New Jersey Superior Court Quashes Subpoena to Unmask "daTruthSquad"

According to EFF, a New Jersey Superior Court judge quashed a subpoena seeking the identity of anonymous blogger "daTruth Squad" on Friday. The blogger had criticized a malpractice lawsuit filed by the Township of Manalapan, New Jersey against a former city attorney. Then, as part of the same malpractice lawsuit, the Township issued a subpoena to Google (owner of the blog's hosting service) seeking information relating to daTruth Squad's identity. EFF represented the blogger and filed a motion to quash the subpoena on November 28, 2007, arguing among other things that First Amendment protection for anonymous speech barred disclosure of daTruth Squad's identity under the circumstances.

This clearly was a winning argument given that the blogger's criticism had nothing to do with the merits of the underlying malpractice lawsuit, and the Township had not even filed a defamation action (which itself would have been a dubious move). The New Jersey court apparently granted the motion, but it is not clear whether it issued a written decision. We'll keep an eye out for it -- it could be another victory for anonymous speech along the lines of Cahill, Dendrite, and Mobilisa.


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