An Idaho judge has ruled that a newspaper must provide information that could identify an anonymous reader who typed a disparaging online comment about the chairwoman of the Kootenai County Republicans.
The attorney for Tina Jacobson subpoenaed the identities of three readers of The Spokesman-Review who commented under assumed names about Jacobson.
Under the name "almostinnocentbystander," one commenter questioned whether $10,000 reportedly missing from the Kootenai County Central Committee might be "stuffed inside Tina's blouse."
District Court Judge John Luster ruled that the First Amendment does not protect defamatory speech.
He ordered the newspaper to provide information establishing the identity of "almostinnocentbystander." But he also ruled the paper did not have to provide similar information for the other two readers because they did not make defamatory comments.