I saw this post by Carolyn H. Kendall of Post & Schell and wondered how the court’s opinion might impact Twitter’s ability to notify users of subpoenas so that they could move to quash. Kendall writes:
On January 10, 2020, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals considered whether a non-disclosure order, entered pursuant to the Stored Communications Act, preventing an electronic service provider from informing a third party that it received a grand jury subpoena, runs afoul of the First Amendment. In In re: Subpoena 2018R00776, No. 19-3124, 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 842 (Jan. 10, 2020), the Third Circuit held that despite constituting a content-based, prior restriction on the speech of a grand jury witness – who is not typically bound by grand jury secrecy – non-disclosure orders withstand strict scrutiny given the government’s compelling interest in maintaining grand jury secrecy.
Read more on White Collar Posts. After reading the post, I’m still not sure I understand the implications of the court’s opinion for providers like Twitter. Are they covered by this? And is this opinion consistent with what other circuits have held?
On days like this, I really wish I had gone to law school…. let me see if any kind lawyers on Twitter will clarify some of this for me.