Hersh v. Cohen

EFF has served a motion to quash dragnet subpoenas that put privacy and anonymity at risk for the operators of dozens of Internet blogs and potentially hundreds of commenters.

The subpoenas stem from a state lawsuit filed by New York residents Miriam and Michael Hersh alleging a conspiracy to interfere with their business interests. Issued to Google and Yahoo the subpoenas demand the identities of users of ten email accounts operators of 30 blogs and a website that had featured discussions of the plaintiffs among other matters and the identities of everyone who had ever commented on those sites.

In the motion EFF urged the Supreme Court for Kings County New York to quash the subpoenas for failing to satisfy the requirements imposed by the First Amendment as well as the requirements imposed by New York state law and the federal Stored Communications Act.

Update: On January 21 2011 the trial court granted EFF's motion and quashed the subpoenas seeking the identities of the anonymous blog hosts and commenters. EFF's co-counsel Ron Lazebnik of the Samuelson-Glushko Intellectual Property and Information Law Clinic at the Fordham Law Clinic argued the motion.

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