April 20, 2006 | By Rebecca Jeschke

EFF Stands Up for Online Journalists' Rights in Apple v. Does

Today, EFF Staff Attorney Kurt Opsahl argued the critical issues in Apple v. Does before a San Jose, California appeals court, telling a panel of three judges that denying confidential source protection to journalists -- whether online or offline -- would deliver a dangerous blow to all media.

The case started when Apple Computer sued several unnamed individuals -- called "Does" -- who allegedly leaked information about an upcoming product to online news sites PowerPage and AppleInsider. As part of its investigation, Apple subpoenaed PowerPage's email service provider Nfox for communications and unpublished materials obtained by PowerPage publisher Jason O'Grady. A trial court denied a motion for an order protecting the journalists from the subpoenas, and the journalists appealed.

At the appeals court, Opsahl argued 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 U.S. Constitution.

The panel now has 90 days to come up with a ruling. The judges hearing the arguments asked tough questions and seemed to understand the high stakes for free speech in this case, and we are looking forward to their decision.


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

Check out our Stupid Patent of the Month, from a company that seems to think it invented passwords. https://www.eff.org/deeplinks...

Jul 29 @ 4:19pm

Users should be informed when their content comes under threat of removal from the Internet. This tool could help. https://www.eff.org/deeplinks...

Jul 29 @ 4:05pm

"Surveillance technologies are being deployed by local police across the US, often without any oversight." http://www.alternet.org/civil...

Jul 29 @ 1:47pm
JavaScript license information