The case has created a great deal of interest from a number of aspects. One is whether online journalists, including bloggers, are real journalists and therefore should have the same rights as print journalists in protecting sources. The other is whether revealing trade secrets invalidates a journalist's right to protect sources.
The technology in question is an interface box that enables a computer to be plugged into a computer, codenamed Asteroid.
Apple has sent a subpoena to Nfox.com, the ISP of Macintosh news site PowerPage to get email records which could identify the sources of the bloggers on the site who are being sued.
However, the three-member judiciary panel in the Appeal court was reportedly far less sympathetic to Apple's cause than the judge in the lower court, aggressively firing tough questions at its attorney.
Much of the criticial questioning centred around Apple's alleged reluctance to fully pursue its own internal investigation to discover the source of the leak within the organisation. Apple has reportedly not subjected any of the employees involved with the Asteroid project to lie detector tests or questioned them under oath.
One judge in particular, Judge Franklin Elia, was scathing in his criticism saying that all Apple wanted was "the name of the snitch."
A judgement as to whether Apple can obtain the electronic records it has requested will be handed down by the Court within 90 days.
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