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Justice Dept. Asked For Broad Swath of IndyMedia's Visitor Records

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the here's-our-shredder's-output dept.

Privacy 244

DesScorp writes "In a case that tests whether online and independent journalism has the same protections as mainstream journalism, the Justice Department sent Indymedia a grand jury subpoena. It requires a list of all visitors on a day, and further, a gag order to Indymedia 'not to disclose the existence of this request.' CBS reports that 'Kristina Clair, a 34-year-old Linux administrator living in Philadelphia who provides free server space for Indymedia.us, said she was shocked to receive the Justice Department's subpoena,' and that 'The subpoena from US Attorney Tim Morrison in Indianapolis demanded "all IP traffic to and from www.indymedia.us" on June 25, 2008. It instructed Clair to "include IP addresses, times, and any other identifying information," including e-mail addresses, physical addresses, registered accounts, and Indymedia readers' Social Security Numbers, bank account numbers, credit card numbers, and so on.' Clair is being defended by the Electronic Frontier Foundation."

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244 comments

Niggers (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30048130)

are such jigaboos because they have the highest incarceration rate and the highest children-out-of-wedlock rate and somehow they don't see that as a problem that they need to take care of.

How small is it? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30048182)

Rob Malda's penis is so small that when he went to the glory hole with kdawson last night, he was confused for a toddler.

In Gulag U.S.A. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30048196)

EVERY electronic communication ( domestic and international) is intercepted.

Yours In Prokopyevsk,
Kilgore Trout

That's change I can believe in (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30048206)

Say hello to the new boss.

Re:That's change I can believe in (0)

dangitman (862676) | more than 4 years ago | (#30048380)

Because Obama personally ordered this? If you knew anything about the US system of governance, you'd know that the Judiciary is separate from the Executive.

Re:That's change I can believe in (4, Informative)

cmiller173 (641510) | more than 4 years ago | (#30048498)

Judiciary Justice Department

Judiciary includes:

* The Supreme Court

* Lower Courts

* Special Courts

Executive includes:

* The President

* The VP

* The Department of Justice

* Loads of other departments

http://www.usa.gov/Agencies.shtml

Re:That's change I can believe in (4, Informative)

cmiller173 (641510) | more than 4 years ago | (#30048528)

Oops, that first line should have said Judiciary not equal to Justice Department

Re:That's change I can believe in (-1, Troll)

tjstork (137384) | more than 4 years ago | (#30048530)

Because Obama personally ordered this? If you knew anything about the US system of governance, you'd know that the Judiciary is separate from the Executive.

Judiciary is the court. Dept of Justice is the Executive. Obviously, the government is a problem, no matter who runs it. I never understood why so many right wingers supported this sort of nonsense.

The irony is, if the right wing actually supported the left on some of their basic rights issues, they would get another break on government power.

Re:That's change I can believe in (1, Insightful)

caldodge (1152) | more than 4 years ago | (#30048768)

The irony is, if the left wing actually supported the right on some of their basic rights issues, they would get another break on government power.

(note the Left's current guffaws over the non-prosecution of the white guys who brutally beat a black man in St. Louis 3 months ago)

Re:That's change I can believe in (2, Insightful)

fulldecent (598482) | more than 4 years ago | (#30049190)

>> The irony is, if the right wing actually supported the left on some of their basic rights issues, they would get another break on government power.

No. The irony is that the right wing and the left wing are identical.

Re:That's change I can believe in (5, Insightful)

Plunky (929104) | more than 4 years ago | (#30049472)

No. The irony is that the right wing and the left wing are identical.

No, the irony is that you guys don't have a left wing, or even a middle of the road party, its all far to the right.

Re:That's change I can believe in (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30049906)

I thought NASCAR always turned left...

Re:That's change I can believe in (2, Informative)

blackraven14250 (902843) | more than 4 years ago | (#30048650)

The judiciary isn't the justice department. The judiciary is the judges of the Supreme and Federal courts. The justice department is all of the government's lawyers.

Re:That's change I can believe in (5, Informative)

Cytotoxic (245301) | more than 4 years ago | (#30048678)

Because Obama personally ordered this? If you knew anything about the US system of governance, you'd know that the Judiciary is separate from the Executive.

