My apologies for the fact that I haven’t written much lately. It’s been an unusually busy time at the day job.

I did want to let folks know that, yes, as some of you have figured out, I was subpoenaed because of this blog. The subpoena, which was delivered by a very nice guy straight to my office, came as a result of comments made on a post about the trial of Mark Zimny, an education consultant who was recently found guilty of committing fraud against one of his clients. I wrote one post about the subject a few years back, but that post has become a sort of bulletin board for all those interested in the case—and apparently it has a small but passionate following.

One of the commenters appeared to be a member of the jury in Zimny’s trial, and his/her comment suggested that the jury had begun discussing the case among themselves before receiving the judge’s instructions, which may or may not be grounds for a mistrial.

The subpoena, which actually came from the district attorney involved in prosecuting the case, compelled me to provide the IP address of the commenter.

(As any commenter on this blog knows, I do not require registration for comments, though I do have to approve any comment which contains a hyperlink. Therefore, an IP address is the only information that I could provide about a commenter.)

I got the subpoena on a Friday; I was compelled to appear in court on Monday morning. It came with a check for $45, apparently to cover round-trip transportation between New York and Boston.

Deeply irritating.

I consulted with a friend who works in media law for an international media conglomerate, and asked him about their policy regarding the anonymity of commenters. He advised me that his conglomerate does not provide it, and that most media firms do not believe that preserving the anonymity of commenters is a First Amendment issue. Which is a good thing for all us to bear in mind.

On Monday morning, I emailed the information to the district attorney. I’ve had no communication with them since, and I have no idea if anything came of it.

As to the Zimny post—it has been nothing but a pain in the ass for me. (I previously had to delete a threatening comment.)

I am still debating whether to simply delete it.

In any case, apologies for the silence on this end. Stay tuned—there’s more stuff coming.