I don’t know if any of you have heard of this but, in a widely watched free-speech case, a New Jersey judge has upheld a blogger’s right to criticize county officials anonymously. Judge Terence P. Flynn threw out the subponea filed by Manalapan Township seeking the name and account info of the auther of the blog daTruthSquad.blogspot.com. The contention of those officials was that the blogger is actually a former mayor/attorney being sued by the local government for malpractice. This comes less than a month after the Electronic Frontier Foundation began their legal efforts to shield the blogger, claiming that the subpoena for Google to release his identity was ‘part of an unrelated and unauthorized campaign to embarrass or otherwise outmaneuver the Defendant.’ Score one for the First Amendment. “Bloggers, as well as everyone else, have a First Amendment right to speak anonymously,” said EFF Staff Attorney Matt Zimmerman. “Litigants don’t get a blank check to pry into the private lives of critics when they say things the litigants don’t like”. “Attempts to intimidate critics into silence need to be confronted whenever and wherever they occur,” said Zimmerman. “Governmental entities simply cannot be permitted to investigate critics because they dare to voice disapproval of public officials”.
This is a great decision of a Superior Court judge in New Jersey. I kind of wish it had been in front of our Supreme Court as the decision would then make it harder for anyone to attempt to out an anonymous blogger. Though this court case will be referenced by anyone else who tries such underhanded methods to silence the voice of bloggers. Not every blogger is an activist but some of us are and their rights to speak freely should never be abridged.

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