And if you knew anything about the US system of governance, you would know that the Justice Department is not part of the Judiciary, it is part of the executive. Not that this necessarily has anything to do with Obama or the White House, although all such requests of media organizations are supposed to be approved by the Attorney General, which would be the White House. It is likely just a prosecutor asking for something hoping that indymedia will just comply. Once they questioned the subpoena, the Justice Department backed down from their threats and withdrew the subpoena. Good for them and good for the EFF. This is basically identical to the AT&T case, except tiny indymedia didn't back down and just provide the information requested. And the government folded immediately because legally they didn't have a leg to stand on.

The big threat discussed in the article is the "you may not disclose this request". Holy Crap!! Absent a court order, what the heck makes them believe they can issue a secret subpoena that is probably illegitimate and order you not to discuss it!? I hope that part is fully investigated and if that is really an official policy of the US attorney's office that it is changed immediately. Talk about ripe for abuse!

Re:That's change I can believe in (3, Insightful)

caldodge (1152) | more than 4 years ago | (#30048718)

Yes, they're separate. That's why it's sheer coincidence that criminal charges against Obama supporters (Bill Richardson, the Philadelphia voter-intimidating thugs) were dropped in spite of objections by career DOJ lawyers.

Re:That's change I can believe in (1)

cboslin (1532787) | more than 4 years ago | (#30048904)

Yes, they're separate. That's why it's sheer coincidence that criminal charges against Obama supporters (Bill Richardson, the Philadelphia voter-intimidating thugs) were dropped in spite of objections by career DOJ lawyers.

I added the bold highlight for emphasis, not caldodge...

I wonder which party those career DOJ lawyers belonged to?

I wish it did not matter which party, but we all know that party politics are what D.C. has sadly become all about. Pathetic (party politics, not your comment, which both parties are guilty of in some form or another.)

MOD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30048926)

This non-obviousness needs a mod!

Re:That's change I can believe in (3, Informative)

Artraze (600366) | more than 4 years ago | (#30048762)

Apparently you are the one that knows nothing about the US system of governance:

  United States Department of Justice: [wikipedia.org] "The United States Department of Justice ... is the United States federal executive department responsible for the enforcement of the law and administration of justice... The Department is led by the Attorney General, who is nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate and is a member of the Cabinet." Emphasis mine.

The federal judiciary branch is the supreme court; the DOJ is an extension of the executive branch into judicial affairs. However, law enforcement has traditionally fallen to the executive branch, so the DOJ's existence is arguably appropriate.

This is not to say that Obama ordered this, but as he is the CEO, if you will, and appointed the guy that directly oversees it, he definitely bears some responsibility. As this particular case is not terribly high profile, he probably wasn't briefed or asked about it. Regardless, it is certainly within his power to tell them to stop.

Re:That's change I can believe in (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30049060)

More importantly, if you followed the links, you'd see that the original subpoena was sent before Obama took office (and note it takes some time to put a grand jury together in any case; it's not like Obama can take office Jan 20 and start sending out Grand Jury subpoenas Jan. 21)-- this is a Bush era subpoena.

Re:That's change I can believe in (1)

eleuthero (812560) | more than 4 years ago | (#30049276)

Even so, that the subpoena was not rescinded and that there was at least some discussion between lawyers indicates that the party in power is not the problem in itself. The government's general impression of late that it can do what it wants when it wants seems to transcend parties. What happened to the 10th amendment and all the other restrictions on the fed's power?

Re:That's change I can believe in (1)

andytrevino (943397) | more than 4 years ago | (#30050032)

In addition, the subpoena was issued on January 23rd, which was indeed after the Obama administration took power, so Obama's acting AG or AG Holder would have had to sign off on it at some point. While perhaps the original case was started by the Bush DOJ, this subpoena was signed off on by an Obama DOJ pick.

I would find it hard to believe that either the Bush or Obama administrations would demand such a subpoena without a pretty bulletproof case, because of the attention paid to it. Even the conservative aggregator Hot Air [hotair.com] takes Indymedia's side on this.

Re:That's change I can believe in (3, Interesting)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 4 years ago | (#30049220)

It's a long shot, but this might be the Obama administration's way of killing these kinds of subpoenas.

