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.
Center For Democracy and Technology
Electronic Frontier Foundation
By Sean Captain – Fast Company
Despite protests online and in the streets, as well as appeals from Congress (including one Republican ), the FCC voted three-to-two this morning for Republican chairman Ajit Pai’s Restoring Internet Freedom order to scrap the net neutrality rules created under his Democratic predecessor, Tom Wheeler. But that won’t settle the issue. This being America, the next round will be duked out in a courtroom.
Recent experience shows how that may shake out. In 2015, the United States Telecom Association, an industry group including ISPs like AT&T and Verizon, sued the Democratic-majority FCC (and lost, in a 2016 ruling) to overturn its net neutrality regulations. Now activist groups and some companies are getting ready to sue Trump’s FCC over the abolition of those rules. “It will be the same this time except with the roles reversed to some extent,” says Matt Wood, policy director at Free Press, an organization that supports net neutrality regulations.
“We’ve essentially promised to sue, so there’s really no mystery whether we’re involved,” says Wood, and he’ll have company. “We’re pretty likely to be a plaintiff,” says Tracy Rosenberg, executive director of the press activist organization Media Alliance. The National Hispanic Media Coalition has also announced plans to sue. Continue reading Now That The FCC Has Scrapped Net Neutrality, Get Ready For The Legal Battles