US withdraws subpoena seeking identity of 24,000 Amazon customers

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November 27, 2007 22:07

 
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US prosecutors have withdrawn a subpoena seeking the identities of thousands of people who bought used books through online retailer Amazon.com Inc., newly unsealed court records show. The withdrawal came after a judge ruled the customers have a right to keep their reading habits from the government. "The (subpoena's) chilling effect on expressive e-commerce would frost keyboards across America," US Magistrate Judge Stephen Crocker wrote in a June ruling. Federal prosecutors issued the subpoena last year as part of a grand jury investigation into a former Wisconsin official who was a prolific seller of used books on Amazon.com. They were looking for buyers who could be witnesses in the case.

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