If BHO, the Attorney-General and the Secretary of Homeland Security decided to stop issuing these subpoenas, that would last at least 4 years and maybe eight, but that would be it. If Congress passed a law that forbade him from issuing these subpoenas pro se, he might abide by it, but the next guy might not, would be able to tie it up in the courts, and the courts might eventually let the thing pass.

However, if he sends out a subpoena to someone who isn't really doing anything wrong, who is likely to fight the case tooth and nail, and if the admin makes the demands of the subpoena so egregious that no court in their right mind would find it acceptible, he might be able to extract a ruling from the supreme court that says these subpoenas are illegal, or at least get good language for a test on their reasonableness. It's very sneaky but for a lawyerly mind it has a certain elegance. The upshot is that no president can ever again send out these kinds of subpoena, by order of the supreme court, and all the while the administration looks like a zealous investigator.

It's a long shot and a conspiracy theory, though.

Not to disclose the request (5, Insightful)

Meshach (578918) | more than 4 years ago | (#30048208)

The biggest worry to me is the line "...not to disclose the request". They can issue a bogus request and get shot down via proper channels. But asking everyone to keep it a secret smells fishy.

Re:Not to disclose the request (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#30048284)

Conveniently, though, the request for secrecy offers a reasonable chance of keeping the fishy smell from attracting broader notice.

In this case, Indymedia is the sort of outfit that would be ideologically opposed to just knuckling under and they got actual legal help from the EFF(even then, though, once they dropped the initial request, the EFF's lawyer had to push to get them to back off from threats around disclosure). How often, though, do you think that that demand for secrecy, completely without legal basis, is simply obeyed by outfits with less spine or worse lawyers?

This can't be the only time that that demand has been made.

Re:Not to disclose the request (4, Insightful)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 4 years ago | (#30048628)

How often, though, do you think that that demand for secrecy, completely without legal basis, is simply obeyed by outfits with less spine or worse lawyers?

Considering most of the major telecos went along with wholesale spying on the American public, I'm guessing the number of organizations even challenging a request like that is going to be pretty small.

I thought the courts already vacated the secrecy demands, except in terrorism related cases. Either I'm mistaken or the Justice Dept. figures there's no downside to bluffing.

Re:Not to disclose the request (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30049598)

Just need to make it a capital offense to make any kind of request for information accompanied by a gag order...

Sit back, wait for the assholes to off themselves...

Re:Not to disclose the request (2, Interesting)

MikeBabcock (65886) | more than 4 years ago | (#30049728)

While capital might be going a bit far, it should certainly be a felony in my mind to commit such obvious fraud. Fraud how? Fraud by standing on one's obvious power base and claiming authority one does not in fact have. The Justice Department ought to be held to a high standard here.

Re:Not to disclose the request (5, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#30050028)

I wish y'all would stop bashing Obama's Justice Department.

Yes there are problems, but he's aware of them, and he's doing his best to solve these problems in his own way. He doesn't need us criticizing him, so just cooperate with the subpoena instead of making a fuss about it.

/end sarcasm

Re:Not to disclose the request (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30048342)

The biggest worry to me is the line "...not to disclose the request". They can issue a bogus request and get shot down via proper channels. But asking everyone to keep it a secret smells fishy.

There's been a lot of this since Patriot passed.

Here's [wired.com] an article from last month about the gag orders. Did /. pick it up back then? I'm new to the world here.

Re:Not to disclose the request (1)

Clever7Devil (985356) | more than 4 years ago | (#30048364)

And, as evidenced by this article, totally unreasonable. Not just to ask, but to expect. Meet the new boss...

Re:Not to disclose the request (1)

jones948 (726106) | more than 4 years ago | (#30049650)

And, as evidenced by this article, totally unreasonable. Not just to ask, but to expect. Meet the new boss...

....demanded "all IP traffic to and from www.indymedia.us" on ***June 25, 2008***...

Actually, this was the old boss.

Re:Not to disclose the request (1)

jones948 (726106) | more than 4 years ago | (#30049876)

nm. Missed the wording that this was the date they wanted the traffic for. Should have read the actual subpoena.

