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Kentucky Blog Blacklist Case Settled

State pays blogger's legal fees

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A federal lawsuit filed by a Kentucky blogger against former Governor Ernie Fletcher and the Commonwealth of Kentucky has been settled. Under the terms of the settlement, the Commonwealth agrees to apply a "viewpoint-neutral" policy to blogs and websites accessed by state-owned computers.

Acquisition rumors not that crazyErnie Fletcher
Governor KY

Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit litigation firm Public Citizen filed suit on behalf of blogger Mark Nickolas in July of 2006 after Fletcher and his administration allegedly targeted Nickolas’s BluegrassReport blog, preventing it and other blogs from being accessed on state computers. Nickolas believed the ban was retaliation for his scathing criticism of the Fletcher administration in the New York Times.

Nickolas told WebProNews in March a state official testified under oath the Fletcher administration sought to shut down his blog specifically, which he viewed as a violation of the First Amendment. Also in March, newly elected Democratic Governor Steve Bershear reversed Fletcher’s policy against blogs, leaving gateway level filters in place for social networking, erotic, and gambling sites. Government employees were still barred from commenting on blogs while at work.

Bershear, as the new governor, took Fletcher’s place as defendant in the lawsuit. The state agreed under the terms of the settlement their recently established new policy of not blocking blogs and agreed to pay Public Citizen $10,000 in legal fees. 

“The state of Kentucky targeted Web sites it considered ‘unfriendly’ and, in doing so, violated the First Amendment rights of Mark Nickolas and other bloggers,” said Greg Beck, the Public Citizen attorney who handled the case. “We applaud the current administration for recognizing that the state cannot impose special restrictions on websites just because they are run by bloggers instead of big media companies.”
 

Kentucky Blog Blacklist Case Settled
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  • http://www.fianceevisafacts.org/ K1 Information

    I am amazed at the amount of cases that are showing up that deal with digital information.