Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Things Have Gotten Interesting

Some of you have been asking what happened to the OSHA Underground, and I think I've figured out why that site went down. I got this e-mail from Google, the owners of Blogger:

Google has received a subpoena for information related to anonymous comments posted on your blog. The case is entitled Secretary of Labor v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., United States Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission, Case number SDT-9-0181.

To comply with the law, unless you or an anonymous commenter provide us with a copy of a motion to quash the subpoena (or other formal objection filed in court) via email at legal-support@google.com by 5pm Pacific Time on November 26, 2009, Google will assume you do not have an objection to production of the requested information and may provide responsive documents on this date.

For more information about the subpoena, you may wish to contact the party seeking this information at:

Michael D. Billok
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP
1050 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 300
Washington, DC 20036

Unfortunately, Google is not in a position to provide you with legal advice.

If you have other questions regarding the subpoena, we encourage you to contact your attorney.

Thank you,

Google Legal Support

Interesting, no? My guess is that Kane got the same e-mail and just deleted the blog in the hopes this would go away. Unfortunately, it doesn't work like that, there is a law requiring internet companies, like Google, keep records of usage data, like the IP addresses of visitors to their sites, including Blogger.

What does this all mean? Since I don't have any connection to this case, and anyone who does has been identified already, I'm not sure if this is evidence that WalMart actually is evil like people say, or that their overpriced attorney is padding his billable hours. Either way I'm going to have a conversation with an attorney, although part of me wants to say screw 'em, bring it on.

It's unfortunate that we have become a country where people have to be afraid to express an opinion.