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January 10, 2005
EFF to Apple: Back Off
Macworld kicks off tomorrow, but a behind-the-scenes drama has already begun to unfold. Over the past few weeks, Apple has been sending legal threats to the publishers of the Mac-centric weblogs AppleInsider and PowerPage for posting details about a new Apple product code-named "Asteroid." Apple has even obtained a court order to
served subpoenas asking subpoena for the identities of the people who leaked the information. Today, EFF announced that it's representing the publishers to defend their right to keep their sources secret:
"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."
"I am very disappointed by Apple's behavior and its new policy of issuing legal threats to its best customers," added Jason O'Grady, publisher of PowerPage. "Is corporate paranoia really more important than the First Amendment?"
AppleInsider and PowerPage aren't alone; Apple has also targeted Think Secret
and three people
who allegedly posted a developer build of MacOS 10.4 via Bit Torrent.
It will be interesting to see what the resolution of each of these conflicts will reveal about the nature of speech on the Internet today. There are critical differences in the circumstances of each "case." Where will the courts draw the line between breaking the news and breaking the law?
+ TrackBacks (0) | Category: Speech
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