Anonymous postings in Arizona case unmasked by court

By Howard Fischer | Capitol Media Services via Arizona Daily Sun

Those comments you post online about your employer — and others — may not be as anonymous as you thought.

The Website Glassdoor.com went to court to block federal prosecutors from demanding that it surrender the names of people who had written about their company, which is being investigated by a grand jury here. Attorneys for Glassdoor, which provides both job listings as well as reviews of companies, argued that the people who shared the comments did so with the understanding that they would not come back to haunt them.

But the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said none of that matters. And in a new ruling with statewide and potentially national implications, the judges said Glassdoor must give prosecutors information they have about the people so they can be questioned by the grand jury.

The new decision most immediately affects efforts by federal prosecutors to look into whether a government contractor that administers two healthcare programs for the Department of Veterans Affairs in Arizona committed wire fraud and misused government funds.

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