Sam Bayard of the Citizen Media Law Project writes:
In perhaps the most blatant misuse of the subpoena power we've seen since the subpoena served on Kathleen Seidel of Neurodiversitylast March, a lawyer for Thomas Garrett of Virginia has served a
patently overbroad subpoena on blogger Waldo Jaquith, who publishes cvillenews.com,
a community news blog about Charlottesville, Virginia.
The breadth of the information sought is troubling indeed. The first request, which is the most problematic, asks for:
Any and all documents and information relating to persons posting comments on the article entitled "The
Hook Sued for Defamation," which presently appears at
http:cvillenews.com/2008/12/23/garrett-hook-lawsuit/ (the "Article"),
including but not limited to:
(a) names of persons posting comments on the Article, if known; (b) the IP addresses associated with each viewer of the Article; (c) the IP addresses associated with each comment posted on the Article; (d) the dates and times when each comment on the Article was posted; and (e) all computer logs generated in connection with the Article. CONTINUED
For more on legal threats targeted at participants in online speech, check out the Citizen Media Law Project's Legal Threats Database. And to learn how you can protect yourself, take a look at CMLP's Legal Guide for those who publish online.