Thursday, January 05, 2006

Judge shields deputies' online Identities

A Florida sheriff's attempt to subpoena the identities of deputies who posted anonymously on the law enforcement Web site has been denied by a judge in Tampa, the Tampa Tribune reports. The sheriff's office filed a lawsuit in August alleging that several "John Doe" deputies were posting sexist and racist messages anonymously on the site. The judge said that she would not prevent the deputies from posting messages but she ordered the Web site owners to remove racist and sexist messages, which they did. The suit also sought to compel the site's owners to reveal the identities of the posters, but the judge ruled that the First Amendment protects the owners from having to reveal their names.

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