[Politech] Clinton Fein on DOJ, CDA, and Annoy.com [fs]

From: Declan McCullagh (declan@private)
Date: Fri Oct 31 2003 - 06:25:26 PST

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    Subject: RE: [Politech] Justice Department screws up: doesn't redact 
    Date: Thu, 30 Oct 2003 00:39:14 -0800
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    From: "Clinton D. Fein" <clinton.fein@private>
    To: "Declan McCullagh" <declan@private>
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    How funny. It's not only technology that results in the Justice
    Department screwing up on redacted documents. Laziness or inefficient
    proofreading can also be a problem.
    In the United States v. ApolloMedia, the government fought tooth and
    nail to prevent ApolloMedia from unsealing records that they claimed
    would jeopardize a criminal investigation in which Annoy.com was alleged
    to have been used, and for which reason they had subpoenaed the identity
    of our users.
    Even after the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals questioned the
    constitutionality of the gag order that had also been imposed, and had
    forced the DOJ to admit that the investigation was no longer even
    active, the DOJ sought to retain the gag insofar as it pertained to
    releasing the identity of the alleged victim.
    While there is no legislation we were aware of that requires any entity,
    particularly in a journalistic context, to refrain from using the name
    of an alleged victim (victim of an alleged threat, not rape), the
    government's redacted version mistakenly revealed the very name they
    were so strenuously objecting to being released. In the end, I redacted
    the name for them -- only after having won the right to unseal the
    entire record first.
    Clinton Fein
    ApolloMedia Corporation
    555 Florida Street, Suite 407
    San Francisco, CA  94110
    Phone: 415-552-7655
    Fax: 415-552-7656
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