The ACLU October 31, the ACLU filed a brief with the U.S. District Court in Massachusetts in the case of Edelman v. N2H2 on behalf of its client Benjamin Edelman, arguing against N2H2's motion to dismiss the case.
At issue in the case is whether Edelman, a computer researcher, has First Amendment and ""fair use"" rights to examine the full list of sites contained in an Internet blocking program and to share his research tools and results with others.
N2H2's motion argues that Edelman lacks standing to bring the challenge because he has not yet conducted the research. But N2H2 has publicly declared in its latest 10-Q report that it will pursue all legal remedies against Edelman should he go forward with the specific research he proposes. By stating unequivocally that the research would violate the laws Edelman seeks to clarify, N2H2 has conceded that the current controversy is concrete and that harm to Edelman is imminent should he proceed. A law called the Declaratory Judgmeent Act was enacted specifically to allow litigants such as Edelman to ""clarify legal rights and obligations before acting upon them"" and risking civil and possibly criminal liability. In addition, Edelman clearly has standing to seek relief from the ongoing chilling effect on his constitutionally protected scientific research and publications.
Text of the ACLU's brief in opposition to defendant's motion to dismiss