Also, you must read about Kathleen Seidel, a blogger from New Hampshire who discusses issues surrounding autism at Neurodiversity.com.
I had given little thought to the possibility that records related to (and unrelated to) my blog might be subpoenaed for any legal reason. It somehow indicates the increasing power and influence which individual bloggers are gaining in the world of citizen-journalism.
Legal thuggery is sure to make a medical blogger's heart stop. Eric Turkowitz over at New York Personal Injury blog links to the buzz created by New Hampshire blogger Kathleen Seidel of Neurodiversity.com, and her remarkable post entitled "The Commerce in Causation." Ms. Seidel is a level-headed, well-researched citizen-journalist who has tirelessly investigated the pediatric medical research conducted by Rev. Lisa Sykes, Mr. Clifford Shoemaker, and their colleague Dr. Mark Geier; their efforts to compel removal of mercury-containing antimicrobials from FDA-approved vaccines; and their "judicial advocacy" campaign.
After sharply criticizing Shoemaker's legal incentives, she received a subpoena within four hours from Mr. Shoemaker, the plantiffs' council, demanding "bank statements, cancelled checks, donation records, tax returns, Freedom of Information Act requests, LexisNexis® and PACER usage records. The subpoena demands copies of all of my communications concerning any issue which is included on my website, including communications with representatives of the federal government, the pharmaceutical industry, advocacy groups, non-governmental organizations, political action groups, profit or non-profit entities, journals, editorial boards, scientific boards, academic boards, medical licensing boards, any 'religious groups (Muslim or otherwise), or individuals with religious affiliations,' and any other 'concerned individuals.'...."
Not intimidated, Ms. Seidel subsequently filed this well-targeted motion to quash the subpoena. It's an incredible story exposes the underbelly of a potential new legal tactic that could be imposed against bloggers anywhere: issuing malicious subpoenas to quell bloggers' free speech.
Cool but not cool simultaneously.