New York Blog Triumphs against Prosecution

In “At the Uneasy Intersection of Bloggers and the Law,” Jonathan D. Glater writes of the outcome of a Bronx prosecutor’s attempt to secretly subpoena a NYC political blog Room 8, demanding the identities of Republican Dissident and those making anonymous comments. Oddly, Steven R. Reed, a spokesman for the Bronx district attorney, Robert T. Johnson, told Glater,

The district attorney was not aware that a subpoena was sent nor was he aware of the content of the comments, until after the subpoena was sent. The district attorney reviewed the matter, determined that a subpoena was not necessary at this time, and directed that it be withdrawn.

After detailing Johnson’s criminal subpoena and how they fought it, Room 8 founders Gur Tsabar and Ben Smith write,

…the scary reality is that here in the free speech capital of the world, a prosecutor tried both to demand confidential information about an anonymous critic and insisted, under penalty of law, that his request for the information be kept secret. We’re glad he backed down, and confident that the courts would have rebuffed his demands. But not every blogger will be lucky enough to find pro bono counsel like ours, and few can afford to pay for lawyers.

Republic Dissident took down his blog April 15. Perhaps that is waht the prosecutor wanted.

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