Thursday, October 18, 2007

By the time I get to Phoenix ...

Maybe the First Amendment will be intact, and maybe it won't.

OK, enough hyperbole. A special prosecutor and the sheriff in Maricopa County, Ariz., have done enough of it themselves with the subpoena they dropped on Phoenix's New Times.


Update-Friday
The owners of the paper have now been arrested for revealing grand jury secrets.
And later: charges and subpoena dropped.


Apparently the paper and the sheriff are in a dust-up about the paper's publishing his home address.

I hadn't read about it before today when a message on a newsgroup came floating across, although the original spat apparently dates at least to August, judging from the subpoena date. The sweep of this subpoena is truly enough to take your freedom-loving breath away. To wit (or witless):

"Any and all documents containing a compilation of aggregate information about the Phoenix New Times Web site created or prepared from January 1, 2004 to the present, including but not limited to :
A) which pages visitors access or visit on the Phoenix New Times website;
B) the total number of visitors to the Phoenix New Times website;
C) information obtained from 'cookies,' including, but not limited to, authentication, tracking, and maintaining specific information about users (site preferences, contents of electronic shopping carts, etc.);
D) the Internet Protocol address of anyone that accesses the Phoenix New Times website from January 1, 2004 to the present;
E) the domain name of anyone that has accessed the Phoenix New Times website from January 1, 2004 to the present;
F) the website a user visited prior to coming to the Phoenix New Times website;
G) the date and time of a visit by a user to the Phoenix New Times website;
H) the type of browser used by each visitor (Internet Explorer, Mozilla, Netscape Navigator, Firefox, etc.) to the Phoenix New Times website; and
I) the type of operating system used by each visitor to the Phoenix New
Times website."


Oops. I just went to the site. I wondered why those two guys in suits were knocking on my door ...

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