A disheartening ruling under seal was issued by the Ninth Circuit of the Court of Appeals when they stifled First Amendment protections for people posting online anonymously.
The hush hush sealed case itself focuses on a government request to the employer review site GlassDoor for the names of their posters about their employer in a goverment contracting fraud case against that company.
GlassDoor, rightly, did not want to hand over user information to the government and saw the broader First Amendment implications of doing so.
The case revolved around the appropriate legal standard for waiving First Amendment protections. Sadly the court chose the weaker standard (known as Branzburg vs Hayes) and rejected without even reading them amicis filed by public interest groups including Media Alliance, Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT), Electronic Frontier Foundation, Committee for Justice and Public Participation Project.
Here’s our rejection letter. Glassdoor amicus motion denied
Here’s a few blogs from our fellow amicis about why this horrible decision is so horibble.