Re:Not to disclose the request (3, Informative)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#30050132)

Yes but the date of the subpoena's issuance was *under Obama's watch*

"On February 1st, 2009, Kristina Clair of Philadelphia, PA -- one of the system administrators of the server that hosts the indymedia.us site -- received in the mail a grand jury subpoena from the Southern District of Indiana federal court."

Re:Not to disclose the request (1)

roguetrick (1147853) | more than 4 years ago | (#30048770)

If you read the eff analysis, they say its not only fishy but legally unfounded in this sort of case. If it was a court order and was targeted it would have been legal witgh the gag order. But this was a shotgun blast with a grand jury

Re:Not to disclose the request (4, Interesting)

epiphani (254981) | more than 4 years ago | (#30049172)

It actually says something much much louder... that they issue these requests ALL the time and they regularly get them answered.

This was fought because it went to a small, independent admin. How much do you want to bet that these requests go out to larger companies and get answered quickly and quietly without us ever hearing about it?

Re:Not to disclose the request (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30049584)

This sounds fishy is yeah. They are fishing. I think that an article was ran with a single news agency and they are trying to pin point an IP address to an area. Run the article and see who reads it within a specific area. Then the feds will search that area for the suspect. That is what it sounds like to me. The DOJ is hoping they will just turn over things to them without issue. In other words, the DOJ thinks of us as sheeple.

Don't hang onto visitor stats (5, Funny)

j_presper_eckert (617907) | more than 4 years ago | (#30048220)

Whaaaaat, Your Honor??? Sorry, I can't hear you over the sound of how awesome my 24-hour-data-retention-policy is!
Fuck that subpeona.
In the ear.
With a Siberian ice dildo.

Re:Don't hang onto visitor stats (3, Funny)

dangitman (862676) | more than 4 years ago | (#30048438)

With a Siberian ice dildo.

Well, OK. As long as it's Siberian. Do you have your import papers in order for that item? Of course, the court acknowledges that's it's *a* Siberian ice dildo, not *your* Siberian ice dildo.

Re:Don't hang onto visitor stats (1)

NervousWreck (1399445) | more than 4 years ago | (#30048514)

Perfect! I love it. Especially since Siberian ice dildos have deep cultural/historical significance in my extended family. Hey! can I sue you for using the term?

Re:Don't hang onto visitor stats (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#30049982)

No. With a spoon!

Why a spoon?

Because it hurts more! ^^

P.S.: I think the quote was from "Robin Hood - Men In Tights". But I can't find in online.

And why are websites still keeping this info? (3, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 4 years ago | (#30048224)

I want to know why admins keep this information if they are running a website that could be the subject of a subpoena? Delete the fucking shit already and be done with it. Then, when the feds come knocking, you simply reply, "I'm sorry my http.conf is setup to direct logs to /dev/null. Have a nice day."

Re:And why are websites still keeping this info? (4, Informative)

russotto (537200) | more than 4 years ago | (#30048306)

They don't. According to the article, IP addresses are not recorded and other records are kept only for a few weeks.

Re:And why are websites still keeping this info? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30048338)

Then this is not news. Sweet.

Re:And why are websites still keeping this info? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30048390)

You're not interested in seeing your rights eroded?

That's right, just close your eyes.

Re:And why are websites still keeping this info? (1)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 4 years ago | (#30049482)

So, they issue a subpoena, then withdraw the request. The subpoena states that they cannot disclose the existence of the request, yet you read about it at CBS, so that provision wasn't exactly effective.

What part of this is eroding your rights? That it's possible for the DoJ to send out nonsensical subpoenas and then withdraw them? That seems likely to happen in any organization where the people doing the work are humans.

Re:And why are websites still keeping this info? (1)

quangdog (1002624) | more than 4 years ago | (#30048394)

I don't run any sites that will likely be the subject of a subpoena, but I also don't keep logs around for more than a few weeks.

Do they honestly expect that logs from last year will still be available and contain the info they are demanding?

Re:And why are websites still keeping this info? (1)

mdm-adph (1030332) | more than 4 years ago | (#30048630)

I don't run any sites that will likely be the subject of a subpoena

I don't think you've really thought about that statement very much. :p

Re:And why are websites still keeping this info? (2, Insightful)

MikeBabcock (65886) | more than 4 years ago | (#30049770)

... and your firewall and access logs aren't on the tape backups either ....

