Saturday, November 14, 2009

Improper Search and Silence in Indiana

The Rove Republican Racket has left a trail of misconduct and now comes published reports that the U.S. Attorney of the Southern District of Indiana attempted to obtain detailed information about the readers of an independent news website in Indiana this past January and directed the company that operates the site to keep silent.

These actions clearly violate DOJ policy, privacy issues, and first amendment rights.

From an article published yesterday on the Fox News Site:

Kristina Clair, systems administrator for, said she was shocked when she received a subpoena from U.S. Attorney Tim Morrison in Indianapolis in January demanding the IP address of every person who visited the site on June 25, 2008. She said she was also instructed "not to disclose the existence of this request unless authorized by the Assistant U.S. Attorney." Clair said she was astonished by the demand. "It's a purely aggregate site, it only pulls data from other Indymedia feeds," she told "There's no information fed to the site directly." When she contacted the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a legal advocacy group for digital freedom, she was told the subpoena was riddled with problems.

"Not only was this request a plain violation of federal privacy law -- which would require the government to at least get a court order based on a factual showing to get that kind of data; not only did it violate Department of Justice regulations that require subpoenas to media organizations to be vetted by the attorney general; not only did it threaten the First Amendment right to read anonymously of all of Indymedia's users, it also violated Ms. Clair's First Amendment rights by ordering her not to disclose the subpoena's existence," EFF Senior Staff Attorney Kevin Bankston told
According to Fox News, the subpoena was later withdrawn.