Privacy policy/Subpoena FAQ
< Privacy policy
(Redirected from Subpoena FAQ)

العربية čeština dansk Deutsch Deutsch (Sie-Form) Esperanto English español فارسی suomi​français galego עברית हिन्दी magyar italiano 日本語 한국어 Bahasa Melayu Nederlands ਪੰਜਾਬੀ​polski português português do Brasil русский​slovenčina தமிழ் తెలుగు Türkçe українська​ייִדיש 中文 中文(简体)
Want to help translate? Translate the missing messages​.
This FAQ is not part of the Privacy Policy. It is not even a legal document. We do hope, however, that you will find it helpful.
Contents
Contents
1What is a subpoena?
2
Why is someone seeking to discover my identifying information?
3What will happen if I do nothing?
4What can I do to fight the subpoena?
What is a subpoena?
A subpoena is a document commanding someone to appear or produce evidence in connection with a legal action. One form of subpoena asks service providers to disclose personally identifiable information about users based on their actions on a website. Subpoenas may be issued by attorneys representing one of the parties to a case, and they may contain demands that are excessive in some cases. However, unless effectively blocked through a prompt challenge, some objections to a subpoena may be waived and may not be asserted in court.
Why is someone seeking to discover my identifying information?
Generally, a subpoena seeking to unmask the identity of an anonymous speaker is served on a third-party website during the discovery (or evidence-gathering) phase of a lawsuit. The plaintiff usually wants to identify the party that, according to the plaintiff’s claims, allegedly caused harm to the plaintiff. The alleged harm could arise from an online posting of some sort, such as an article or talk page contribution, that, for example, the plaintiff claims is defamatory or a violation of copyright. A plaintiff can identify a user based on their Internet Protocol (IP) address or registered email address by sharing this information with an Internet Service Provider (ISP). Once they know a user’s real-world identity, that user may be sued or prosecuted in connection with the alleged harm.
What will happen if I do nothing?
If you do not take the necessary legal steps, then the Wikimedia Foundation may be compelled to turn over your personally identifiable information or other requested information. Once the requesting party knows your identity, it is possible, for example, that you could be named in a lawsuit.
What can I do to fight the subpoena?
Because of the complexities of the legal arguments and procedural requirements, as well as the difficulty of remaining anonymous when filing a motion by yourself, it is highly recommended that you consult immediately with a lawyer, especially before seeking to defend against a subpoena. The rules and procedures to fight a subpoena will depend on the jurisdiction where the subpoena was issued.
In some jurisdictions you may be able to send the plaintiffs written objections. In other jurisdictions, your only option may be to file a motion to quash with the court (asking the court to invalidate the subpoena). In either case, to protect your personally identifiable and other information from being released, it is essential that you take the necessary actions before certain deadlines.
As part of your research, you may wish to consult these sites:
Privacy-related pages
Privacy policy · FAQ ·​Glossary of key terms ·​Wikimedia blog privacy policy ·​Subpoena FAQ ·Access to nonpublic information ·Data retention guidelines · Donor policy ·​Requests for user information
Categories: Privacy policyFAQs
This page was last edited on 21 September 2018, at 06:53.
Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. See Terms of Use for details.
Privacy policy
About Wikimedia Foundation Governance Wiki
Disclaimers
Mobile view
Developers
Statistics
Cookie statement
Log inPageDiscussionReadFeedbackView historyVisit the main pageHomeOfficial websiteContact usWikimedia BlogQuestions for Wikimedia?DonateVolunteeringWikimedia ShopBylawsValuesPoliciesResolutionsAnnual ReportFinancial reports and Form 990Fundraising reportsMovement affiliatesGive feedbackRecent changesWhat links hereRelated changesSpecial pagesPermanent linkPage informationCite this pageCreate a bookDownload as PDFPrintable version