In December 2004, Apple filed a lawsuit in Santa Clara county against unnamed individuals who allegedly leaked information about new Apple products to several online news sites, including AppleInsider and PowerPage. The articles at issue concerned a FireWire audio interface for GarageBand, codenamed "Asteroid" or "Q7." In addition, Apple filed a separate trade secret suit against Think Secret on January 4, 2004.
Apple is seeking information from these news sites regarding the identities of the sites' sources, and has subpoenaed Nfox.com, the email service provider for PowerPage, for email messages that may identify the confidential source.
EFF, along with co-counsel Thomas Moore III and Richard Wiebe, are representing the online journalists to protect their anonymous sources.
EFF opposes Apple's discovery because the confidentiality of the media's sources and unpublished information are critical means for journalists of all stripes to acquire information and communicate it to the public. Because today's online journalists frequently depend on confidential sources to gather material, their ability to promise confidentiality is essential to maintaining the strength of independent media. Furthermore, the protections required by the First Amendment are necessary regardless of whether the journalist uses a third party for communications.
This is the court of appeals decision issuing the writ of mandate directing the court below to set aside its order denying non-party petitioner journalists' motion for a protective order and to enter a new order granting such motion.
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