Readers of our paper will recall the hullabaloo back in 2007 that led to the bizarre arrests here in the Valley of the chain's owners, Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin.
The sordid affair revolved around a sweeping subpoena drummed up by "special prosecutor" Dennis Wilenchik, a mediocre local attorney (he's the smug-looking dude in the self-commissioned painting to the left) perhaps best known for his palsy-walsy relationships with Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas and Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
In part, Wilenchik's subpoena -- which we wouldn't comply with -- demanded IP (Internet provider)addresses of our readers, in a misguided effort to research the identity, purchasing habits, and general browsing proclivities of our online readership.
Here is the story, -- written by Lacey and Larkin and published just hours before the pair of graying media magnates were busted at their respective homes -- that pushed local authorities over the top.
Things eventually did die down, after a flurry of negative national press about the wildly overreaching subpoenas and the arrests by Joe Arpaio's henchmen.
But a kind and observant reader just sent us this link from correspondent Declan McCullagh, who writes a savvy blog for CBS News.
Check it out: Timothy Morrison, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana, subpoenaed a Philadelphia-based independent news site (Indymedia.us), ordering it to provide details of all reader visits on a certain day.
The subpoena ordered the site to produce "all IP traffic to and from www.indymedia.us" on June 25, 2008, including "IP addresses, times, and any other identifying information," including e-mail addresses, physical addresses, registered accounts, and Indymedia readers' Social Security Numbers, bank account numbers, credit card numbers, and so on.
It is unclear from McCullagh's piece what led the powerful Morrison to issue his subpoena.
About the only difference in Dennis Wilenchik's frontal assault on our paper is that he wanted four years of personal information, as compared with the one day of data requested the Indiana U.S. Attorney.
How George W. Bush administration appointee Morrison's stomp on the U.S. Constitution plays out remains to be seen.
But just in case Mr. Morrison he wants to contact Wilenchik, his office number in Phoenix is 602-606-2810.
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