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EFF appeals ruling that Apple can subpoena fan sites

Peter Rojas
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Alright, now on to round whatever of the Apple vs. PowerPage and AppleInsider. As you probably know, Apple scored a big victory when a judge in California ruled that the company was allowed to subpoena online news sites in their quest to discover who at the company has been leaking confidential information about unreleased products, and as expected, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which is representing the sites, filed an appeal today. Their argument? That not only does the judge's ruling violates First Amendment protections for free speech, but that Apple should have been required to exhaust all other avenues to discover the source of the leaks, such as subpoenaing its own employees or using "sophisticated computer forensics", before going after these sites. The first reason probably won't fly (First Amendment doesn't necessarily trump trade secret law), but it's not crazy to suggest that Apple (or any company) has to meet a certain threshold (i.e. that they've done everything else possible, within reason, to ascertain the identity of the leaksters) before they can start demanding subpoenas for people who clearly haven't signed any non-disclosure agreements with them. We'll see how this one plays out.

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