Wednesday, November 28, 2007

A small victory for civil rights

With good news about civil rights becoming increasingly rare nowadays I am pleased to report a small victory:

U.S. prosecutors have withdrawn a subpoena seeking the identities of thousands of people who bought used books through online retailer Inc., newly unsealed court records show.

The withdrawal came after a judge ruled the customers have a right to keep their reading habits from the government.

In one of the most poetic metaphors I have ever read in a legal ruling, Judge Stephen Crocker wrote:

"The (subpoena's) chilling effect on expressive e-commerce would frost keyboards across America."

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