Re:And why are websites still keeping this info? (4, Funny)

Wowsers (1151731) | more than 4 years ago | (#30048540)

Dear website admin,
You are now ordered to supply us with a printout of all information in /dev/null

http://www.infoworld.com/t/tech-industry-analysis/court-rules-content-ram-memory-discoverable-705

In what some are calling a "rogue" decision, the Los Angeles District Court ruled on May 29, 2007, in Columbia Pictures Industries v. Bunnell, that data stored in a computer's Random Access Memory --that's correct you read it right, in its RAM -- is discoverable.

Re:And why are websites still keeping this info? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30048624)

Yes, but this is a federal agency we're talking about. They'll want to remove (as in, "unplug") the computer to take it back to the lab for analysis.

You just KNOW there's someone who wrote a policy dictating just that.

Re:And why are websites still keeping this info? (1)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 4 years ago | (#30049540)

Actually, the policy says explicitly not to do this. But then, you probably don't read many of the NIJ publications.

Re:And why are websites still keeping this info? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30048668)

That's why data should be kept in WOM - write-only memory.

Re:And why are websites still keeping this info? (3, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 4 years ago | (#30048802)

Here, have a dump:

100110010111010100100101101001110101010101
100110101110010101010100000000110110101010
001011010010100101100110011010000000111110
000000000000000100101110110100011010010100

I'll send you some more as soon as I finish formatting it.

Re:And why are websites still keeping this info? (1)

mdm-adph (1030332) | more than 4 years ago | (#30048980)

Wasn't that crap thrown out when somebody finally told them that after a server's shut down, the RAM information is, you know, not there anymore?

Re:And why are websites still keeping this info? (4, Funny)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 4 years ago | (#30049278)

...data stored in a computer's Random Access Memory --that's correct you read it right, in its RAM -- is discoverable.

Sure Officer, you can have the RAM and its contents. Let me turn off the system and pull out those modules for you...

Re:And why are websites still keeping this info? (1)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 4 years ago | (#30049560)

Intentional destruction of evidence -- now that's a surefire way to stay out of jail!

Re:And why are websites still keeping this info? (3, Funny)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 4 years ago | (#30049858)

Honest, your Honor, the information was there when I shut off the system and gave the RAM modules to the Officer. I'm sure I instructed him to hold them upside down all the time to prevent the data from leaking out the pins...

Re:And why are websites still keeping this info? (3, Informative)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 4 years ago | (#30050050)

If you do ever get a subpoena, don't smugly assume you know so much more about technology than people in the justice system. It won't go well for you.

Re:And why are websites still keeping this info? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30049010)

Posting anonymously, since I have insight into this stuff that should probably have a security clearance for (which I do not).

Major companies, internet providers, and telecommunications providers (cell networks, other wireless communications, etc) are being forced into implementing logging and retention of this data on huge scales. When I say forced, I mean under threat of pissing off the government. There are no laws saying these companies have to retain this data for years, and provide it to government agencies without warrants or subpoenas, but they're telling us to do it anyway.

These large companies are basically folding on the simple premise that they don't want to piss off the governments in the areas they operate. The US is especially good at forcing this. At least China is upfront with their monitoring - the US does all the same, but without the laws supporting them.

At current, there is the expectation that any internet provider will provide browsing logs for any subscriber they have. Without a warrant. On request. Heck, for the bigger companies, they want a web interface where they can query themselves.

Small providers get you part of the way around this, but their uplinks are becoming the targets. Large providers are fucked at this point. In my company, I'm watching them implement 15 petabyte storage solutions just to keep track of 12 months of http hits (compressed, of course).

People don't get this. This is -huge-. I never assume anything on the internet that I do is not being tracked, logged, and made available to multiple governments.

Re:And why are websites still keeping this info? (2, Insightful)

Coren22 (1625475) | more than 4 years ago | (#30049334)

So, you then post anonymously expecting that they don't know exactly who posted it?

Because (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30049382)

I want to know why admins keep this information if they are running a website that could be the subject of a subpoena?

