U.S. bloggers may protect their sources

In the U.S., the courts just backed citizen journalists’ and bloggers’ rights in an important case. They don’t need to reveal their sources, explains Wired’s Kevin Poulsen:

A California appeals court has smacked down Apple’s legal assault on bloggers and their sources, finding that the company’s efforts to subpoena e-mail received by the publishers of Apple Insider and PowerPage.org runs contrary to federal law, California’s reporter’s shield law, and the state Constitution. The Sixth District Court of Appeals on Friday roundly rejected (.pdf) Apple’s argument that the bloggers weren’t acting as journalists when they posted internal document about future Apple products. “We decline the implicit invitation to embroil ourselves in questions of what constitutes ‘legitimate journalis(m).’ The shield law is intended to protect the gathering and dissemination of news, and that is what petitioners did here,” the court wrote.

This is an incredibly positive signal to citizen journalists, and also a great success for the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), who was heavily involved in the case. [Link, via]

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