July 12, 2006 | By Rebecca Jeschke

Apple Won't Appeal -- Online Journalists' Source Protection Stands

EFF confirmed today through court filings that Apple Computer will not appeal a May ruling that secured the reporter's privilege for online journalists in California. The lack of an appeal from Apple cements the decision as settled law and provides Internet news-gatherers in the state with the same right to protect the confidentiality of their sources as offline reporters have.

This case began when Apple sued several "Does," claiming they leaked upcoming product information to some online news sites, including AppleInsider and PowerPage. As part of its lawsuit, Apple subpoenaed PowerPage's email service provider for journalist Jason O'Grady's emails. The court's decision not only shot down that subpoena, but celebrates the explosion of new outlets for news by providing the online journalists with an order protecting them from additional subpoenas:

"We can think of no workable test or principle that would distinguish 'legitimate' from 'illegitimate' news. Any attempt by courts to draw such a distinction would imperil a fundamental purpose of the First Amendment, which is to identify the best, most important, and most valuable ideas not by any sociological or economic formula, rule of law, or process of government, but through the rough and tumble competition of the memetic marketplace."

With your support, EFF will work to extend this strong protection for the free flow of information to the press to other states.

Deeplinks Topics

Stay in Touch

NSA Spying

EFF is leading the fight against the NSA's illegal mass surveillance program. Learn more about what the program is, how it works, and what you can do.

Follow EFF

Look out weekend! Check out the cross-platform video games in Humble Indie Bundle 15 & support EFF's work: https://www.humblebundle.com/

Oct 9 @ 4:58pm

The leaked TPP IP chapter reveals how negotiators have caved to Hollywood demands and betrayed Internet users. https://eff.org/r.do9g

Oct 9 @ 4:30pm

One more California victory for privacy! @JerryBrownGov vetoed bill to put RFID chips in driver licenses: https://eff.org/r.qn8c

Oct 9 @ 4:20pm
JavaScript license information