First it was shutting down blog sites after the Mumbai bombings in 2006. This year it was attempting to snoop into communications conducted over BlackBerry’s. Now Google has been instructed to reveal the identity of an anonymous blogger in a defamation lawsuit filed by an Indian construction company against them.
The story on the Wall Street Journal reports that,
A small Indian construction-equipment company is demanding that Google Inc. disclose the name of a person who used its blogging service, in a case that could change the way the Internet giant does business in India.
This could potentially become an issue for bloggers bashing folks overseas, and set an example for cases regarding anonymity. On the positive side, maybe it will encourage citizen journalists to back up their posts with more researched and trustworthy information.
A landmark ruling in California in 2006 gave bloggers protection from revealing their sources. In a case filed against Apple, the court ruled that
….online journalists and bloggers have the same right to protect their sources as all other journalists. The case was brought to court by Apple Computer demanding from a number of news website operators to reveal the source of confidential information posted about some of its products.
Apple did not appeal.