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In re Grand Jury Subpoenas to Room Eight LLC

Topic(s): Internet Free Speech - Right To Speak Anonymously

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About two dozen posters on a political group blog addressed to political issues in New York City made comments critical of public officials in Bronx County, New York. The Bronx District Attorney served a grand jury subpoena on the bloggers seeking to identify the posters, and threatened the bloggers with criminal prosecution if they informed anybody – including the posters whose identities were sought by the grand jury subpoena – of the existence of the subpoena. Represented by Public Citizen, the bloggers moved in the Supreme Court of Bronx County New York to quash the subpoena because it threatened the First Amendment right of the blog posters to speak anonymously, and threatened to file suit in federal court on the ground that the the threat of prosecution violated the bloggers’ right to criticize the District Attorney. In response, the District Attorney withdrew both the subpoena and the threat of prosecution for revealing the subpoena.