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Latest News: The opening brief for the California Supreme Court hearing of Intel v. Hamidi has just been filed. 

[Note: this website is an archive of information on Openlaw's part in Intel v. Hamidi, but by no means represents a complete resource of legal information on the case. For further details/updates, see the EFF case archive.]


Intel Corporation brought suit in California state court against former employee Ken Hamidi, alleging trespass to chattels and seeking to enjoin Hamidi from sending mass distributed e-mails to Intel employees at their places of work.  Hamidi, the spokesman for FACE Intel, a nonprofit organization of former and current Intel employees, sent the e-mails as part of his ongoing campaign to inform Intel employees about what he considers to be Intel's abusive and discriminatory employment practices. 

In November 1998, California Superior Court Judge Lewis granted Intel a preliminary injunction.  Intel filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing that Hamidi does not have a First Amendment right to express his views on Intel's private e-mail system.

On June 23, 1999, Judge Lewis granted Intel's summary judgment request, issuing a final order enjoinging Hamidi from sending unsolicited e-mail to addresses on INTEL's computer systems. Hamidi has filed an appeal of that order.

This ruling, and its issuance at the summary judgment stage, raises questions under the First Amendment to the U.S. and California constitution, questions of federal labor law, and questions of procedure and jurisdiction.  While not taking an official stance on the case, the Berkman Center has worked with the Electronic Frontier Foundation to spearhead an amicus brief that raises these issues. The brief is now complete and was filed in the California state appeals court on January 18, 2000. Also on January 18, 2000, Hamidi filed his appeal brief in the case.

Last modified
Donna Wentworth
Berkman Center for Internet & Society