Feeds

Apple argues that blogger can't protect source

It would, wouldn't it?

Security for virtualized datacentres

A US appeals court has been hearing arguments in a case that tests the right of a blogger to protect his sources. Apple Computer wants to know who leaked details of a product called 'Asteroid' and expects bloggers to reveal the names.

ADetails of Asteroid, a music device, were leaked two years ago by PowerPage.org and other blogs. The blog owners say they are journalists and should be protected from revealing their confidential sources.

ZDNet reports that, on Thursday, Presiding Justice Conrad Rushing questioned whether the leaked information even amounted to a trade secret. "You don't really claim this is a new technology?," he asked. "This is plugging a guitar into a computer."

But Apple's lawyer characterised the leak as "a very serious theft".

The Electronic Frontier Foundation is representing the online journalists. It contends that Apple has no right to force the bloggers to reveal their sources.

Apple has sued several unnamed individuals, called "Does" (as in "John Doe" and "Jane Doe"), for allegedly leaking the information. According to the EFF, as part of the lawsuit, Apple has subpoenaed Nfox, the ISP for PowerPage publisher Jason O'Grady, demanding that the ISP turn over the communications and unpublished materials O'Grady obtained while he was gathering information for his articles. Apple was also granted permission to issue subpoenas directly to PowerPage and AppleInsider for similar information.

A trial court ruled last year that if a journalist publishes information that a business claims to be a trade secret, this act destroys constitutional protection for the journalist's confidential sources and unpublished materials.

EFF Staff Attorney Kurt Opsahl told the appeals court on Thursday that the subpoena to Nfox violated the federal Stored Communications Act, which prohibits direct subpoenas of email communications held by email service providers. Opsahl also argued that O'Grady and other journalists are entitled to protect their confidential source information under both the California constitution and the US constitution.

A ruling is expected within 90 days.

Copyright © 2006, OUT-LAW.com

OUT-LAW.COM is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Bono apologises for iTunes album dump
Megalomania, generosity and FEAR of irrelevance drove group to Apple deal
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
10 Top Tips For PRs Considering Whether To Phone The Register
You'll Read These And LOL Even Though They're Serious
Stop ROBOT exploitation, cry striking Foxconn workers
HP downturn and automation eroding overtime on China's production lines
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.