Before answering your question, let me address that weird "if they are running a website that could be the subject of a subpoena" qualifier. Does that somehow distinguish any website from any other? Nobody knows they're not ever going to be a subpoena, so let's be clear: we're talking about all computer admins (website or other) here.

So.. why do people keep logs? Because it's easy; disk space is cheap. And some day, I might want to reanalyze my traffic in a way that I haven't though of, or stored summaries of, yet. Who knows what sort of traffic analysis report my boss (or I!) might want next week? Storing the raw data is a way to deal with that.

But yeah.. this comes with risk. Do I think I might be subpoenaed someday, and therefore my users will get screwed? No, I don't think it will happen, just like I don't think I'll get killed in a car accident on the way home tonight. IndyMedia's people probably had the same attitude. And yes, risks with small probabilities do sometimes happen, so it's worth thinking "what if?" I don't know if that's enough to change my log storage policies, though.

It can't happen to m~f7dsgNO CARRIER

Good luck with that... (5, Informative)

Tickety-boo (1206428) | more than 4 years ago | (#30048272)

If she is only retaining the logs of the IP addresses for a few months, and did not know this order was coming, she is safe.

FRCP Rule 37 states: [cornell.edu]

Absent exceptional circumstances, a court may not impose sanctions under these rules on a party for failing to provide electronically stored information lost as a result of the routine, good-faith operation of an electronic information system.

Re:Good luck with that... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30049968)

That's only for a civil case. If DoJ is asking for it, it's probably a criminal matter.

This is change (0, Flamebait)

strikeleader (937501) | more than 4 years ago | (#30048314)

I wonder how long it will be until states start seceding from the union.

Re:This is change (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30048412)

Over this? Probably never.

Re:This is change (1)

cmiller173 (641510) | more than 4 years ago | (#30048598)

Do you remember (from history class) what happened the last time some States tried to secede?

Re:This is change (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30049000)

A lot of people died.

I suspect this time it would happen in the courts. AFAIK nothing in The Constitution prohibits States from leaving.

Re:This is change (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#30048722)

Ha, ha, you are a funny man.

Given that, at present, all but one of the states has at least one "fusion center"(and that last one may have gotten one in the meantime) where state and local police forces voluntarily get together with their Fed, military, and private sector buddies for general surveillance state fun, I'd say that the odds of secession over excessive state surveillance are ~0. With the exception of libertarians that the republicans don't listen to, and civil libertarians that the democrats don't listen to, there is broad support, in government and among the public, for pretty much anything that promises "security".There are occasional disagreements over who is sub-human enough to be the public face of the terrifying enemy; but that is largely cosmetic.

With few (and politically irrelevant) exceptions, there are basically no actual "states' rights" enthusiasts. There are plenty of people who reliably take up the "states' rights" banner when they aren't getting what they want at the federal level and then drop it as soon as they are; but that isn't exactly the same thing

I don't get it (3, Insightful)

amiga3D (567632) | more than 4 years ago | (#30048316)

Why would anyone be shocked by something like this? It's not like it hasn't happened before. One thing about LIberals and Conservatives, they both like control. Their idealogies may not be the same but their methods aren't that different.

Re:I don't get it (2, Insightful)

tjstork (137384) | more than 4 years ago | (#30048556)

Why would anyone be shocked by something like this? It's not like it hasn't happened before. One thing about LIberals and Conservatives, they both like control. Their idealogies may not be the same but their methods aren't that different.

I would argue that everyone likes control, but if there is one thing conservatives and liberals can agree on, it is that republicans are not conservatives and democrats are not liberals, despite our flamewars to the contrary.

Re:I don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30048632)

If you had RTFA you would see responses by the EFF lawyers in Feb 2009 to a subpoena.
You appear to have assumed that it was Obama's US Attorney who had issued this one.
I suspect that was not the case.

I agree that the institutional government party is uniformly jealous
of power and control

There will be later cases where it is Obama's justice department doing this, but not this particular one.

Re:I don't get it (2, Interesting)

Jawn98685 (687784) | more than 4 years ago | (#30048976)

Really? When was the last time you heard of a "liberal" judge or federal prosecutor trying to stomp on free speech?
BTW, calendar check..., Tim Morrison (the moron who started all this nonsense) was appointed to his federal post of United States Attorney under the Bush (43) administration. So you're right - a right-wing appointed tool acting they way he did... not surprising in the least. Well, OK, there was one surprise. The subpoena was so ham-handed that I rather expected to see that he'd been one of those Regent University losers, so many of whom found their way, as political favors, into positions way above their skill, knowledge and abilities. But no, Attorney Morrison actually has something on his resume, including an education at a real university. Go figure.

