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Personal Computer World: Apple beaten by bloggers: Victory seen as a major win for journalists and bloggers

Martin Lynch,
30 May 2006

Apple’s attempts to force an online technology news site to reveal its source have been blocked by a US State appeals court.

Apple had initially been granted permission to subpoena the email records of Apple insider and another site in order to ferret out a mole that had leaked product information.

However, the three-judge State of California Court of Appeal was far less impressed with Apple’s tactics.

They overturned the earlier judgement claiming Apple failed to undermine the journalistic status of bloggers and chastised the company for bringing any of it to court before conducting a thorough internal search for the leak.

One of the judges claimed all Apple wanted ‘the name of the snitch’, while others questioned the value of technology revealed by the bloggers – an interface box for hooking up a guitar to a computer.

Kurt Opsahl, a staff attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said: ‘The decision is a victory for the rights of journalists, whether online or offline, and for the public at large. The court has upheld the strong protections for the free flow of information to the press, and from the press to the public.’

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