What began as a controversy over leaked information regarding an
external audio interface called Asteroid is rapidly becoming a critical
legal battle for journalist privilege. Apple now wants access to email
records at Nfox.com, the email provider for Jason O'Grady's PowerPage.org, says the Electronic Frontier Foundation. (see also an article from the UK's Inquirer)

This is no longer just an issue of technology rumors: as the EFF points
out, if Apple succeeds in compelling Nfox to divulge email records, it
would set a legal precedent that threatens all journalist privilege.
That's especially scary in the age of Homeland Security fears, when
journalist privilege is already under fire. Journalists have
traditionally been protected by First Ammendment rights in their
ability to protect confidential sources. This case could have a
chilling effect on reporting nationwide if journalists' ability to use
confidential sources were legally crippled. It's certainly ironic that
the company trying to set the precedent is Apple, which once used
cautionary images of Orwell in its TV advertising.

Unlike Apple's case against Think Secret, which is a trade secret suit
directly aimed at a website, the lawsuit involving PowerPage and
AppleInsider is Apple vs. Does — Does as in "John Does" because Apple
doesn't actually know the identity of the leak sources who are the
object of the suit. PowerPage and AppleInsider are named only in the
attempt to discover the identity of that person or persons. In other
words, this is purely a First Ammendment issue because the fundamental
question isn't whether people can leak trade secrets (they can't,
legally, if they're under a non-disclosure agreement), it's whether
journalists of any kind can be forced to divulge sources for any reason.

For more information on this case including all pertinent public legal documents, see the EFF site. The original offending article
about the still-unreleased Asteroid interface hasn't yet been removed
from AppleInsider. (Nothing is available on PowerPage.org.)

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  • Guest

    Considering the size of an XLR mic connector, the Ateroid looks like a photoshop job on top of a Mac mini

  • admin

    Blame the design department. Apple specifically names the audio interface in its suit to determine the leaks. The company is now involved in two expensive lawsuits without so much as a real culprit!

  • Guest

    this is just a ploy from Apple. They need to protect their ideas and upcoming products from competitors. It's obvious to most people that they have no leg to stand on, but this tactic will make others think twice of doing the same in the future.