The Committee for Justice (CFJ) joined the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT), the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), Media Alliance, and Public Participation Project (PPP) in filing an amicus brief in United States v. Glassdoor in support of the rights of anonymous online speakers against involuntary unmasking, as well as the rights of companies against government subpoenas that compel disclosure of users’ identities.
CFJ’s long-standing commitment to the rule of law, the Constitution's limits on the power of government, and the protections of individual liberty includes the First Amendment right to free expression. Today, we are particularly concerned with the threats to these protections posed by technological advances that both challenge and outpace developments in the law.
As U.S. v. Glassdoor and the Ninth Circuit make clear, the right to anonymous speech, which has long been a key component of free expression, has grown increasingly vital in the Digital Age and can be easily weakened by a court that prevents discussion of the rights of anonymous speakers by keeping cases under seal and operating behind closed doors.
Further details about the case, which was placed under seal by the Ninth Circuit from the outset, will later be posted on our blog (see this post from CDT).