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Maui Police Withdraw Subpoena Requesting Blog Commenters IP Addresses

I mentioned previously “that if the police ever asked me to turn over the IP addresses of anyone whoever commented on my site I would tell em to go to hell!”…  Looks like the Maui Police Department realized they don’t have any case against the MauiTimes.

The Maui Police Department has withdrawn a grand jury subpoena that sought to force a Wailuku publisher to reveal information about his newspaper’s online commenters.

Maui Time Publisher Tommy Russo had invoked Hawaii’s journalist shield law in opposing the subpoena, which ordered the weekly newspaper to provide subscriber information, billing records, Internet protocol addresses and physical addresses for comments posted on the paper’s website over a 24-hour period.

The comments related to a story by the paper which included a video of Russo apparently being struck in the face by a Maui police officer. One online commenter wrote that the officer “needs a bullet when he walks out his door…”

More Here: Police Withdraw Subpoena, Say Online Commenter ID’d

5 Responses

  1. Cops don’t have a sense of humor about this kind of stuff. From their point of view, they are investigating a legitimately disturbing threat upon a police officer. I get it. But from the point of view of the layperson, they look like jackbooted thugs bent on intimidating people from coming forward to expose police corruption. If I’m the cops, I’m walking away from this.

  2. I had the same though Damon- that I’d never give up a commenter… until I realized that WordPress in your case and Google or “Blogger” in mine would give ’em up in a New York minute and never ask us.

  3. According to Civil Beat, the subpoena was dropped because the Police were able to find the suspect some other way, not because the Police had some sort of First Amendment epiphany.

    So, the question is now: how did the cops manage to track the commenter down?

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