Andy Serwin writes:
While the First Amendment to the United States Constitution on its face would not appear to have privacy implications, it does in fact impact certain privacy issues. The First Amendment guarantees the right of free expression, including speech, as well as the right of free assembly. The First Amendment obviously applies to speech on the Internet.These rights include the right to anonymously speak, or express ideas, including on the Internet. As such, certain subpoenas, particularly those that seek to identify anonymous speakers, can implicate First Amendment concerns. As noted in the discussion of subpoenas to ISPs, the right to anonymous speech is not absolute and does not include the right to speak in certain ways, including defamation or committing fraud or other criminal acts.
Requests to identify anonymous users of the Internet present some of the most difficult issues courts face in the privacy area.
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