- Associated Press - Monday, August 6, 2018

SAN FRANCISCO — A federal magistrate judge has ruled that a social media platform can be compelled to divulge account information belonging to a woman who anonymously chatted online about plans for last summer’s deadly white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Joseph Spero’s order Monday says the woman’s First Amendment rights to anonymous speech don’t outweigh the importance of disclosing her identity to attorneys suing far-right extremists over the rally’s violence.

The woman’s attorneys asked Spero to quash a subpoena for Discord to turn over her account information and content of her communications.

Spero said federal law prohibits Discord from releasing the content of a message without the sender or receiver’s consent.

The woman’s attorneys argued the subpoena is designed to destroy the lives of people with “unpopular political views.”


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