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Apple says no; the Electronic Frontier Foundation says yes.

In November, Mac blogs AppleInsider and PowerPage posted information about a product code-named “Asteroid,” designed to let musicians plug their analog gear into a Mac, and supposedly to-be-announced at this week’s Macworld Conference.

Unhappy as always about the leak, Apple filed suit in a California court against 20 unnamed–and unknown–defendants for releasing company secrets and obtained a court order to subpoena AppleInsider and PowerPage for the names of those who allegedly leaked information about Asteroid. The Electronic Frontier Foundation is representing the blog publishers, asserting that they have the same right to anonymous sources that traditional journalists do.

The heart of the matter is whether bloggers can reasonably be considered journalists and so deserve First Amendment protection. It’s a huge question mark, and one that has lawyers and journalists hopping.

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