A ruling in favor of an anonymous blogger in Delaware will help to build case law to further protecting the freedom of speech. The ruling reversed a defamatory case Smyrna town councilman Patrick Cahill filed against bloggers from the by Independent Newspapers Inc., publisher of the Delaware State News. According to an AP report posted on First Amendment Center News the Delaware case:
"...the Delaware Supreme Court yesterday reversed a lower court decision requiring an Internet service provider to disclose the identity of an anonymous blogger who targeted a local elected official."
How does this affect the blogosphere? Bloggers who anonymously post can now rest assured and continue ranting on any topic that they see fit with less fear of the legal ramifications. I am not saying go out and post defamatory remarks about someone and you are in the clear if you post them anonymously. Since this ruling is one of the only rulings of its kind there are questions as to if it will hold up across state lines. However, Delaware law may be respected enough that it may help protect anonymous bloggers across the country. It is definitely a ruling in favor of our first amendment right.
To read the entire opinion check out John Doe 1 vs. Cahill. Also get the blogosphere's perspective by reading the posts on Pocosin, Diane's Stuff, Slowlink, Rebuilding Media, and Contains 33% Juice. The washingtonpost.com also covered the ruling.