A California court ruled Friday that an online journalist's ISP must reveal the identities of the reporter's confidential sources to attorneys from Apple Computer Inc., rejecting a request for an order to protect the confidentiality of the sources and other unpublished information.
What's particularly ominous for journalists of all stripes, be they print or online, freelance or associated with a media outlet, is how the court has overlooked the importance of protecting journalists' sources in such a relatively trivial matter as an Apple product launch, Cohn said.
Compare that with the court's upholding of journalists' rights to keep sources confidential, for example, in a case such as the Pentagon Papers trial, Cohn said-a situation in which the government claimed that national security was at stake.
"Despite the fact that there was a claim that there was national security [at stake] and [the information] was classified, the court still upheld the journalists' rights," she said. "Apple's concerns are certainly less than the nation's in wartime."
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