Balko finds yet another example, the third one recently, of a police department trying to identify a blogger who has posted things critical of them. This time it’s in Memphis, where the police department has filed a lawsuit to find out who’s behind the site and who visits it:
Memphis Police Director Larry Godwin and the city of Memphis have filed a lawsuit to learn who operates a blog harshly critical of Godwin and his department.
The lawsuit asks AOL to produce all information related to the identity of an e-mail address linked to MPD Enforcer 2.0, a blog popular with police officers that has been extremely critical of police leadership at 201 Poplar.
The response from the blog is spot on:
“In what could be a landmark case of privacy and the 1st Amendment,” the anonymous bloggers write on the site, “Godwin has illegally used his position and the City of Memphis as a ram to ruin the Constitution of the United States.
“Some members of the Enforcer 2.0 have contacted their attorneys and we are in the process of filing a lawsuit against Larry and the City of Memphis. What’s wrong Larry? The truth hurt?”
Anonymous speech has a long and glorious history in this country, beginning with the pamphlets published under pseudonyms by Thomas Paine and others that spread support for the revolution against England. It must be protected.