Thursday, July 12, 2012

Idaho Judge Orders Daily to Identify Anonymous Poster

Books - Heir of the Empire - Star Wars story m...(Photo credit: mMathab)Idaho First Judicial District Court Judge John P. Luster has ordered the Spokesman-Review to identify the anonymous blogger whose post offended Kootenai County Republican Party Chair Tina Jacobsen, the Spokesman-Review reports.

The pseudonymous almostinnocentbystander commented online under a photo of Jacobsen, questioning whether a purportedly missing $10,000 from the County's Central Committee was "stuffed inside Tina's blouse." The post was removed less than three hours after it first appeared.

Judge Luster rejected the daily's free speech argument in denying the paper's motion to quash the subpoena seeking identifying information about the unidentified blogger, noting that the First Amendment does not protect defamatory speech. Idaho lacks a shield law, but Judge Luster said such a statute was irrelevant because the editorial staffer overseeing the Spokesman-Review's online blog was performing as an administrator, rather than as a reporter, when he removed the offending comment.

Editor Gary Graham said the daily is weighing an appeal of Judge Luster's ruling, according to the
Spokesman-Review article.
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