This time Google went to court and won unlike in the case of he Indian man who was jailed for the crime of free speech that he hasn't even comitted.
This concerns anonymous commenters, though, not bloggers. Does Google make a distinction if a person chooses to remain anonymous? Or was the decision to go to court based on the strength of the law or court system in each case?
As far as I understand one blogger and some commenters were involved.
Orthomom says "[...] I soon found out that Google, Inc. was not prepared to do much in the way of defending me against the false and frivolous claims presented by Ms. Greenbaum and her attorney."
I am puzzled as to why she thinks they should have been prepared to defend her rights at all? It's not their job, and they specifically disclaim all responsibility for the contents of any blog hosted at Blogger:
<< You agree that you are responsible for your own use of the Service, for any posts you make, and for any consequences thereof.>>
The thing with First Amendment protection is that it comes with certain responsibilities – including keeping your OWN ass covered if someone takes offense to what you say and tries to sue. It's not your host's responsibility, it's YOURS.
Freedom of Speech guarantees only the right to speak, it does not guarantee that you will be free of the consequences of your speech.
[Reference and link fixed – Tony]
Missy: If you choose to stay anonymous using a medium like the telephone or the Internet the medium provider should not spy on you and give the data to whomever wants to sue you.
Ever read a phrase like "an anonymous source" or "...who wanted to stay anonymous"? [Personal attack removed. -Philipp]
I guess you're one of those people who do not care much for fredom of speech if you are as quick to give it up on the first occasion. [Personal attack removed. -Philipp]
Thanks for posting and commenting on this issue. It's not been getting hardly any play with the media, and it concerns a very important constitutional right. Apparently, only violations of constitutional rights (wiretapping, torture, etc) get media coverage, while positive reinforcements of the US Constitution aren't so popular.
I'm so glad, too, that Judge Friedman chose to disallow the revealing of Orthomom's identity. The link to her column was very useful, as the opinions she expressed were 100% dead-on correct re: her rights.
Tadeusz: How is pointing out that you are responsible for your words "curbing freedom of speech"? <b>Words have meaning and consequences.</b> If I cry "FIRE!" in a crowded theater, I'll have to answer for my actions. If I call the black fella in the grocery store "nigger", I'll have to answer for that, too. I can cry "Free speech!" all I want, but it does not absolve me from taking responsibility for my words.
Free speech does not mean "I can be an asshole and not get punched in the mouth for it." The First Amendment only guarantees that the GOVERNMENT cannot restrict your speech. Private citizens are not prohibited from administering the proverbial punch in the mouth, and companies whose services you use are not obligated to protect you from receiving said punch. If you run your mouth, you need to be prepared to own your words – including getting a lawyer to protect your anonymity if it comes to that.
Sorry, it's not Google's job to protect the people who use their service. You even agree to that when you sign up.
As for your uncalled for ad hominem attacks: Cram it. They're not only out of line, they're boring as hell. If you're going to try to be insulting, can you at least be interesting about it?
Anyway, in Israel, Google start reviling Blogger interface in Hebrew...(After G toolbar, G adwords/Adsense and G news).
noow how do we sign in to the blogspot and update?
On the one hand, Missy is right. It's not Google's job to defend their clientele. Contrary to her thought however, Google took very poor action in their service of a client in this case. By giving Google her personal information Google has become a business associate and confidant. Further, a collaborator in this bloggers choice to be an anonymous voice. I think the biggest issue is not that Google was willing to obey the order to release information, but their treatment of their customer in the process. An organization that desires customer loyalty needs to show loyalty to their customers as well. That means good communication, consideration, and attentiveness. It would have been a better decision for Google to declare that they would not release the information unless ordered to do so by the court. This more appropriate response would have given the blogger more time and ability to prepare herself, and would have indicated that Google won't sell it's customers out just to avoid a few legal fees.