Re:I don't get it (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30049736)

Depends on how 'liberal' the judge is. To think that liberals are no less likely to attempt to supress free speech is an act of youthfulness or naivete.

Re:I don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30049900)

How about the Liberal President and his staff trying to stifle the free speech of Fox News? Or do you just look the other way when you agree with the fascist tactics of the current administration?

Really, Democrat or Republican, it doesn't matter they both will abuse their power to try to control the message. American "liberals" have far more in common with National Socialists (aks NAZIs) than they do with classical liberalism.

Re:I don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30049918)

Really? When was the last time you heard of a "liberal" judge or federal prosecutor trying to stomp on free speech?

Attempting to stomp on free speech in the case of liberal judges and prosecutors? Not often if at all. They're actually smart enough to know better.

Attempting to stomp on free speech in the case of other liberals? Just about any freakin' time you dare to say something that doesn't pass their environmental, ideological and political correctness must-toe-the-party-line purity tests. Speaking that which they do not care to hear gets you labeled a hater, a racist, or whatever they've decided to call those they oppose this week.

Why wasn't this story reported sooner? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30048474)

Since the subpoena was dropped in February 2009, why did it take until November 2009 to make into the press?

Re:Why wasn't this story reported sooner? (0, Troll)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 4 years ago | (#30048548)

Because the press didn't want to make their darling O Bama look bad? They've stuffed a lot of other bad stuff under the carpet, so what's this in comparison.

Re:Why wasn't this story reported sooner? (2, Informative)

HiThere (15173) | more than 4 years ago | (#30049398)

Unhh.... because they *DID* want to make him look bad?

If it had surfaced in January or February, NOBODY would have blamed Obama. Because they waited a lot of people thought he had something to do with it.

Mind you, I'm not predicting that he won't do something similar, or claiming that he isn't right now doing something similar that we haven't heard about. But this particular case should be blamed totally on Bush. Read the dates.

Re:Why wasn't this story reported sooner? (3, Interesting)

Skjellifetti (561341) | more than 4 years ago | (#30049450)

Did Fox Noise cover this incident? Check their search engine. The answer is no (although they did cover a similar issue with Indymedia in 2004 [foxnews.com]). Why not? Maybe, just maybe, no one except /. readers and 1st Amendment lawyer types thought it was a very interesting story. You'll notice that the link in the story is to a blog that covers 1st Amendment issues on a CBS News site, an outfit that is not exactly a darling of the right. Also, RTFA! EFF tried to discuss the issue of the gag order in a letter [eff.org] filed at the end of May. Given it has been 5 months with no response from DOJ, maybe Indymedia and EFF are only just now considering it safe and legal to release the story.

Not everything is a left-wing media conspiracy except to reality-challenged bozos like yourself who can't be bothered to think beyond whatever sound bite you were handed this morning.

Protections of The Press (4, Interesting)

StormReaver (59959) | more than 4 years ago | (#30048490)

I remember a Supreme Court case several years ago that dealt with the question of who is considered to be The Press. I think it involved acquiring Press credentials. The Court decided that a member of the Press is anyone who is acting in that capacity, whether full time or part time. It didn't matter if the person was employed by a large corporation, or was part of a middle school glee club.

To be fair (1)

mcscary13 (582322) | more than 4 years ago | (#30048562)

To be fair, I am demanding that US Attorney Tim Morrison post his own bank account and credit card numbers online.

Re:To be fair (1)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 4 years ago | (#30049034)

Please explain how revealing private information to the general public would be fair considering the information requested will not be made public.

Or, are you using some strange definition of "fair"?

Re:To be fair (1)

tsm_sf (545316) | more than 4 years ago | (#30049128)

considering the information requested will not be made public.

You know this how?

Re:To be fair (1)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 4 years ago | (#30049246)

You mean besides the fact it is evidence in an investigation and that it is covered by privacy laws?

