The Nannystate is in full force in Nevada:
LAS VEGAS — A Nevada newspaper says it has been served a federal grand jury subpoena seeking information about readers who posted comments on the paper’s Web site.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported Tuesday that its editor, Thomas Mitchell, plans to fight the request, which the newspaper received after reporting on a federal tax fraud case against business owner Robert Kahre.
The subpoena seeks the identities and personal information about people who posted comments on the story. The newspaper said prosecutors told the judge in the case that some comments hinted at acts of violence and the subpoena was issued out of concern for jurors’ safety.
Mitchell said anonymous speech is “a fundamental and historic part of this country.” The newspaper would consider cooperating if specific crimes or real threats were presented, he said.
The newspaper said it received the subpoena June 2, a week after its story describing the government’s case against Kahre, a Las Vegas construction company executive accused of paying contractors with gold and silver U.S. coins based on the precious metal value of the coins but using the much lower face value of the coins for tax purposes. Kahre and the other defendants have pleaded not guilty.
The story drew nearly 175 online comments by Monday night, most in support of Kahre and critical of the government and jurors and attorneys in the case.
One commentator said: “The sad thing is there are 12 dummies on the jury who will convict him. They should be hung along with the feds.”
Another called Damm a “socialist, fascist Mormon” and a “Nazi moron.”
The comments are written under pseudonyms. Along with the real names of people who posted comments, the subpoena asks the newspaper for the writers’ gender, birth date, physical address, telephone number, Internet service provider, IP address and credit card numbers.