Anonymity protected

Just caught up with this (via a Steve Rubel tweet): A New Jersey court protected an anonymous blogger criticizing local government from being unmasked by a subpoena and dragged into litigation. When I was at Advance Internet, we got frequent subpoenas, mostly from local governments — often police chiefs who were being criticized in forums and knew how to use subpoena power to get IP addresses out of us. All in all, I think this is good news for anonymity and certainly for service hosts. There are, of course, also issues about anonymity and libel. But erring against the chilling of speech is the better choice — especially when it comes to dogging government.