Why do you assume it? Why do you think the government would release such records when people just like yourself are much more likely to do so?

Re:To be fair (1)

element-o.p. (939033) | more than 4 years ago | (#30049610)

OK. How about if Tim Morrison's bank account and credit card numbers are provided to everyone who's information he requested, then?

Re:To be fair (1)

bleh-of-the-huns (17740) | more than 4 years ago | (#30050042)

Last I checked, court documents are public, that would include evidence. Obviously some information could be redacted, but that does not make it any less public, just obfuscated. Then again, closed court hearings are different, but I suspect the information could still be made available via FOIA requests.

Just checked here - no logs beyond 9/2008. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30048580)

Sorry, I don't have any logs since before 9/2008, but I'm thinking about a 4 month retention policy on logs.

Obviously, I don't run a high traffic site.

Good enough to get started:
  find . -mtime +160 -exec sudo rm -f {} \;

Holy old news-A summary in disguise. (5, Informative)

Seakip18 (1106315) | more than 4 years ago | (#30048648)

Ok. The news article is new, but the content is anything but.

The subpoena was withdrawn in a one sentence letter [eff.org] in late Feburary 2009 after the EFF sent a letter [eff.org] to the DOJ pointing out the problems with the subpeona.

We're only hearing about all of it now. It is troubling that the DOJ will not come out and say what the original motivation for even sending the subpoena in the first and is being mum about it all.

On top of that, the dates are all mixed up. The subpoena was sent in June 2008, according to the CBS article. However, the EFF says it wasn't received until January 30th 2009. This is important to note as Obama took office the 20th. The EFF's letter was sent Feb. 13th, with a return letter from the DOJ on the 25th.

My guess, it was probably a rookie lawyer who sent a badly worded request to SysAdmin during the confusion of a new president taking office.

Way to miss the "traffic from" in the summary.... (2, Informative)

Seakip18 (1106315) | more than 4 years ago | (#30048740)

Whoops. The dates ARE NOT mixed up.

Figures I'd realize this after the dates.

Anywho, the original subpoena was sent on the 23rd of January, 2009.

Why the heck would anyone want traffic that old?

Re:Holy old news-A summary in disguise. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30048756)

The subpoena was initially timed around the Republican National Convention.

Re:Holy old news-A summary in disguise. (4, Insightful)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 4 years ago | (#30048824)

My guess, it was probably a rookie lawyer who sent a badly worded request to SysAdmin during the confusion of a new president taking office.

Actually, my guess would be it was sent by a seasoned lawyer who hoped to slip it through during the transition knowing that neither the departing Administration nor the incoming Administration would back such a politically hot potato move.

No Federal Shield Law for Journalists (1)

redfire111 (1650697) | more than 4 years ago | (#30048730)

Since this is being tried in Federal Courts there is no shield law to protect journalists from turning over their records. Only individual states have shield laws.

A question (1)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 4 years ago | (#30048982)

Since when are lists of readers or subscribers protected information, specifically protect from revelation through subpoena?

Re:A question (1)

_LORAX_ (4790) | more than 4 years ago | (#30049362)

The subpoena was for traffic and that would cover both the readers, commenter, and journalists reading and posting on that day. Besides being overbroad on it's face the gag order is clearly unconstitutional. Even if it didn't have the gag and was more specific 1st amendment privilege could be used to defend the "doe's" against the unreasonable release of their stored information unless they targeted non-protected speech.

Retention policy (1)

Shadyman (939863) | more than 4 years ago | (#30049516)

This is one more reason to have a posted retention policy stating that server logs will be removed after 30/60/90 days or stripped of identifying information. You can always get historical visitor data, trends, etc. from Google Analytics (with no IPs showing) sans logfiles.

Dump That Data! (1)

b4upoo (166390) | more than 4 years ago | (#30049706)

Unless their is some legal compulsion to do so why not just destroy all traces of data that flows to a site every day or two? Just why is there any need to hang on to all of that information?

The date (3, Interesting)

segfault7375 (135849) | more than 4 years ago | (#30049880)

One question that I haven't seen asked yet is why June 25, 2008? A scan of indymedia's articles didn't turn up anything earth shattering on that day or the day before. Thoughts?
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