Protecting Commenters

Jeff Swiatek of examines one of the first cases in the U.S. where media outlets could be forced to disclose names of commenters on websites.

The former chief executive of Junior Achievement of Central Indiana is broadening a defamation lawsuit he filed last year to include people who criticized him anonymously on news media-run websites.

A Marion County judge has ruled that Jeffrey Miller must be given names or other information that would help him to identify the writers of online comments posted last year anonymously on the Web sites of The Indianapolis Star and Indianapolis Business Journal.

The two news organizations had resisted Miller’s legal efforts to force them to turn over information, such as the internet protocol address, that would help Miller identify the posters.

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