Summit: Test case exposes murky world of government data trawling

    Date11 Nov 2009
    CategoryPrivacy
    3173
    Posted ByAlex
    A test case fought by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has shown the extent to which the US government is willing to bend the law in its quest for data it wants. Indymedia is a news aggregator for left-wing and libertarian writers and on 30 January one of its volunteer administrators Kristina Clair received a grand jury subpoena from the Southern District of Indiana federal court. The subpoena demanded all IP traffic to and from the site for a particular date, including "IP addresses, times, and any other identifying information". It also included a gagging order to prevent Indymedia from discussing the request.

    The subpoena was made under the Stored Communications Act (SCA) but after Indymedia went to the EFF for help it discovered that the SCA does not allow such broad searches, or the gagging order that accompanied the request.

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