Monday, June 22

Government demands identity of website commenters--and slaps "gag order" on website owner

Two weeks ago a government attorney in New York hit a libertarian website with a subpoena, demanding it turn over information that would identify two commenters to an article on its website.  Apparently the commenters had written something like "the SOB's who did that should be shot" or something similar--and the U.S. attorney in NY took this as a serious threat, not protected as free speech.

This whole exchange is just background.  The bomb is that the same gummint attorney also formally demanded that the website not reveal to anyone--under penalty of law--that the government had demanded the information.  This is informally termed a "gag order."

A couple of days ago the gag order was lifted, and the website (and magazine) revealed the details.  But the question is, how many times has the government demanded information and simultaneously issued an order forbidding the defendant from saying anything about the demand?

And how would any of you know?

Anyone recall that infamous line, "Mine will be the most transparent administration in history"?  How's that workin' for ya?


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