An article at The Indy Star from 2 March 2011.
A Marion County judge has ruled, for the first time in Indiana, that news media outlets can be ordered by the court to reveal identifying information about posters to their online forums.
In rulings this week and last week, Marion Superior Court Judge S.K. Reid became the first judge in Indiana to rule on whether the state journalism shield law protects media outlets from being forced to disclose names of anonymous posters on their websites or other identifying information about those posters, said Kevin Betz, an attorney for Jeffrey Miller, former chief executive of Junior Achievement of Central Indiana.
The rulings came in a defamation lawsuit Miller filed last year. He is seeking to broaden the list of defendants in his case to include people who criticized him anonymously last year on websites run by The Indianapolis Star, Indianapolis Business Journal and WRTV (Channel 6). The case is among a growing number of defamation claims nationally that target anonymous Internet posters to websites operated by news media and other owners.
One immediately wonders on which sides of the political aisles reside the plaintiffs, defendants and of course, the leanings of Judge Reid.
‘Cyberbullying’ isn’t what this case is about. Not hardly. It’s about shutting down dissent.
Let’s put it this way: Nice ‘nudge’, judge.
By choice, many Americans are not anonymous on the internet. I am one of those people. I say what I mean, mean what I say, plus understand the consequences.
However, many others are anonymous, wish to remain that way and as American Citizens, all of us – anonymous and not – are protected by The First and Fourth Amendments To The Constitution Of The United States Of America.
Judge S.K. Reid of The Marion County Indiana Court has unilaterally disengaged the laws of the land and ignored her own state protections of it’s citizens.
By the way, The Indy Star and WRTV have steadfastly refused to provide any information on internet posters. However, The Indiana Business Journal did provide personal data of their website readers and commenters.