoena issued by Apple to obtain electronic communications and materials from an Internet service provider was unenforceable.

In its ruling, the appeals court said online and offline journalists are equally protected under the First Amendment. "We can think of no workable test or principle that would distinguish 'legitimate' from 'illegitimate' news," the opinion states. "Any attempt by courts to draw such a distinction would imperil a fundamental purpose of the First Amendment."

The ruling states that Web sites are covered by California's shield law protecting the confidentiality of journalists' sources.


"This ruling will probably prove instructive to other online writers," said Kurt Opsahl, a lawyer with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a civil liberties organization, who argued the case in front of the appeals court last month. "It says that what makes a journalist is not the format but the function."


Friday's ruling is also significant because it addresses whether private e-mail is protected from subpoenas. "The court correctly found that under federal law, civil litigants can't subpoena your stored e-mail from your service," said Kevin Bankston, a lawyer for the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Apple's position never made sense to begin with. Trade secrets? Please, these were products and release dates, not schematics of new machines.

Apple never even checked their own employees before trying to bully their fans. None of this needed to go to court, but it did, and Apple lost, as they should have.

What exactly is the distinction between online and offline media? According to the court, there isn't one. But then, Apple used the suits to bully the sites in the expectation that they would fold. Instead, and this is common, they went to EFF and got good legal counsel. Which is what happens. People fight for their rights and then what seems like a simple case turns into a major fight.

The irony is that these are diehard Apple loyalists the company went after, people who love Macs.

Instead of performing due dilligence on their own employees, they went after bloggers and got the expected result.

posted by Steve @ 9:05:00 AM

9:05:00 AM

The News Blog home page


Editorial Staff

Add to My AOL

Support The News Blog

Amazon Honor System Click Here to Pay Learn More
News Blog Food Blog
Visit the News Blog Food Blog
The News Blog Shops
Operation Yellow Elephant
Enlist, Young Republicans