USA Technologies (USAT), the Malvern cashless and contactless payment system provider that is currently in the middle of a proxy fight, is going after two dissidents on the Yahoo! Finance message board for USAT who have been saying some bad things about their management of the company. (There is no indication at this time that they are connected to the leadership of the group that launched the proxy battle.) USA Technologies filed suit in the Federal Eastern District of Pennsylvania in late August against the unknown holders of the two Yahoo! screen names, "MICHAEL_MOORE_IS_FAT" and "STOKKLERK". In the complaint, the company claims that the defendants' comments were defamatory towards management and were part of a "scheme" on behalf of the anonymous posters to "enrich themselves through undisclosed manipulative trading tactics". USA Technologies also issued a subpoena to Yahoo! seeking the identity of its critics.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation is representing the defendants, claiming First Amendment rights. Also, the EFF says, a California statue awards attorney fees to anonymous speakers if an out-of-state subpoena is quashed and ""if the underlying action arises from the moving party's exercise of free speech rights on the Internet and the respondent has failed to make a prima facie showing of a cause of action." California is involved since Yahoo! is headquartered there.
USA Technologies' argument against the motion to quash was to be heard this past Friday.
A post on the EFF's website provides a link to court documents.